The New Jersey Devils have solidified their crease for the foreseeable future.
On a busy morning for goalie trades, the Devils made one of their own, acquiring Vitek Vanecek and a 2022 second-round pick from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second and third-round pick in 2022.
Vanecek is currently a restricted free agent and will need a new contract prior to next season. The 26-year-old split the Capitals' net with Ilya Samsonov last season and produced some favorable results, finishing the 2021-22 campaign with a 20-12-6 record and four shutouts to go with .908 save percentage and 0.9 goals-saved-above-average.
There is clearly some risk with Vanecek, of course.
The Czechia native has yet to be a starter full-time, has only 79 games of NHL experience under his belt entirely, and hasn't exactly grabbed a starters job in the brief time he's held one. But Vanecek has some intriguing tools that the Devils clearly like. He's intriguing. And after the absolute debacle that unfolded within their goaltending ranks last season, during which injuries forced them to recall two early-20s prospects well before they were ready, some stability is sorely needed -- especially given Mackenzie Blackwood's erratic performance.
For a swap of second-round picks and another mid-round slot, that's a good bet to make.
Buckle up, folks. The action is far from over.