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Reaction to Devils Trade for Kaapo Kahkonen

In this article, we react to the San Jose Sharks’ trade for Kaapo Kahkonen at the 2024 Trade Deadline from the New Jersey Devils.

The 2024 Trade Deadline has now come and gone. The biggest trade was likely the unexpected Tomas Hertl trade to the Vegas Golden Knights. One trade that wasn’t as talked about, but was surprising, was the New Jersey Devils’ goaltender swap. In the deal, they chose to trade Vitek Vanecek to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Kaapo Kahkonen. As the Devils look to make it back into the postseason picture, this is a trade that makes sense for them.

This season with the Sharks, Kahkonen played 31 games. In those 31 games, he posted a 3.82 goals-against-average (GAA) and a .895 save percentage (SV%). This season with the Devils, Vanecek posted a 3.18 GAA and a .890 SV% through 32 games and ended up losing the starting job in New Jersey, ultimately, leading to his move.

Kaapo Kahkonen Acquired by Devils: B+

Kahkonen is an upgrade between the pipes for the Devils. He is a stronger goaltender than Vanecek and can provide stability between the pipes down the stretch. He isn’t the long-term solution but if the fit works, he could become their full-time backup goaltender next season.

The Devils needed a goaltending upgrade badly if they wanted to have a chance at making it to the postseason. This trade proves they were willing to fill their biggest need and pursue a playoff spot down the stretch. While it wasn’t the best upgrade, I still give it a B+.

Kaapo Kahkonen Devils trade

Vanecek Brought in by Sharks: C+

The Sharks are rebuilding, and they secured a late draft pick in this deal from the Devils. It’s a win that they were able to secure more draft capital, but this wasn’t the best return they could have gotten. I’m sure Vanecek will be a solid backup down the stretch, but he isn’t a long-term solution either.

Both teams didn’t do horribly in this trade, but the Devils came out on top. The Sharks followed the script and continued their retool/rebuild, while the Devils continued to try and fill out their potential playoff roster.

Next: Devils and Sharks Swap: Devils Trade Kahkonen for Vanecek

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