New Jersey Devils: Two Possible Goalie Targets To Save This Season And Beyond

Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight (30): Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight (30): Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Jersey Devils have an ongoing problem in the net. The lack of faith in Vitek Vanecek to be a frequent starter is not doing the Devils any good. Goalie prospect Nico Daws is coming back gradually from hip surgery. As mentioned by Dan MacKinnon, GM of the Utica Comets, to the Rome Sentinel, a return around Christmas is expected.

Vanecek has shown a lack of motivation, confidence, and aggressiveness in the net. He had notched over 30 wins last season and seems to have lost his starting role for the time being. Yes, we can all point fingers and say after the San Jose Sharks game, Akira Schmid isn’t worthy either, but he can take that loss as a blueprint of how to play more aggressively in net and cutting down angles.

Goalies to potentially acquire

Now, the Devils need to look at goalies to get on the trade market. There are two teams that fall under the Devils age group and skill level. They will cost a lot, but you gotta pay to play in this league.

Spencer Knight

In the 2022-23 season, Spencer Knight posted a 9-8-3 record and yielded 3.18 GAA and a .901 save percentage in 21 games. He is currently in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers under the Florida Panthers. Currently, Sergei Bobrovsky and New Jersey native Anthony Stolarz are on the Florida Panthers roster, blocking Knight from making his way back to the Panthers. Knight has played in nine games this season, posting a 2.93 GAA and .891 save percentage. That is likely due to the defense in front of him.

He has plenty of intangibles the Devils would covet. His ability not only to hug the posts properly but also his skating edges when making lateral movements help him square up to the play leading up to potential shots on net. Knight is a competitor and is no stranger to clutch moments since his time with USA Hockey (where he played on a team with Jack Hughes). He is less likely to be very costly than the other option.

GM Tom Fitzgerald should look at Spencer Knight since he is very familiar with the USNTDP and NCAA Hockey players. An excellent goalie mind in Martin Brodeur should also go over the potential case of investing in a young player who can do a much better job in the net with Akira Schmid.