Meet New Jersey Devils New Goaltending Duo Jake Allen and Kaapo Kahkonen

The New Jersey Devils acquired goaltender's Jake Allen and Kaapo Kahkonen at the NHL trade deadline on Friday aftternoon. Now, they have a completely different look and feel in net.

Nashville Predators v San Jose Sharks
Nashville Predators v San Jose Sharks / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils were very animated at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline Friday afternoon, as they loaded up on draft picks and acquired a new goaltending duo in Jake Allen from the Montreal Canadiens and Kaapo Kahkonen from the San Jose Sharks. The two goaltenders’ numbers are not the most visually appealing. However, the roster in front of each of them is not the sharpest, as the Canadiens and Sharks each loom at the bottom of the standings with pretty bad records. In fact, Kahkonen and Allen have faced the fifth and sixth-highest xG against per 60 minutes.

Let’s start with Allen. The 33-year-old netminder came over in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft, meaning the Devils did not lose any player on their current roster to get him. The former Canadien has had a rough go this season in Montreal, sitting with a 6-12-3 record, a 3.65 goals against average, and .892 save percentage, not fun to look at. 

While you can’t guarantee solid and consistent goaltending from a player on the downward slope in his career, you can secure a veteran with over ten years of experience who can help paint strides with the younger defenseman on the team. 

Moving to Kahkonen, perhaps the more likable trade for Devils fans. Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald traded away Vitek Vanecek and a 2025 seventh-round pick in exchange for the 27-year-old, who currently sits with a 6-20-3 record this season in San Jose. The Finnish netminder currently has a save percentage of .895% and a goals-against average of 3.82; again, it is not very appealing to look at. However, the Shark's record is abysmal, and the roster in front of him was not setting him up for success. 

New Jersey is losing a fan favorite in Vanecek. However, it was time to cut the string as his game has taken a complete tumble in the span of a year. The Devils know what good goaltending looks like and what it can bring, and that is the playoffs. Last year, Vanecek boasted a 33-11-4 record in his first season with New Jersey and a .911 save percentage. Regarding money, with the move, the Devils freed up some financial concerns as Vanecek was set to get paid $3,400,000 next season in what would’ve been the final year of his three-year contract.

The lack of inconsistency in net brought tons of speculation to New Jersey, leaving people wondering when they were going to figure out their goaltending, the Achilles heel of the team. Now, with Allen and Kahkonen, the Devils look to turn the ship around and make a dash toward the playoffs, where they currently sit six points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for the last spot in the wild card.