When the Devils pulled off their draft-day trade to acquire Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks, the deal had short- and long-term implications. In the near term, Schneider and Martin Brodeur will trade off at goalie next season for the Devils.

Schneider also has become the Devils goaltender of the future. It solves the long-running question of who would replace Brodeur.

At one point, Scott Wedgewood appeared an option to be Brodeur’s successor. He is just 20 years old but is the organization’s most highly touted prospect at goaltender, according to HockeysFuture.com.

When Brodeur and former backup goaltender Johan Hedberg each signed two-year contracts last summer, it seemed that a timeline had been set. And Wedgewood noticed.

But with the acquisition of Schneider, 27, that has changed.

"Back then, you want to be as confident and as high up as you can and say, ‘I can take that right over,’ " Wedgewood said. "Any person in that situation wants to be that guy. Now with the team getting Schneider, it, not eases pressure, but it also lets you understand what job you’re looking for. You’re not going to walk in and take over for Schneider.

"I don’t think anybody would," Wedgewood added. "But also the fact that you want to get in there and prove yourself. You want to be the guy to get that first crack at that backup job, and you don’t want to lose it."

That is the new plan for Wedgewood. No longer is he the starter in waiting. Instead, he is a prospect hoping to keep moving along his developmental curve.