Fantasy Summary

DeSmith’s career path brightened to begin the 2018-19 season and his stalwart play was rewarded with a three-year extension. He’s looking more like a solid NHL backup.


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May 2020 – DeSmith had a decent season in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In 41 games, his final record was 18-18-2 with a 2.92 GAA and a .905 save percentage. Clare McManus

February 2020 – He has a 16-12-2 AHL record from a 2.80 GAA and .908 save percentage, numbers that are right in line with his minor-league stats from two seasons ago. Since the Pens are likely going to keep Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry to try to make another Cup run, DeSmith will remain in the minors (barring an injury) for the rest of the season. Depending what happens in the off-season, he’ll be a solid AHL starter/NHL backup for the foreseeable future. The 28-year-old has two more seasons left on his current contract. Mark Allan

September 2019 – The 28-year-old DeSmith was assigned to the AHL in one of Pittsburgh’s final cuts. Former second-round pick Tristan Jarry earned the right to back up Matt Murray out of the pre-season. Time has been on the side of former second-round pick Jarry, who’s five years younger than his undrafted, late-blooming rival. The Penguins remain in win-now mode, however, and will go with whichever backup gives them the best chance this season. Mark Allan

June 2019 – In his most successful NHL campaign yet, the journeyman established career highs across the board, including 36 games played, 15 wins and three shutouts. The 2.75 GAA and .916 save percentage were nothing to rave about, but respectable based on what happened to NHL goalies generally in 2018-19. At 27, De Smith is unlikely to get much better, compared to the younger and more talented Tristan Jarry, who will make a determined bid this fall to seize Pittsburgh’s backup job. DeSmith might play much of the remaining two years of his contract extension in the AHL. Mark Allan

March 2019 – The late-bloomer continues to earn the three-year contract extension that kicks in next season. The skidding Sabres (three consecutive scoreless outings) are not formidable, but DeSmith’s 26-save 5-0 shutout nonetheless gave Matt Murray a breather and kept the Penguins in the thick of the fierce battle for playoff berths. After 35 appearances, 27-year-old DeSmith has a 15-11-5 record with 2.77 goals-against average and .916 save percentage as well as three shutouts. He looks like Pittsburgh’s backup for the near future. Mark Allan

January 2019 – With No. 1 netminder Matt Murray hurt and ineffective and prospect Tristan Jarry unworthy in two starts, an argument could be made that DeSmith’s yeoman efforts made him Pittsburgh’s pre-Christmas MVP. His 12-8-4 record includes an 8-3-1 stretch from Nov. 21 to Dec. 31 when the team desperately needed stability. DeSmith, a UFA at season’s end, was instead rewarded with a three-year extension worth an AAV of $1.25 million. The unexpected development for a 27-year-old, one-time free agent signee happened because he’s earned the backup job with an 18-11-5 career NHL record based on a 2.45 GAA and .923 save percentage and three shutouts. Mark Allan

December 2018 – The 27-year-old journeyman continues to outplay supposed No. 1 puck-stopper Matt Murray, highlighted by a 48-save performance in a recent 5-3 victory over Boston. Playing for a contract, the impending UFA carries a 19-10-6-4 record with eye-opening 2.49 and .923 peripherals, compared to Murray’s .500 mark based on unsightly 3.95 and .883 numbers. You could make a case that DeSmith has been Pittsburgh’s MVP in the early part of the schedule. Mark Allan

December 2018 – Pittsburgh would be doing even worse than hovering around .500 were it not for the 27-year-old puck-stopper. Thrust into the starter’s role after more injury-related absences by the increasingly unreliable Matt Murray, DeSmith had an 11-6-3 record at the quarter pole of the NHL season, backed by solid 2.41 (12th in the league) and .924 (tied for 11th) peripherals. If he keeps this up, the pending UFA will make it hard for GM Jim Rutherford to let him go in the off-season. Mark Allan

October 2018 – DeSmith has at least temporarily won Pittsburgh’s backup netminder job and apparently the edge to replace the increasingly injury-prone Matt Murray. The Penguins’ No. 1 netminder missed just one game with the third concussion of his young NHL career, but it was the second in eight months. DeSmith was brilliant in a 35-save 4-2 win over Las Vegas but neither he nor Tristan Jarry have seized the starter’s job outright during Murray’s previous absences, and the organization must hold its collective breath every time Murray goes down. Mark Allan

September 2018 – The veteran (27-year-old) prospect is off to a good start in his bid to back up Matt Murray. Without DeSmith, there’s no way the youngster-heavy Penguins would have been close in a preseason 3-2 loss to Buffalo. He went the distance in Pittsburgh’s opening exhibition game and made many difficult saves among the 29 shots he faced. No matter how well DeSmith plays, though, even if he wins the backup job to start the campaign, he would just be holding it for Tristan Jarry. Mark Allan

May 2018 – Thanks to injuries to starter Matt Murray and Pittsburgh’s wish to let Tristan Jarry develop more in the AHL, DeSmith got into the first 14 NHL games of his career. The 26-year-old actually had better peripherals (2.40, .921) in the NHL than in his 27 AHL appearances (2.73, .910). He’s got one season to go on his contract, which he will spend in the AHL if Jarry is deemed ready for regular NHL backup duty. Mark Allan

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 Upside 4.0
NHL Certainty 7.0
Country USA
Position G
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth August 13, 1991
Height 6‘0”
Weight 181 lbs
Drafted No


 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2006-2007 Berwick Academy USHS-Prep6 3.15 .901|      
 2007-2008 Berwick Academy USHS-Prep24 2.76 .910|      
 2008-2009 Deerfield Academy USHS-Prep20 2.72 .918|      
 2009-2010 Indiana IceUSHL27 3.18 .897|Playoffs8 2.48 .922
 2010-2011 Indiana IceUSHL37 2.54 .920|Playoffs4 2.63 .929
  USA U19WJAC-191 0.00 1.000|      
 2011-2012 Univ. of New HampshireNCAA22 2.33 .926|      
 2012-2013 Univ. of New HampshireNCAA38 2.23 .924|      
 2013-2014 Univ. of New HampshireNCAA37 2.40 .920|      
 2014-2015 Univ. of New HampshireNCAA0 - -|      
 2015-2016 Wheeling NailersECHL13 2.55 .915|      
  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PenguinsAHL6 1.94 .925|Playoffs9 2.44 .919
 2016-2017 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PenguinsAHL29 2.01 .926|Playoffs5 2.78 .916
 2017-2018 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL14 2.40 .921|      
  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PenguinsAHL27 2.73 .910|      
 2018-2019 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL36 2.75 .916|      
 2019-2020 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PenguinsAHL41 2.92 .905|      
 2020-2021 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL20 2.54 .912|      
 2021-2022 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL26 2.79 .914|Playoffs1 2.02 .941
 2022-2023 Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL38 3.17 .905|      
  USAWC7 1.95 .918|      
 2023-2024 Vancouver CanucksNHL29 2.89 .896|