Scott Wedgewood - the One That Got Away From the Devils

Ex-New Jersey Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood starred against his old team... again.

Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils
Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It's fair to say that there haven’t been many moves that New Jersey Devils’ GM Tom Fitzgerald has made that could be questioned. But given the current state of affairs in the team’s crease - one move that shouldn’t have been made was letting goaltender Scott Wedgewood slide out of the organization in 2021 when he was claimed on waivers by the Arizona Coyotes. Less than a year later, in March of 2022, Wedgewood was traded to the Dallas Stars, where he has now picked up more than half of the wins in his career (25 of 45).

Last week, Wedgewood returned to New Jersey with the Stars, and once again, he left as the victor, improving to 3-0-0 against the Devils in his career.

So is this going to become an annual thing now, beating the Devils?

“I hope so! It’s always fun to beat old teams,” Wedgewood told Pucks & Pitchforks. “I’ve gotten (wins against) Arizona, Buffalo, Tampa, and Jersey, and I beat Dallas before I got here, so we’ll leave it at that,” he said with a smirk. “I don’t want to say that there is a chip on your shoulder, but there is always a little bit of fun to it. A lot of those guys were teammates and friends. It’s rewarding.”

Not only is it rewarding, but it’s also a bit of a homecoming when he returns to New Jersey and the Prudential Center. Wedgewood, now 31 years old, spent parts of eight seasons in the Devils organization after they drafted him 84th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. He still has a lot of friends who work in the organization or in the building, so it’s now always a date that is circled on his calendar when the NHL schedule is released.

“It’s real heartwarming (coming back). I went around this morning before our pregame skate and talked to some of the staff. I saw people during warmups - the entire medical staff and trainers came over to say hi (to me),” Wedgewood explained. “I still keep in touch with a lot of people.”

“Funny enough I still DM with the Devils mascot on Instagram (laughs), talk about video games and stuff. I won’t say his name, but I was here for so long. I know the Zamboni guys; I don’t know. I think I do a pretty good job personally of making everyone feel welcome and approachable,” he added. “So when I come back, and they come out of their way to say hi to me, it’s heartwarming. I hope they feel the same way - they were very important to me when I was on my own here for a while.”

Sergei Brylin
Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

As luck would have it, Dallas’ lone trip to New Jersey this year coincided with the Devils honoring assistant coach and three-time Stanley Cup champion Sergei Brylin by inducting him into the team’s Ring of Honor. Wedgewood, who played parts of six seasons with the team’s AHL affiliates, was coached by Brylin both there and at the NHL level as well. 

“Hopefully, I see him before I leave tonight, or I’ll at least send him a text. (What a) huge honor for him, I guess it would’ve been 2013 when I was in the American League,” Wedgewood recalled, “and then I had him (as a coach) up here, too. I remember watching him (play); Jersey was one of my favorite teams growing up - with Marty (Brodeur) and me being a goaltending fan. Sergei really cares; you don’t stick around that long in the jobs that he’s had without being a top-tier person. I’m happy for him.”

Scott Wedgewood
Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Another memorable part of his most recent trip to Jersey - besides the 6-2 win that saw him make 29 saves - was when he took a shot to the mask that caused the face protector to fall off his head. Thankfully, he was able to joke about it afterward.

“My first thought was: teeth. Growing up, my mom always joked the only nice thing about me playing goalie was that my teeth were covered - they spent a lot of money at the orthodontist and with braces,” a grinning Wedgewood said.

“(Those shots) don’t feel great, but the masks are made very well these days - I haven’t had any issues with that Pro’s Choice from Vaughn. That’s been a safe feeling. It’s never fun, but it just means you’re square on the puck.”

He’s been square on the puck a lot lately, and in 21 starts this season for Dallas as Jake Oettinger’s partner, he’s gone 13-4-4 with a 2.98 GAA, and a save percentage of .899. To be fair to my opening statement, though, hindsight is always 20/20.

When Wedgewood left New Jersey for Arizona he was 3-10-4 in his last 17 appearances for the Devils. So, he wasn’t giving them much more of a chance to win than the 2023-24 NJD goalies are currently doing. But given the way he has developed, maybe he isn't a full-time starter, but he is one of the best goalies who doesn't start the majority of his team's games. And with this Devils team, he would be a huge boost, one would think.