As Mackenzie Blackwood makes his way back into the lineup for the New Jersey Devils, the team had a difficult choice to make in the net. The team announced today that goaltender Akira Schmid will be sent down to their AHL affiliate Utica Comets. With nine games remaining in their regular season, the Comets are coming close to making the playoffs in the AHL’s North Division with a record of 31-23-6.
After a difficult start to his NHL career last season, Schmid has rebounded significantly this year. Playing on a top team in New Jersey, the goaltender has a record of 8-5-2, with a .918 SV% and a 2.24 GAA, including one shutout as well. Even the underlying numbers bode well for Schmid, with a Goals Against Percentage Minus of 86, and a High-Danger Scoring Chance Save Percentage of .855, Schmid has improved a considerable amount in his second year.
Drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft, Schmid will be able to log important minutes for a competitive team in Utica. As the Devils have now clinched a playoff spot, they will now have the luxury of all three top goalies on their depth chart playing important hockey into late April.
The Devils should feel good about having him down there at Utica. I hope he continues to play well and develop.