With the Calgary Flames officially out of the playoff race after Game 81 of the season, the season finale is showing signs of the team looking toward the future. Not long after it was reported that Matt Coronato would make his NHL debut, another name that came up was no other than goaltending phenom Dustin Wolf.
Per Ryan Leslie, Wolf would be a safe bet to make his NHL debut, as well as Pelletier slotting back into the lineup.
Update: The Calgary Flames have officially recalled Wolf this morning.
Awaiting Wolf’s arrival
Dustin Wolf’s career has been nothing short of the stuff of legends. It is not an understatement by any measure to say he might be one of the best goaltending prospects of all-time. Now, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of a great goaltender that’s seen success in the minors and pros before the make it to the NHL—especially for the Flames—but Wolf has shown signs that he’s an outlier for all the right reasons.
The 2019 214th overall selection has been outright dominant in the AHL. After going 33–9–5 last season and winning the most outstanding goalie award, Wolf’s virtually a lock to win it again. Per TheAHL.com, he currently has a 41–9–2 record with 2.08 GAA and a .932 save percentage. This all goes along with seven of his wins being shutouts.
For context, the next best goalie in each category has a 26–7–3 record (Joey Daccord), 2.12 GAA (Hunter Shepard), a .925 SV% (Brandon Bussi), and four shutouts (Joel Hofer). Wolf leads every goaltender by a large margin.
Wolf’s season should rightfully have him in the running for the AHL’s outright MVP. This award has been dominated by a single position for the past two decades: there’s an 18-season streak of it being awarded to forwards. Coincidentally, the last non-forward to win it was also a goalie—Jason LaBarbera back in 2003–04.
Preparing for the Calder Cup
Now, as the Calgary Wranglers are set for a deep run in the AHL as true Calder Cup contenders, the Flames are awarding Wolf for his somehow-more-outstanding-season by possibly calling him up for the Flames’ final game. All that needs to happen now is to make it official.
Soon after their final game, the Flames are also expected to change the centre ice logo to the Wranglers’ W. Don’t look away yet, there will be playoff hockey in Calgary after all.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire