Best Goalies: New Jersey Devils

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Martin Brodeur. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

When one tries to pick the top three goalies in New Jersey Devils franchise history, it’s not too difficult to determine who tops the list. If you’re like my Devils THW colleague Dan Rice, your list might be “Brodeur-Brodeur-Brodeur.” While that sentiment may not be exaggerating too much, the Devils have sported some quality goaltenders before, and beyond, Brodeur.

In this space, we look at the top three goalies in Devils’ history.

#3 – Chris Terreri

The Devils goaltending coach and Providence College product was drafted 85th overall by New Jersey in the fifth round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Playing between the pipes with the Friars, he would earn MVP of the 1985 NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship in a 2-1 losing effort against RPI at Joe Louis Arena.

Adorning either a red or black helmet with a cage for a mask, Terreri played parts of 12 seasons across two stints with the Devils. The 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons saw him finish eighth in Vezina Trophy voting. The Providence, RI native netminder ranks second in wins, saves and minutes and fourth in shutouts, goals-against average and save percentage in club history. Until the next two guys on the list came along, he essentially held every major Devils’ goaltending record.

Terreri was part of two Stanley Cup titles with the Devils.

Career with New Jersey: 12 seasons, 302 games played, 118-118-34 record, 3.07 GAA, .892 SV%, seven shutouts.

Playoffs: 27 games played, 12-12 record, .890 SV%, 3.37 GAA.

#2 – Cory Schneider

In the second spot is the Devils current No. 1 netminder Cory Schneider. The Devils acquired the Marblehead, MA keeper via trade from the Vancouver Canucks at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, in exchange for their first round pick.

Cory Schneider

Schneider has taken over the No. 1 job in New Jersey. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

How does one skyrocket this high despite a short tenure in Newark? Sporting the top save percentage and goals-against average among all active goalies is a start. Plus, one could argue that, given the Devils young defence and lack of scoring, Schneider is the reason the squad is even being mentioned as a playoff possibility.

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In Devils franchise history, Schneider ranks first in save percentage, tied for first in goals-against average, second in shutouts and third in wins and saves. Assuming he remains through the duration of his contract, the Boston College product should continue to climb up the list of franchise rankings. Schneider also represented the Devils in the 2015-16 NHL All-Star Game.

There’s no doubt, Schneider, steals points and perhaps one day he’ll be able to steal a postseason series or two with the young and rising Devils.

Career with New Jersey: 4 seasons, 213 games played, 86-86-35 record, 2.24 GAA, .921 SV%, 14 shutouts.

Playoffs: NA.

#1 – Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur (Flickr/LindseyAAkiyama)

Atop our list is a no brainer, Martin Brodeur. Marty the magnificent is arguably the best goalie in NHL history and hence earns the top spot in Devils history. Among the 100 Greatest NHL Players, Brodeur is the Wayne Gretzky of goaltending when it comes to the record books.

The future Hall of Fame goalie already has his No. 30 retired and a statue honoring him at Prudential Center.

Selected by the Devils at No. 20 overall in the first round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, Brodeur burst onto the scene by earning the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1993-94. The hardware would continue to mount for the Montreal, QC native, with three Stanley Cup titles, four Vezina trophies, five Jennings trophies and nine All-Star nods.

In an era moving from stand up to butterfly goalies, the Devils star displayed a unique hybrid style of his own. His outlet passes and puck playing ability set the standard among goaltenders, prompting the NHL to institute the trapezoid area behind the net. During the 1997 Stanley Cup playoffs, he became the second goalie in league history to score a goal.

No netminder has more victories, shutouts, playoff shutouts, saves or games played than No. 30. Marty was also the youngest goalie to reach the 300, 400 and 500 win plateau. His seven shutouts during the 2003 Stanley Cup playoffs are the most in a single postseason in league history.

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In Devils franchise history Brodeur ranks first in wins, shutouts, games played, minutes, saves, goals-against average and is second in save percentage.

Career with New Jersey: 21 seasons, 1,259 games played, 688-394-154 record, 2.24 GAA, .912 SV%, 124 shutouts.

Playoffs: 205 games played, 113-91 record, .919 SV%, 2.02 GAA, 24 shutouts.

Honorable Mentions

Although they didn’t make the top three, these Devils goalies made their mark on the franchise nonetheless.

Sean Burke

A well-traveled and solid career comes to mind when one views Burke’s profile. Where the Devils are concerned, he’s synonymous with their first playoff run in 1988. The Devils drafted the Windsor, ON native in the second round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft and he would spend four seasons in New Jersey.

In 1988, the Devils rookie went 10-1, ripping off seven straight victories in helping the club secure a playoff berth. Burke backstopped the Garden State upstarts all the way to Game 7 of the Wales Conference Finals, before bowing out against the Boston Bruins.

The Devils rookie sensation would make the All-Star team in 1989.

Glenn “Chico” Resch

Most fans know “Chico” as a Devils color analyst for the better part of two decades. When the Colorado Rockies moved to East Rutherford, NJ in 1982, he was the colorful face of the franchise.

Although the teams in front of him weren’t great, it didn’t deter Resch. In the Devils inaugural season, he finished sixth in Vezina Trophy voting. The following season saw “Chico” earn an All-Star appearance and a seventh place finish in the Vezina Trophy vote.

 



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