The Dallas Stars started the 2021-2022 season with four NHL-caliber goaltenders. By the trade deadline, they had one healthy. Ben Bishop had essentially retired, Anton Khudobin had spent much of the season in the AHL and was out for the remainder of the season after surgery, and Braden Holtby was hurt. Texas Stars goaltender Adam Scheel was recalled to back up Jake Oettinger but was not a real option if Holtby’s injury was going to be long-term.
Enter Scott Wedgewood. On the weekend of the trade deadline, Dallas traded a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2023 NHL draft to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for the goaltender. This season, Wedgewood had previously been a part of the New Jersey Devils organization for three games where he averaged a .880 save percentage and in his 26 games with the Coyotes, he averaged a .911 save percentage.
In his four games with the Stars, he has a .922 save percentage and a 2.67 GAA. These numbers do not tell the whole story. Out of the four games, all are wins except for an overtime loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs where Auston Matthews took advantage of a tired trio of Stars and turned on the jets to set the record for the most goals by a US-born player. There’s not much anyone could do there.
His first outing was against the Carolina Hurricanes where he faced 47 shots, saving 44 of them to make franchise history for the most saves by a goaltender making his debut. To put that more into context, the Stars only mustered up 15 shots on goal. The Stars went on to win in the shootout where Wedgewood continued his heroics to stop all three of Carolina’s attempts.
As of writing this, he shut out the Tampa Bay Lightning in his most recent game. That was his fifth career shutout and well-earned. He even looked shaken up at one point during the second period, but he came back strong in the third to decisively close out that game.
When talking about how he felt in the final minutes of that Tampa game, Wedgewood said,
"“I don’t look at the clock at all… I just tell myself throughout the game [to] add two minutes no matter what the time is… play through the buzzer kind of mentality.”"
One word to describe this Stars team is pesky and Wedgewood fits that mentality. I say we keep him over Holtby.
While this may seem premature given the small sample size, I’d make a serious case for re-signing him. While Holtby has played well for the Stars, he has had injury struggles all season. Wedgewood fits in well with the room and plays hard. He knows Tyler Seguin from growing up in Brampton and works out in the same gym as Luke Glendening.
Wedgewood was acquired in order to give Oettinger rest. It’s clear he’s more than capable of that. After all, he’s our Wedgewall and has been a huge addition to the team since the deadline.