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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New Jersey Devils
Nashville Predators goalie Yaroslav Askarov (30): David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

Yaroslav Askarov

The New Jersey Devils were very close to drafting the Russian phenom in his draft year. They instead chose Alexander Holtz seventh overall. Yaroslav Askarov is super aggressive in net and at times, slightly erratic, not properly gripping his goalie stick.

However, when watching him play in his MHL and KHL, it’s clear why he was brought onto the Russian National Team. He looked very confident and super aggressive playing the puck by poke-checking, making big saves, and being able to play the puck and making clean, crisp deep passes.

One of the drawbacks for Askarov was being a little too aggressive and over-committing a little bit at times. Askarov now has refined his game with the Milwaukee Admirals. He has posted a 2.10 GAA and a .917 and has a 4-4-1 record this season. He did play in 12 playoff games with Milwaukee last season with a 2.70 GAA and .903 Save Percentage going 6-6-0.

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Yaroslav Askarov is definitely on the upswing and is the type of goalie the Devils should inquire about.  Especially now that Barry Trotz is the GM in Nashville, and since it is unlikely Juuse Saros will be traded with a -8.0 Goals Save Above Expected this season, the Devils might have a shot. The Russian netminder is a thrill to watch, has a flare for the dramatic, and when he is dominant, he would make the Devils’ defense look a lot calmer. He is a bit of a higher risk high reward player, but it would be better if Tom Fitzgerald attempts to make the next best heist if he can pull this one off.