The Devils Should Bring Back Kähkönen In Tandem With Jake Allen

Tony Gutierrez - staff, ASSOCIATED PRESS

WHY KÄHKÖNEN IS THE SMARTEST MOVE FOR NJ

1. Stellar Performance and Shutout Record

Kaapo Kähkönen has already made a significant impact in his short time with the Devils. In a late game in March against the New York Islanders, a game I was in attendance for, he secured a 4-0 victory and earned his first shutout since November 2022. His calm and focused demeanor, along with his 36 shot, 26 save performance, highlights his potential as a reliable starting goaltender. Although Fitzgerald seemingly had no plans for Kähkönen, he was hitting the market, and he showed what he is worth. What is he worth? Personally, I think he is worth signing, saving young Devils prospects from the trade block and utilizing him as a 1a/1b while Allen mentors him into his final position. The New Jersey Devils number one guy.

2. Consistent Performance Metrics

Kähkönen boasts a .934 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average in his three starts with the Devils. These numbers indicate his consistency and ability to keep the team competitive, even in tight games. (2 at Madison Square Garden facing the Devils most heated rival). Why didn’t Jake Allen face the Rangers at least once if he is part of the Devils future? I wonder. Kähkönens sharpness, speed post to post, and obvious confidence help strengthen the team in front of him mentally, knowing that it would be rare for him to break down as much as they do.

3. Recent Trade Acquisition

The Devils acquired Kähkönen from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Vitek Vanecek and a 2025 seventh-round draft pick. This move demonstrates the team’s commitment to bolstering their goaltending position. Kähkönens arrival immediately instilled some competition in the crease despite being benched most of his days as a Devil. Was that a mistake? Could the Devils have squeezed into the last Wild Card spot if they just let him play rather than play Jake Allen 4 or 5 games straight? Probably. Jake Allen consistently let in 4+ goals after coming to New Jersey, and he did not once play against either New York rival. It seemed as if the coaching staff felt safer playing Kähkönen over Allen when playing at MSG or on Long Island. Kähkönen used one of those games to shut out the playoff pushing Islanders and was excellent both times after being thrown to the wolves at Madison Square Garden. Kaapo Kähkönen has been the pea hidden in the mattress his whole career. Now that the Princess woke up and all the mattresses have been searched the pea is being seen for who he is. Even in the darkness of the 23/24 San Jose lineup Kähkönen was one of the only positive things on the team. A gem waiting to be found. New Jersey is making a huge mistake if they don’t offer him a contract.

4. Contract Details

Kähkönen’s contract with the Sharks was a 2-year deal worth $5.5 million, with an average annual salary of $2.75 million. The Devils have the opportunity to sign him to a similar contract to see if he is what he seems to be. Jake Allen could play the role that Fitzgerald has tried many times before with Crawford and Bernier. The aging-out veteran who shares time with the new guy and shows him the ropes of a starting goalie. Kähkönen is no slouch, though, and has proven he can handle a pretty heavy and consistent workload.

5. Future Potential

At 27 years old, Kähkönen is entering his prime years as a goaltender. With the right development and support, he could become a cornerstone player for the Devils. His work ethic and clear commitment to helping his team win after all he has been through make him an attractive option for long-term stability in the crease. Tom Fitzgerald isn’t having his best run in recent times so making a splash with an underrated goalie could make him look like the genius some already believe him to be. Many do not.

6. Save The Money/Get The Goalie

Kaapo Kähkönen’s recent performances, consistent metrics, and trade acquisition all point toward his potential impact on the New Jersey Devils in the future if signed this off-season. If they prioritize stability and excellence in goal, signing Kähkönen would be a smart move for the team’s future success whilst leaving them with excess cap space to bolster their Defensive woes, which are the real problem in this organization.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Will Don Sweeney Disappoint in Free Agency?

The Boston Bruins hired General Manager Don Sweeney on May 20, 2015. Sweeney has signed 216 players, drafted 54, and made 42 trades since that time. Bruins fans would probably like to forget about some of the draft picks (especially the 1st round in 2015) and some of the trades (Kirill Kaprizov for a 5th-round […]

Read More

NHL: Deaths of Two Russian Hockey Players Brings Heightened Awareness to Mental Health

Roman Zyryanov, an 18-year-old Russian hockey player, tragically took his own life earlier this week, marking the second such incident involving a young hockey player in recent weeks. Zyryanov participated in the Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod program for three seasons, spanning from U16 to U18. Regrettably, this is the second loss of a player within the […]

Read More

Stanley Cup Finals Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Florida Panthers Game 3 | 06/13/2024

That certainly wasn’t a polite Game 2. I think every neutral fan should agree that officiating was questionable on both ends of the ice in Game 2, and I’m being nice when I word it that way. Leon Draisaitl throws a hit on Aleksandar Barkov that actually resulted in a cross-check to the face. Barkov […]

Read More