The New Jersey Devils are getting an early start on their offseason plans. The team has signed Akira Schmid to a three-year entry-level contract that will begin in the 2021-22 season. The young goaltender spent this season with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL.
Schmid, 21, was a fifth-round pick of the Devils in 2018 but dominated his competition this season at the junior level. Posting a league-leading .921 save percentage in 36 appearances, he ended up 22-13-1 for the Musketeers. That was just a continuation of the ability he showed in 2018-19, when he had a .926 for the Omaha Lancers, and got him back on track after a disappointing COVID-shortened 2019-20 season.
The Swiss netminder will likely get his first taste of professional action next season, though it is not clear if that will be in North America or overseas. The team already has several goaltending prospects in the system including the recently-signed Nico Daws. There may not be enough spots in the minor leagues, leading to some loans when things shake out in training camp.