Can Nico Daws Stop The Devils Goaltending Carousel?

Photo Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports


Despite the goaltending situation in New Jersey, it was quite a surprise to Devils fans all over to hear that Playoff hero Akira Schmid was sent to the minors. This meant only one thing: Nico Daws was getting the nod. Not only was Daws coming up to back up Vitek Vanecek, but he was undoubtedly going to be tested by Coach Lindy Ruff. Daws, having been up in the big leagues before, was cool and collected in his first appearance, a 6-2 win for the Devils in Ottawa. With another win in his second start and a decent showing in his first loss, it only seems to be leading to bigger and better things for Nico Daws. Another stellar performance has us wondering, is Nico Daws ready to take over the number one spot for New Jersey?


Before getting into Nico Daws and how great he has been since being called up, let us just go back and remind ourselves about what has been going on with the Devils and their Goaltending. In a nutshell, Mackenzie Blackwood was the Devil’s future goalie. All he needed was a veteran presence to back him up for a season or two and he would be on his way. No one knew what kind of trouble was on its way. The first attempt was signing Stanley Cup Champion Corey Crawford. Before playing one game with New Jersey, Crawford had retired due to personal reasons. So, that season was a goaltending rollercoaster. Then Tom Fitzgerald signed Veteran Goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Bernier started well but was quickly out with an injury he would never be able to return from. Now, Blackwood (who suffers his own injury problems) is in San Jose, getting a lot of playing time, leaving Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid at the helm in Newark. But it looks like Nico Daws is ready to make a dent in the roster, and we are ready for it,


In his first four starts, Nico Daws is 3-1-0. Daws won his first two games, dropped one to Vancouver, and had an amazing outing against Florida. Florida was on a nine-game winning streak going into facing Daws and his Devils. After seeing this performance, it looks as if pundits league-wide see Daws in a different light. Here are a few highlights from January 13th, 2024 vs. Florida.

After this performance in Florida, it seems as if Nico Daws could be the real deal. Questions arise then, does Tom Fitzgerald trade away either Akira Schmid or Vitek Vanecek? After all, both goaltenders could be useful for certain teams depending on what they’re looking for. I would not be surprised at all if Daws gets the nod again on Monday in a matinee game in Boston. In the last game of 2023, the Devils faced Boston, and it was Vanecek who allowed five goals that night. With both of these games being played in Boston, it isn’t far-fetched to think Daws could get the start; many fans would even hope that is the case, especially after seeing Nico Daws play until the last second, as you can see here.


In the 2021-2022 season, the New Jersey Devils went through a plethora of goaltenders. One of the highlights of that unfortunate situation was that we got a great showcase of Nico Daws. In that season, Daws started 23 games, won 10 games, lost 11 games, and played in a total of 25 games. This season, Daws has started 4 games with 3 wins, 1 loss, and 10 goals against. Do you think that Daws could be the future of goaltending in New Jersey? His numbers, given the situations, are very telling of an above-average goaltender. Let me know what you think in the comments.

  • WINS: 13
  • LOSSES: 12
  • GAA: 3.06
  • SV%: .897

In addition to his impressive save percentage, in Florida, Daws also stopped 12 of 13 high-danger shots against and saved 2.63 goals above expected. This stellar performance bailed the Devils out in a big way and showcased his ability to step up in crucial moments. Hopefully, we see more of this kind of play going forward this new year.


For more New Jersey Devils clips, content, and upcoming interviews with Devils staff, check out the handle @DevilsJointX on both X and YouTube.

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Joseph Stassi

Joseph Stassi is a Writer/Musician from New York. He covers the New Jersey Devils on X @DevilsJointX and YouTube with the same handle.

4 thoughts on “Can Nico Daws Stop The Devils Goaltending Carousel?

  1. I hope Daws can help. I’d love to see him and Schmid as starter and backup. VV, while a likable guy, is a shell of what he was last season, and really doesn’t need to be in net.

  2. Daws is special. I was saying 2 years ago that this kid is gona be the one and then Schmid came along. But WOW am I impressed. It’s also sad that they tried so hard to give Blackwood a Vet and the Hockey Gods said “NO!”

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