Now this is certainly an interesting wrinkle in the New Jersey Devils goaltender debacle.
The Devils announced on Friday that they’ve activated Nico Daws from the injured, non-roster list and assigned him to the AHL Utica Comets.
Daws did not participate in training camp as a result of hip surgery he underwent during the offseason. He last played on May 5th for the Comets, facing the Toronto Marlies in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Utica lost 4-1.
What makes Daws’ activation most interesting is that he’s a goaltender with NHL experience playing in 25 games for New Jersey in the 2021-22 season. Daws recorded a 10-11-1 record with an .893 SV%. Still, New Jersey is excited about the 22-year-old goaltenders potential.
Can the fourth-year pro see NHL time this season?
According to head coach Lindy Ruff in a conversation with NJ.com, that’s “far away from happening.”
“The only focus we have as a staff is playing to a higher level in front of our goaltenders,” Ruff explained to Ryan Novozinsky. “Those (other) options are options that are down the road is a goaltender performs well at the level he is at.”
Despite Akira Schmid’s excellent performance against the Seattle Kraken on Thursday, New Jersey’s goaltending is still very much in question. The Devils are finally starting to accrue wins in spite of their goaltenders lack of timely saves, moreso from Vitek Vanecek then Schmid.
The Devils rank 31st in the NHL in both SV% (.893) and GAA (3.67).
For now, Schmid’s recent play suggests the Devils goaltender may be able to keep them afloat. He’s collected three wins in his last five games, accruing a .920 SV% and 2.53 GAA. New Jersey certainly hopes the Swiss netminder can keep this pace up.
If Schmid falters down the line, perhaps Daws will see some NHL time. However, it doesn’t appear that will be anytime soon. For now, Daws will find his footing with the Comets.