After backing up Carter Hart in his rookie season with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, Dustin Wolf emerged as among the best goaltenders within the CHL this season. Now, Wolf seems to show doubters unsuitable on the NHL draft.Dustin Wolf|Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty ImagesFollowing within the footsteps of Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart isn’t a straightforward accomplishment. He’s a uncommon instance of a goalie incomes an NHL beginning function lower than half a 12 months after ending junior hockey and actually seems primed to change into a star in the long term.
However that’s what Dustin Wolf was tasked with this season with the Everett Silvertips, residence to Carter Hart for 5 years as he grew to become a star with the Canadian nationwide junior crew whereas successful three consecutive WHL prime goaltender awards. Typically, sitting behind a goalie many contemplate to be among the best in league historical past means you received’t have a chance to showcase what you are able to do. However getting the possibility to review a participant like Hart is what made the Silvertips an intriguing choice for Wolf.
“It’s one of many largest the explanation why I got here to Everett,” Wolf stated. “We had a plan the place I’d are available in my rookie season, sit behind Hart and study the ropes. Simply get some expertise earlier than I play some extra video games. It was fairly superior attending to witness what he does on and off the ice to arrange himself for each sport.”
How did Wolf reply in his first 12 months as a beginning goalie? Not solely did he lead the league in goals-against common (1.69) and save proportion (.936) and get named to the league’s first all-star crew, however Wolf additionally was named the CHL and WHL scholastic participant of the 12 months winner for his college work. Add in his six WHL goaltender of the week awards and the very fact he was the one one to win the CHL goaltender of the week title 3 times this 12 months and you’ve got one heck of a participant.
“I all the time attempt to be one of the best at the whole lot I do,” Wolf stated. “I discovered so much in my first season (as a beginning goalie), what to anticipate within the coming years, and it’s fairly superior to see how good of a 12 months I had. Certainly not is that the top, although. I nonetheless received extra to work on and hopefully will get higher outcomes subsequent season.”
Groups know what he’s able to: Wolf grew to become the primary goalie in Silvertips historical past to hit the 40-win mark in a season and led all CHL goaltenders with seven shutouts. But, regardless of that, Wolf shouldn’t be among the many prime buzz-makers for the NHL draft. Scouts have made notice of his six-foot, 161-pound stature, together with his measurement not being what NHL groups are searching for in an period the place 6-foot-Three and up netminders rule the world (some scouts have even referred to as Hart too small at 6-foot-2). Groups are beginning to transfer away from the measuring tape in the case of expert forwards, however within the crease, groups usually lean for greater goalies. Wolf acknowledges the scale debate, however he doesn’t let that get to him.
“I monitor pucks rather well. If I see the puck, I’m going to cease it,” Wolf stated. “I attempt to do the whole lot I can to make myself look massive within the web. Clearly, measurement would assist, nevertheless it’s not going to be the end-all of stopping pucks.”
Wolf, the 12th-ranked North American goaltender by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service, has used the detractors as motivation to get higher, even when he was disillusioned as to how he was rated all year long.
“It wasn’t the end result you need,” Wolf stated. “Undoubtedly, it pushes me to be higher on the ice and off the ice within the fitness center. On the finish of the day, I simply take a look at it as anyone’s private opinion.”
Wolf says the largest power of his sport is his skating, permitting him to maneuver rapidly across the crease and to make up for being a smaller goaltender. One scout on the draft mix stated he was very impressed with Wolf’s rebound management and his robust puck-handling capacity in a similar way to Marty Turco, a 5-foot-11 puckstopper who had no points changing into a prime goaltender in his time.
Wolf, who will probably be joined by family and friends on the quick drive to Vancouver from Everett subsequent week, will probably be a contender to win the WHL’s prime goaltender award subsequent season at 18 whereas additionally being a number one candidate to combat Spencer Knight for begins on the American world junior crew. Positive, groups might not like Wolf’s smaller stature proper now, however measurement doesn’t matter if he is aware of the right way to use it.
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Tags: nhl draft, prospectsConnect: Concerning the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content material Producer for The Hockey Information. He spends his free time listening to music you would not like and watches obnoxiously-long motor races.