Breaking: New Jersey Devils Trade Vitek Vanecek For Kaapo Kahkonen In Shocking Move

The New Jersey Devils made a major move, sending Vitek Vanecek to the San Jose Sharks for goalie Kaapo Kahkonen. In a move that came at the buzzer, Tom Fitzgerald makes his best move of the day.

San Jose Sharks v New Jersey Devils
San Jose Sharks v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils were faced with a major issue. After trading for Jake Allen at the NHL Trade Deadline, they locked themselves up for Allen and Vitek Vanecek in 2024-25 unless a buyout was to happen. That is, until the final moments of the deadline.

The trade coming at this time is honestly insane. It's more than an hour after the trade deadline, and this deal was just announced.

The Devils have been known for making trades at the deadline buzzer. In 2018, they traded for Pat Maroon at the very final moment, sending a third-round pick to the Edmonton Oilers for the big man. Now, they make a move that gets them out of a major question mark and allows them to move forward with Allen and Kaapo Kahkonen, who isn't having the worst season.

Of course, Kahkonen's numbers aren't great in San Jose. He has an .895 save percentage and a 3.91 goals-against average. Kahkonen has faced the sixth-highest xG against per 60 minutes in the league (Allen is fifth). Meanwhile, Nico Daws is the highest on the list amongst Devils goalies, ranking 30th in the league. The Devils defense has its issues, but it's nowhere near as bad as San Jose's (or Montreal's for that matter).

This is a smart move to get flexibility this offseason and try out a goalie tandem that could impact the future. Kahkonen is only 27 years old, so he could be a piece that is here for a long time. He is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, so if it doesn't work out, the Devils can walk away for free.

Meanwhile, they lose Vanecek, who was great in the regular season last year, unplayable in the playoffs, and repeated his fortunes this season. Vanecek is the biggest reason the Devils are likely to miss the playoffs this season, fumbling more wins than Leon Lett. Now, they get out of that contract thanks for Sharks GM Mike Grier. Thanks Mike, we appreciate it.