Dylan Wells is having a helluva year and he capped it this week by scoring a goal. It is here. What’s more, it wasn’t one of those boring goalie stops puck, five touches later it hits the net and the goalie was the last opponent to touch the puck. This was a shot from 500 miles that pierced the heart of the net! Gold!
Wells is a great story, especially for the Oilers. The club has had exactly three outstanding goalie picks at the draft table (in four decades!), with only Devan Dubnyk from this century (Andy Moog and Grant Fuhr were boys on the bus era).
Wells was a highly thought of prospect entering his draft year of 2015-16. Brock Otten of OHL Prospects talked about him just before his draft day:
- No doubt about it. Wells did not have a good year. Originally pegged to be the next star OHL goaltender, Wells struggled mightily this year. Of his 27 appearances this year, 16 of those saw him post a save percentage below .875. And he didn’t play for a weak team either. Wells remains a talented goalie. He was great at the Ivan Hlinka this past summer. He was excellent at the Top Prospect’s Game. He’s got size and athleticism and he shows flashes of brilliance. Let me remind you that Matt Murray had a save percentage of .876 in his NHL draft year. Look at him now. I could see Wells turning the corner in similar fashion and that’s why I think he’ll still be a fairly high NHL draft pick.
I always like to save those draft day scouting reports, especially from astute people like Otten. As a player embarks on Draft+1 year and beyond, we see the things mentioned in the scouting report blossom or fade. In the case of Wells, his year over year totals represent a great deal of progress.
- 2014-15 OHL Season: 27gp, 3.96 .893
- 2015-16 OHL Season: 27gp, 4.59 .871 (draft year)
- 2016-17 OHL Season: 52gp, 3.07 .916
That represents a strong improvement year over year from Wells, and his playoff numbers (8gp, 1.94 .944) are off the charts. Wells has the Petes into the third round of the OHL playoffs and is a big reason for the team’s success.
OHL PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES, 2016-17
Wells and Peterborough are the first team through to the third round and look like a strong contender to make the OHL Finals later this spring. Dylan Wells has played well this season and is a bona fide NHL prospect. Edmonton chose him No. 123 overall, and he is delivering real quality (while facing more shots than any OHL goalie in contention). Dylan Wells is tracking very well. Miles to go, but his moment in the sun this week serves as a reminder that the Oilers 2015 and 2016 drafts show real promise. It appears some of these depth picks (Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, now Wells) may end up playing in the NHL down the line.