Vitek Vanecek is a worthwhile gamble for the New Jersey Devils
Vanecek ranked inside the top-10 in save percentage, and high-danger save percentage, at 5v5 in 2021-22.
Be sure to join the Discord channel to talk hockey, and everything else, with our writers and subscribers.
For the third consecutive off-season, improving the goaltending situation was a huge priority for New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald.
He took a big step towards doing so in acquiring Vitek Vanecek from the Washington Capitals on Friday morning.
Fitzgerald traded the 37th overall pick and the 70th overall pick in exchange for Vanecek, who also came attached with 46th overall.
Essentially, the Devils moved down nine slots and parted with a 3rd to acquire the 26-year-old netminder.
That’s not a large price to pay, especially considering the Devils landed HockeyProspect’s 31st ranked player – an intelligent, skilled, and elusive rearguard in Seamus Casey – at 46. He would’ve been at or near the top of their list for 37.
Vanecek might not well be the big name, ‘risk free’, undisputed No.1 goaltender that many in the fanbase have been clamoring for; but none of those are available.
Be it small sample sizes, poor metrics beneath the surface, age, injury history, or a combination of the bunch, there are concerns and question marks with everybody who was – or continues to be – up for grabs.
Vanecek is legitimately one of the best bets Fitzgerald could have made.
He was quietly very good for the Capitals in 2021-22; especially at 5v5. He posted a .926 save percentage, which tied him for 7th in the NHL with Frederik Andersen, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Ville Husso.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Infernal Access to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.