New Jersey Devils eye next season, sign goaltender Nico Daws, 20, to entry-level contract

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils have signed goaltender Nico Daws to a three-year, entry-level contract starting in the 2021-22 season.

General manager Tom Fitzgerald announced the signing of the team's third-round pick in the 2020 draft.

Daws, 20, recently finished his 2020-21 season in Germany. He had a 4-6-0 record in 10 games with one shutout and a 2.90 goals-against average. He had a 23-8-3-3 record with a 2.48 goals-against average and .924 save percentage for Guelph (OHL) in 2019-20. His save percentage ranked first among goaltenders in the OHL.

Daws was a member of Team Canada's gold medal-winning 2020 world junior team. He has dual German/Canadian citizenship.

The Devils, in the midst of a rebuild, are in need of goaltending depth as the team looks toward next season. Starter Mackenzie Blackwood signed a three-year contract before the season that will pay him $8.4 million over the life of the deal. The Devils think highly of Blackwood, who at 24, fits in with one of the youngest rosters in the NHL.

But New Jersey has issues in the backup role. The Devils signed veteran Corey Crawford in the offseason, but he retired suddenly during training camp. They have spelled Blackwood this season with veteran free-agents Scott Wedgewood and Aaron Dell, but neither figure into the franchise's long-term plans. It's likely the Devils add another veteran in the offseason, while Daws develops at the AHL level.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.