When Martin Brodeur began asserting himself as the best goalie in the league, a tiny little question began growing in the back of Devils fans' minds:
As Brodeur has grown older, the question is slowly beginning to move from the backburner to the forefront, and this year, we got our first taste of life beyond Brodeur.
The way the team looks now, the Devils are in great shape.
Despite countless injuries (including Brodeur's), the team has remained one of the best teams in the conference. Scott Clemmensen has held his own, the team has found ways to score, and the defense has stepped up.
Of course, the team will change in the next few years, and when Brodeur does eventually retire, we don't know who will be out there.
But the Devils do have someone in the minors—a goalie prospect that could be the future of the franchise.
As of now, the fate of the New Jersey Devils lies with this guy:
Jeff Frazee is our man in Lowell.
After losing his starting job at the University of Minnesota, Frazee joined the ECHL's Trenton Devils, and was promoted to Lowell when Clemmensen was called up to the bigs.
He's been awesome, and now he's the only Lowell Devil headed to the AHL All-Star Game. Like Clemmensen, Frazee has stepped in and surprised the league, going 10-6-2 with Lowell, and leading the AHL with a .932 save percentage.
Is he guaranteed to replace Brodeur? Not quite.
But if he does keep this up, the Devils will have a great home-grown product to bring in. He may not match the legend himself, but Frazee could be a very solid starter for New Jersey, and could pace this team for many years.
Of course, there's always the possibility that Frazee forgets how to play and loses his staring job like he did at Minnesota, but we're going to be optimistic today. The Devils may have their goalie of the future, which is quite a comforting thought.