While falling to Finland in the quarter-finals of the 2020 IIHF World Juniors to a score of 1-0, Team USA will exit the tournament with some bright players being a key part of their NHL counterparts’ future. Flames prospect Dustin Wolf is one of them, as he was called up by Team USA for the international competition. A little reminder that he was selected 214th overall in the seventh-round in the 2019 NHL entry draft.
Challenging the Net with Knight
With only one Flames prospect to watch within this tournament, Wolf was challenging the American net with Boston College goalie Spencer Knight.
Knight played most of the tournament as the starting netminder, amassing a .940 total save percentage in four games.
Wolf helped his team bounce back with a much-needed win against team German. He had a .850 save percentage and 17 saves performance in the second game of the tournament.
During the tournament, Dustin Wolf was featured on the CHL site on December 27th, praised by the league with his CHL leading .941 save percentage in 24 games with the Everett Silvertips.
The Calgary Flames have had some consistency issues finding a balanced netminding duo in the past once Miikka Kiprusoff retired. But with David Rittich still being only 27-years-old, the future of the Flames goaltending will be in good hands with their goaltending prospect.
It usually takes a while for organizations to fully develop their goalie prospects into NHL calibre stars. Depending on if Wolf keeps these outstanding numbers in the AHL with the Stockton Heat after possibly staying one or two years in the WHL, he could well be starting his NHL career as a solid 1B at a young age. Furthermore, as his NHL experience develops as a backup, he will then most likely be a fan favourite in Calgary much like Kiprusoff.
NHL Comparables – Carey Price and Marc-André Fleury
Carey Price, who has been the star of Montreal’s goaltending the past few years, also played in the WHL as a junior netminder, playing a few seasons with the Tri-City Americans. From the 2003-04 season until the 2005-06 season, Price amassed a .914 total save percentage in 146 games played.
Marc-André Fleury, three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins and starting netminder for the Vegas Golden Knights, played a few seasons with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 141 games played from the 2000-01 season until the 2002-03 season, Fleury had a .904 total save percentage.
It’s still early in his career, but Wolf currently has a .935 total save percentage in 105 games played with the Everett Silvertips.
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