Over the last few years, young goaltenders in the New Jersey Devils’ system were well aware that age would force goaltender Martin Brodeur to step down sooner rather than later. It provided them with a potential opportunity, but that seemingly went away when the Devils acquired 27-year-old netminder Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks.
In Schneider, the Devils have a player that could theoretically serve as their starter for the next decade, but goaltender Scott Wedgewood, 20, doesn’t think the trade will hinder his career path. In fact, he thinks it might prove to be a positive.
“Obviously, it puts it in perspective that Marty is on his way out and then with Schneider being able to play more games if Marty does decide to hang them up, I think it might be easier for them to bring up a rookie and trust him with playing the odd 20 games that Schneider can’t play,” Wedgewood told the Bergen Record.
“So, it’s almost maybe sooner than it would be (if they didn’t make the trade and Brodeur retired) because they’d go outside the organization for maybe two guys.”
Outside of Wedgewood, the only other goaltending prospect the Devils have signed is 21-year-old Maxime Clermont. However, Keith Kinkaid, 24, is a restricted free agent and will presumably agree to terms.
The Devils also recently selected Martin Brodeur’s son, Anthony, in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Any of those players would have been a big gamble to trust with the Devils’ starting job in the near future, but as Wedgewood suggested, one of them might end up as Schneider’s understudy when Brodeur retires.