New Jersey Devils End of the Season Report Cards: Defensemen & Goalies

The New Jersey Devils missed the playoffs and finished the season with a 38-39-5 record. Let's check in and grade the Devils defense and goalies after a disappointing season.
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Akira Schmid (GP 19 - 3.15 GAA - 0.895 SV%)

Unfortunately for Akira Schmid, the magic of the 2023 playoffs couldn't last him into the regular season. It was a lot of up-and-down performances for Schmid this year. One night he's standing on his head on the road against the Flyers, the next night he's getting shelled at home against the worst team in the league. There are still flashes of a great goalie in there, there question is if he will get that opportunity in New Jersey to show it off.

Grade: C

Vitek Vanecek (GP 32 - 3.18 GAA - 0.890 SV%) TRADED

Tom Fitzgerald shocked Devils fans when he traded Vitek Vanecek at the last moment of the Trade Deadline. It was a great move that allowed them to move off of his $3.4 million contract next season. It also allowed them to move on from a goalie who was struggling - badly. Vanecek's 2022-23 season was a thing of beauty, but this past season was a total nightmare. Whether it be the shot of him starring off into the abyss after letting in a late tying goal against the Vancouver Canucks, or a harmless shot somehow squeaking through him and being put into goal against the Flames, things were bad. Vanecek proved that unless you're one of the elite, goaltending is fickle, and Vanecek got a case of the yips in 2023-24. The one thing Devils fans can agree on is that he always seemed like a good guy, and hopefully, he will get healthy and play well in San Jose next season.

Grade: D-