The New Jersey Devils‘ goalie situation looks to be locked down for the next few years. Right now, they have Martin Brodeur who is one of, if not the best, of all time. Then after a draft day trade they brought in former Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider to be their goalie of the future.
Keith Kinkaid was ranked as the Devils’ ninth best prospect in their system prior to the season, according to NHL.com. As of right now, he doesn’t look to be the goalie of the future for the Devils despite having an amazing season. With the Albany Devils, he is 13-4-1 with a 1.97 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Both his save percentage and GAA lead all of the AHL. He is the best goalie in the league so far going into 2014.
So what do you do with Kinkaid? You don’t want to trade a prospect who has that much value when he only has one NHL game under his belt. His trade value just isn’t that high, especially with some backups in the league who are absolutely killing it.
Cam Talbot has been great for the New York Rangers right after they made Henrik Lundqvist the highest paid goalie in the league. James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier are both in the top 10 in save percentage while holding the Toronto Maple Leafs above water. The Los Angeles Kings will have some hard decisions to make when Jonathan Quick comes back from his groin injury. They currently have Martin Jones and Ben Scrivens, who are both tops in the league in save percentage. Any of these players would be first priority for a team in search of a young goalie.
Now the Devils have to think about a future with Kinkaid. Brodeur is most likely going to retire this season (although anything is possible) and that would open up a backup spot for the career minor leaguer. He has been in Albany for three seasons, none better than the current one. He has shown, at 24-years-old, that he can continue to improve. He may be a very good asset for this Devils team.
If they can continue to have a great one-two punch like they do this season, then that could help the team go back to when they were winning cups. They did that with defense, goaltending and clutch scoring. With the emergence of Jon Merrill and Eric Gelinas on top of Adam Larsson, the defense part may be intact for years to come. Add in a few young goalies and the Devils could be going into another great era without Brodeur.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to the site’s NFL, NBA and MLB content. You can follow him on Twitter here.