For the last 19 NHL seasons the New Jersey Devils have been blessed with the services of goaltender Martin Brodeur. The current Devils goalie is signed through the 2013-2014 season, after which he will likely retire. Do the Devils have a plan for their goal tending in the future?
The answer is yes and his name is Keith Kinkaid. Currently playing for the Albany Devils, the AHL affiliate of the Devils, Kinkaid now appears to be next in line, and rightfully so, Kinkaid has passed Jeff Frazee and is currently getting more starts for the Devils in the minors. In the current 2012-2013 season, Kinkaid has played in 26 games. Kinkaid has a 14-8-4 record compared to 3-7-4 from former second round pick Frazee. Kinkaid has a 2.36 goals against average and .917 save percentage.
Kinkaid has played well in all of the hockey leagues he has participated in. In the NAHL, Kinkaid played for the St. Louis Bandits, where he played 40 games. In the 40 games, Kinkaid was 30-5-4 and won the MVP of the league, Goaltender of the Year, Playoff MVP and helped his team win the NAHL Championship.
The Devils became interested in Kinkaid during his time at Union College. In two years at Union, Kinkaid helped the team reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Kinkaid was an All-American and won the Ken Dryden Award for the top goaltender in college hockey. In his second season at Union, Kinkaid was 25-10-3 with a 1.99 GAA and .920 save percentage.
The Devils signed Kinkaid to an entry level contract in 2011. Kinkaid chose to leave college to pursue his NHL dream. Kinkaid was the backup for the Devils in one game at the pro level. Brodeur and Johan Hedberg are both signed through next season, but then the role of goaltender should be Kinkaid’s for the taking. Kinkaid will have one and a half more seasons to prove to the Devils that he is their goaltender of the future. Currently, all signs point to yes.