There has been a lot of talk about who will be the next great goaltender for the New Jersey Devils after Martin Brodeur hangs up his skates. Right now they have two solid prospects in Keith Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood. Jeff Frazee (38th overall in 2005) is in the mix but it appears he might be destined to be a backup rather than a primetime player.
In 2010-11 Kinkaid (free agent signing) was a star backstop for Union and for that he won the Ken Dryden Award as the best goaltender in the ECAC and then he turned pro. He had a solid season last year for a bad Albany team. At 6-3, 190 he has the right height to be a backstop in the NHL now and in the future. He stick work is very good clearing pucks and he tracks the puck very well in traffic. He’s very steady but is a future star? At 23, he’s almost at that magic age where the light usually goes on for goalies as they enter their peak for the position.
Scott Wedgewood (84th overall in 2010), 20, is an AHL rookie. He was a solid member of the Team Canada World Junior Championship team last winter. Now he’s turning pro and he seems to have some skills that you can’t really teach. I really like this kid’s mental toughness. He has a knack for stopping multiple shots but in a recent scrimmage against the Philadelphia Phantoms he was a big reason they killed off two 5-on-3’s and the Phantoms had some NHLers like Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn in the lineup. Conversely Wedgewood didn’t have Adam Larsson in front of him for that game and he still shined.
I really like the way this backstop glides from post to post and he covers a lot of ground as a result. His up and down speed is above average, he has a small five-hole and he covers up quickly not yielding many rebounds. At 6-1, 190 he is big enough to be an NHL goalie for sure and something tells me his mental game will only improve with age.
The Devils Executive Vice President, Hockey Operations/ Director, Scouting, David Conte is one of the best in the business. He’s been with the organization for a staggering 26 years! Every time he’s been on my show, Hockey Prospect Radio he’s never led on who the “next” goalie will be but Devils fans can be sure of one thing, he has stocked the cupboard and soon we’ll have that answer.
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