Kaapo Kähkönen Is What New Jersey Has Been Looking For

AP Photo/John Munson

Surprising Statistics

Despite playing for a struggling San Jose Sharks team, Kaapo Kähkönen has put up impressive numbers. In the 2023-2024 season, he has a save percentage of .895 and a goals-against average (GAA) of 3.82. These statistics are even more impressive when considering the poor defensive play of the Sharks. When he had the opportunity to play behind a stronger defense, Kähkönen showed the ability to be a top-tier goaltender in the NHL. New Jersey is a perfect landing spot for a guy like this. Many fans had made the suggestion in the lead-up to the acquisition.

Young With Great Potential

At just 27 years old, Kähkönen is entering the prime of his career. This is the perfect time for the Devils to invest in him as their goaltender of the future. With his experience and skill, Kähkönen has the potential to grow and develop even further, becoming an elite goaltender in the league. Of course, providing Tom Fitzgerald does something about the Defense.

Contract/Flexibility

Kähkönen’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season, which provides New Jersey with flexibility in their long-term plans. This allows the team to evaluate his performance with another group of very young defensemen. Trading Colin Miller was a huge mistake, as he was the Devil’s best defensive defenseman. To be honest, myself and many other Devils fans have been questioning what this organization’s goal is. Giving Kähkönen this chance allows the team to evaluate his performance and determine themselves if he is right for the future (At this point they should just throw Goalies at the wall and see who sticks). The Devil’s goaltending situation has been one of the biggest disasters in recent NHL history. If Kähkönen continues to excel (I believe he will), the Devils should offer him a new contract and secure their goaltending situation for years to come.

Kähkönen Fits With The Devils

The New Jersey Devils have a young and talented core of players, and their fast-paced, high-scoring style of play requires a goaltender who can keep up with the action. Kähkönen’s athleticism is second to none, as well as his ability to quickly go cross-crease to make those quick, reactive saves the Devils have been allowing into their net all season. This makes Kaapo Kähkönen an ideal fit for the Devils’ system. His presence in the net will give his teammates a little more confidence and stability on their backend, allowing them to focus more on their offensive game.

Positive Impact On The Locker Room

Bringing in Kähkönen has already had a positive impact on the Devils’ locker room. The team has struggled hard with inconsistent goaltending for years now. I believe it all started when the Devils traded the pick that would have brought Bo Horvat to the Devils for Cory Schneider. Both of whom ended up on the Islanders ironically. The acquisition of a proven netminder like Kaapo Kähkönen is giving the players a new sense of optimism. You may not see that on the ice, as it seems the players are just done with the season, but that isn’t a goaltending issue. The Devils defense and offense has been an issue all season. Whether it be injuries or just incomplete play, every player on this team has had their downtime this season. Improved morale brought in by Kähkönen can lead to better performances on the ice and help the Devils become a more cohesive and successful team.

Devils Decisions

The NJ Devils have made a wise decision in acquiring Kaapo Kähkönen. With his impressive stats, age, potential, and contract flexibility, he is a perfect fit for this team. Kähkönen is poised to lead the Devils to success in the coming years if GM Tom Fitzgerald redeems himself and signs him this summer. Many other teams will be looking at Kähkönen as well; we do not want to lose him. With the acquisition of Jake Allen, he could be a great mentor for Kähkönen until his contract is up; at that point, I, for one, am hoping to see Kähkönen as the future of the Devils net. Kähkönen will be a crucial piece of the Devils puzzle, which has pieces all over the place at the moment, providing stability and confidence in the net.

More Devils

For much more Devils content check out @DevilsJointX on X and on YouTube. Replays (including the full Rempe segment) uploaded in real time, as well as card cracking videos and more Hockey/Devils content!

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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.

One thought on “Kaapo Kähkönen Is What New Jersey Has Been Looking For”

  1. Excellent point. I thought of him as a throwaway. after reading this I checked him out and it’s true, in just the first game he played the rangers!! and he was as solid as anyone could be against the Rangers. Great story man!

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