Devils trade Kinkaid to Blue Jackets for 5th-round pick

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Devils traded goaltender Keith Kinkaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fifth-round draft pick in 2022.

The Devils announced the deal Monday, hours before the NHL trading deadline expires.

The moved cleared the way for the Devils to recall goaltending prospect Mackenzie Blackwood from Binghamton of the AHL and join Cory Schneider in the nets.

It’s also an insurance policy for the Blue Jackets since No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has declined to sign contract extension and will be a free agent at the end of the season. There has been speculation he might be traded.

Kinkaid, who also will be a free agent at the end of the year, had a 15-18-6 record in 41 games with a 3.36 goals-against average and .891 save percentage. The 29-year-old spent the past five seasons with New Jersey, posting a 64-55-17 record in 151 games with a 2.90 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.

The undrafted free agent played his best in the second half of last season, taking over for an injured Schneider and leading the Devils to their first playoff spot since reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012.

“Keith’s play throughout last season, especially his performance down the stretch, was key in leading this club to the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs,” Devils general manager Ray Shero said. “He was part of this team’s eventual transformation since he took over a regular role in 2014-15 and we greatly appreciate his efforts over his time here.”