Casey DeSmith

by Mark Allan on February 28, 2018

Casey DeSmith, G

Catches: L

Height: 6-0

Weight: 181

Born: 1991-08-13

Hometown:  Rochester, NH

Drafted: Undrafted

 

 

 

 

 

Observations:

March 2018 – Although it’s unclear what his long-term NHL future holds, the 26-year-old is in the big time for the foreseeable future with top backstop, Matt Murray out indefinitely with a concussion suffered in practice. Although his 2017-18 Pittsburgh record is a pedestrian 3-3, the smallish yet determined DeSmith has impressive peripherals of 2.24 and .926 that put his numbers in 27 AHL outings to shame. He made 35 saves in a 3-2 loss to New Jersey as the Penguins began their latest stint without Murray. Mark Allan

 

January 2018 – Although his NHL debut was frustrating, the 26-year-old earned his way into the AHL all-star game. After a strong rookie campaign, DeSmith went 9-0-1 record to start 2017-18. He tops AHL Atlantic Division netminders with a .911 save percentage and is second with a 2.72 GAA. His future as an NHLer with Pittsburgh is murky, however, with Matt Murray, Tristan Jarry and Filip Gustavsson also in the organization. Mark Allan

 

 

November 2017 – DeSmith was recalled from the minors to back up Tristan Jarry after Matt Murray’s right leg was injured Nov. 27, sidelining him for an anticipated two to four weeks. DeSmith, a 26-year-old NHL rookie, was returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after allowing a goal on the first NHL shot he faced and looking overwhelmed while relieving beleaguered starter Matt Murray on Oct. 29 in a 7-1 drubbing by the high-flying Jets. The challenge for DeSmith will be to translate excellent AHL career stats (32-9-4, 2.08, .926 and two shutouts in 47 games) into NHL success, or at least competence. Mark Allan


October 2017 – Undrafted by any NHL team, and a runt by today’s mammoth goaltending physiques, DeSmith has made the most of his opportunities since joining Pittsburgh’s ECHL affiliate as a free agent in the second half of the 2015-2016 campaign. Before that, he posted save percentages of .926, .924 and .920 for the U of New Hampshire Wildcats. DeSmith was arrested in September 2014 for assaulting his girlfriend and resisting arrest. The charges were dismissed, although the NCAA denied him a transfer waiver to play his senior season of college hockey, and the New Hampshire native signed with Wheeling of the ECHL. DeSmith parlayed 13 games with the Nailers into a promotion to the AHL, where he posted GAAs of 1.94 and 2.01 in 35 games over two campaigns.  His 2.01 GAA in 29 games led the league, he made the AHL’s All-Rookie team and he shared the Harry Holmes Memorial Award with Tristan Jarry as the league’s top netminding duo. DeSmith earned his first NHL contract (two-year, two-way) July 1. After recording eye-opening numbers of 0.98 and .965 to open 2017-18 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he was promoted to replace the unworthy Antti Niemi as Matt Murray’s NHL backup.

Humble and well-liked by teammates, DeSmith is competitive and consistent between the pipes. Jarry, a former Memorial Cup champion No. 1 puck-stopper and a second-round draft pick by Pittsburgh, has more upside – and the inside track as Murray’s future backup. DeSmith, however, will apparently get some chances to prove himself because the Penguins have the most back-to-back games in the NHL this season. Mark Allan

 

Fantasy Outlook: C-

DeSmith’s career path is likely as a good AHL starter/NHL backup tweener. In the short term, he’ll be in a familiar position jockeying with Jarry.

 

Footage:

 

 

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