Why the New Jersey Devils Need to Start Looking to the Future in Net

Amy Streifer@AmyStreiferCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 11:  Goaltender Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils looks on after a goal by Jeff Carter #77 of the Los Angeles Kings (not in photo) in Game Six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Martin Brodeur is a fantastic goaltender. As a matter of fact, he is arguably the greatest goaltender to have ever played the game.

He has won three Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils and has helped them stay successful throughout the years. Johan Hedberg, the backup goaltender for the Devils, also has tremendous strengths in net, but like Brodeur, Hedberg is getting older.

Brodeur is 40 years old and just signed a two-year, $9 million contract extension with New Jersey.

Hedberg signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract extension, but at 39 years old, it may very well be his last two years in the NHL.

With aging goalies comes a new problem. Who is going to replace Brodeur and Hedberg in net when they both retire? Their answer may be in 19-year-old Scott Wedgewood.

Wedgewood was the 84th overall pick in the 2010 draft. He went 2-0-0 during the 2012 World Junior Championships, where he and Team Canada finished with a bronze medal. The last four seasons, Wedgewood has played for Plymouth (OHL) with a record of 28-10-3.

Wedgewood is an agile goalie with skill in net, but it's unknown yet as to whether or not he can replace an All-Star goaltender like Brodeur. Whomever the Devils choose to be their next franchise goalie has pretty big shoes to fill. If Devils fans think that Zach Parise leaving is a problem, they're in a whole world of trouble when Martin Brodeur hangs up his jersey.

With Brodeur's and Hedberg's contract extensions, the Devils are in the clear for the next two years, but when those contracts expire, they had better be ready to put a goalie in net that can be a dedicated goaltender and aspiring team leader.