2013-14 New Jersey Devils Goaltending Prospects Review

Jim McIsaac

The 2013-14 season saw Keith Kinkaid emerge as a potential backup goaltender for the Devils while the rest of their goaltending prospects struggled. This post will review each prospect's season and dive into the numbers they put up.

With the Martin Brodeur era in New Jersey seemingly at an end and the Cory Schneider era likely to begin, the Devils are set at goaltender for the foreseeable future. However the Devils will still need to find a reliable back up over the next few years and one way to do that is to draft and develop a player. They brought back ex-Devil Scott Clemmensen to compete with Keith Kinkaid (re-signed) for the backup role in New Jersey, with the loser becoming the starter in Albany. Scott Wedgewood will have a chance to earn more playing time in Albany next year while Maxime Clermont (also re-signed) will try to make his case in the ECHL. The lone goaltending prospect the Devils have outside of the professional ranks is Anthony Brodeur who will be entering his 2nd QMJHL season. I thought it would be interesting to take a look to see how the Devils prospects did last year and I wanted to use some statistics that would help give a more in depth look into how they performed.

Statistics Used

In addition to traditional statistics, this post will include metrics like Quality Starts, Really Bad Starts, Bail Outs, Goals Allowed Percentage Minus, and Goals Saved Above Average. Here is a quick primer on these statistics:

Quality Starts - A metric developed by Robert Vollman; a quality start is used to determine a start in which the goalie gave the team a good chance to win the game.

In order to record a Quality Start, the starting goalie must stop at least a league average number of shots or play at least as well as a replacement-level goalie (88.5%) while allowing two goals or fewer.

Really Bad Starts and Bail Outs - Metrics also developed by Robert Vollman that determine how much a goaltender hurt his team and how often his team was able to bail him out. Explanation of Really Bad Starts and Bail Outs:

This year's new statistic is the Really Bad Start, where a goalie fails to stop even 85% of the shots, leaving his team barely a 10% chance of winning.

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The opposite of a Wasted Quality Start is a Bail-Out, which is defined by being awarded a win despite failing to achieve a Quality Start.

Goals Allowed Percentage Minus (GA%-)A metric developed by Hockey-Reference to compare a goaltender's performance amongst their peers. 100 is average, below 100 is above average, and above 100 is below average.

The formula is 100*((1-player save %)/(1-league average save %)).

Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA)Another metric developed by Hockey-Reference to compare a goaltender's performance amongst their peers. The higher the number the better the goaltender was compared to the league average and vice versa.

GSAA = Saves-(League Average SV%*Shots Against)

Please note that the league average save percentages used were: AHL: .910, ECHL: .907, QMJHL: .897 to find the statistics used in this post. Also the tables below represent only regular season statistics.

Keith Kinkaid

Keith Kinkaid had his best professional season as a 24 year old for the Albany Devils, setting career highs in GAA (2.29), SV% (.912), wins (24), and shutouts (4). He maintained a solid .912 SV% through the months of October and November before having a great December that would raise his SV% to .927. Kinkaid slumped in the 2nd half of the year, putting up a .879 SV% in January, was limited to just 4 games in February due to injury (groin strain), and posted just a .875 SV% in March. An impressive April would have Kinkaid finish with a solid .912 SV% and he would carry that hot play into the playoffs where he posted a great .932 SV% in 4 games as Albany was eliminated in the 1st round. The table below takes a look at start quality and how he compared to his peers.

Games Started SV% SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% GA%- GSAA
Keith Kinkaid 42 .912 4 9.52 25 59.52 7 16.66 3 7.14 98 1.74

Going off NHL trends where top goaltenders have quality starts of at least 60% or higher, Kinkaid finished with a decent percentage. His really bad starts are a bit high nearing the 17% mark but his GA%- and GSAA both show him to be around a league average goaltender. He will have a strong chance to challenge Scott Clemmensen for the backup role in New Jersey this upcoming year.

Scott Wedgewood

Scott Wedgewood has had an underwhelming professional career posting SV%'s at or below .900 in the ECHL and AHL. The former Canada U20 goaltender still has time on his side to re-establish himself as a legitimate prospect as he turns 22 in August, but he will be entering a crucial year to show improvement. This past season he struggled early on and sat a lot in favor of Kinkaid but he did have a solid 11 game stretch in March and April where he posted a .920 SV% and 3 shutouts.


Games Started
SV%
SO
SO%
QS
QS%
RBS
RBS%
BO
BO%
GA%-
GSAA
Scott Wedgewood
33
.899
4
12.12
19
57.58
7
21.21
3
9.09
112
-8.71

I was a bit surprised to see Wedgewood have an ok percentage of quality starts, just below 58%. His overall numbers on the year aren't great and he was roughly 12% below league average. His high really bad starts percentage really impacts his overall numbers and shows just how inconsistent he can be. He'll have a chance to battle either Kinkaid or Clemmensen for the starting spot in Albany next year.

Maxime Clermont

Clermont hasn't enjoyed much success as a professional, spending most his time in the ECHL and never posting a SV% higher than .899. This past year he spent the first part of the season with Elmira before moving to Orlando where he remained a backup. His numbers were about the same for both teams though he did get his first ECHL shutout for Orlando. He also put up a .926 SV% in 177 playoff minutes for Orlando. The high point of Clermont's season was probably the brief call up to Albany due to injuries, where he posted a .923 SV% in 90 minutes. It's not clear where the Devils will be sending their ECHL players next season, but he figures to stay in that league with spots in Albany already filled.


Games Started
SV%
SO
SO%
QS
QS%
RBS
RBS%
BO
BO%
GA%-
GSAA
Maxime Clermont
23
.892
1
4.35
11
47.83
9
39.13
2
8.69
116
-11.25

Clermont struggled as a backup in the ECHL and didn't take advantage of his starts. His sub 50% quality start rate and near 40% really bad start rate really makes you question how much of a future in professional hockey he has. Amongst his ECHL peers he was clearly below average with GA%- having him about 16% below the average mark.

Anthony Brodeur

Anthony Brodeur had a rocky rookie season in the QMJHL for the Gatineau Olympiques, posting a .887 SV% in 30 games as the backup to overager Robert Steeves who struggled as well. The highlight of Brodeur's season was posting the 3rd longest shutout streak in QMJHL history at 194:28. The 19 year old will have a chance to earn a starting role in training camp though he will face plenty of competition. The table below has a look at his starts and comparison to his peers.


Games Started
SV%
SO
SO%
QS
QS%
RBS
RBS%
BO
BO%
GA%-
GSAA
Anthony Brodeur
22
.887
2
9.09
9
40.90
9
40.90
3
13.64
110
-6.01

Brodeur posted identical quality start and really bad start percentages and was about 10% below league average by GA%-. I wouldn't be surprised to see Gatineau go with another goaltender as their starter next year as Brodeur doesn't really offer much upside.

Your Take

How do you feel about the group of goaltending prospects the Devils have? Do you think Kinkaid is ready to be a backup in New Jersey? Do you think that Wedgewood, Clermont, or Brodeur are poised to have break out seasons next year? If this group shows no improvement do you think the Devils should try to sign an undrafted NCAA goaltender next spring (guys to keep an eye out for include Clay Witt (Northeastern), Joel Rumpel (Wisconsin), Jake Hildebrand (Michigan State)? Please leave your comments below and thank you for reading.

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