NEWARK, NJ – The beginning of Scott Wedgewood‘s AHL career was noteworthy for the Devils organization. Before his debut on March 9, 2013, no previous netminder had begun their AHL career with back-to-back wins.
Wedgewood was the first.
He made 23 saves during a 4-1 win against the Springfield Falcons and followed with 34 stops in a 3-2 shootout victory against the Adirondack Phantoms the next night.
The 20-year-old spent much of the 2012-13 season carrying the workload for the Trenton Titans of the ECHL. He appeared in 48 games, going 20-23-2 with a 3.22 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. During five games with Albany, Wedgewood went 2-2-0 with a 3.47 goals-against mark and an .886 save percentage.
A four-year veteran of the OHL, Wedgewood had a harder adjustment off the ice during his rookie campaign than on it.
“I think the amount of time I had, it was tough,” Wedgewood said. “When you’re in juniors, you have high school; you have the breakfast club type thing. And now, you’re up early in the morning and you’re home before almost midday. It was kind of hard to figure out what to do for the rest of the day.
“A lot of guys have families and their commitments and what not, and then the younger guys, you have a lot of guys to hang out with, a lot of video games, stuff like that. I had to understand how to cope through my day and what I needed to prepare myself for the next day. Then obviously the travel and understanding what your body needs is still something that I’m learning. Just everything last year was kind of a trial and error type thing to see what worked.”
Wedgewood is one of four goaltenders participating in this week’s New Jersey Devils Rookie Camp. He is joined by Anthony Brodeur, Jake Hildebrand and Brandon Hope.
On Tuesday, all four goaltenders saw action in a two-period scrimmage at AmeriHealth Pavilion.
“It was good,” Wedgewood said. “I mean it’s been a while since we last played back in April, so it was good to get back out there. We had a tough couple skates out there [Monday] — loosen the legs up. Tough jumping back into it like that [Monday], but the legs held up alright. Then it was a good 20 minute period for a goalie split and got out alive, so it was alright.”
After Rookie Camp, the Devils netminder will return to Brampton, ON where he will continue his off-season workouts.
“We play in a three-on-three league at my gym at varsity back home and it’s a little competitive with all the older guys,” he said. “Every Friday we do a scrimmage and a practice-like-feel thing just to get on the ice again. Not too much, but enough to be able to step on the ice and not be too rusty and then mainly its just the gym Monday through Friday.”
Wedgewood will celebrate his 21st birthday on Aug. 14, approximately a month before the start of New Jersey’s training camp. Like with most things: with age comes experience.
“Going into next year I feel like it will be a little bit of easier adjustments and things like that, but at the end you always learn every time you do something — its experience,” he said. “So hopefully next year will be a little easier transition and I’ll understand what I need to do.”