2015-16 Team: Peterborough Petes (#30)
Date of birth: January 3rd, 1998
Place of birth: St. Catharines, ON
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 183 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2016 1st year eligible
THW The Next Ones Ranking (February): Unranked
- Craig Button (TSN): 51
- HockeyProspect.com: Unranked
Dylan Wells is in the midst of his second full OHL season with the Peterborough Petes, after coming to the Petes as a highly-touted goaltending prospect with the 21st pick in the 2014 OHL Draft. While he has struggled to consistently flash his ability and has lost the starting job for the Petes to the undrafted Matthew Mancina, Wells is still among the top goaltenders available for the 2016 NHL Draft.
Wells possesses the ideal frame for a modern NHL goalie, standing 6’2″ and weighing in at 183 pounds. While he could stand to gain strength in his lower body, Wells’ athletic frame bodes well for his future potential as an NHL goaltender. Wells was once considered the best 1998-born goaltending prospect in all of North America, but his rocky play in the OHL this season has caused some of his preseason shine to wear off. Despite starting the season off extremely well with a gold-medal winning performance in the Ivan Hlinka tournament, Wells has failed to translate his strong performance into a starting role with the playoff-bound Petes.
Despite his regular-season OHL struggles, Wells remains a top prospect at one of the toughest positions to predict for young players. Wells is among the best in this draft class at tracking the puck, allowing him to maintain strong positioning and enabling him to make the initial stop a vast majority of the time. Wells’ athleticism and quick reflexes allow him to compete for second chances and make spectacular saves on occasion, but can also lead to him giving up preventable rebounds in front of the net.
Wells isn’t the elite prospect he once appeared to be, but his combination of size, athleticism, and big-game performances in the past are still quite the enticing package for any prospective NHL team drafting him. Drafting goaltenders in the NHL is an inexact science, but Wells appears to possess one of the highest upsides of any goalie prospect available this summer. If he can flash his ability on a more consistent basis throughout the OHL playoffs, an NHL team could take a chance on him fairly high in a draft class weak on goaltending.
NHL Draft Projection:
The name of the game when drafting goalies is future potential, and Dylan Wells is among the top goalies in the draft in projection. However, he has been underwhelming in his OHL career and there is some risk in selecting him very high. He would be well worth a 3rd to 4th round pick, with the potential for a higher draft slot if he can pick up his game down the stretch.
One of the top goaltender prospects in the class, he has confidence, concentration and rebound control. Tracks puck very well and almost always makes the first save. Attacks rebounds with his soft pads and works his tail off in games and in practice. Has shown he can carry the heavy load game after game. Traffic in front doesn’t faze him, and plays the angles well.
Bill Placzek, Draftsite.com
Like most top picks these days, Wells brings both size and athleticism to the crease and he’s worked hard to improve his rebound control and positioning. He can still overcommit when you get him moving side to side, but he’s a really solid goaltending prospect and I think that by season’s end, he’ll be the starter in Peterborough.
Brock Otten, OHL Prospects
- Good size
- Quick glove hand
- Lower body strength
Under Construction (Improvements to Make):
- Consistent play
- Rebound control
- Prone to “soft” goals
Goalies are always a tough position to predict, but Wells’ above-average size and quickness, along with his history of playing well in big tournaments, are promising signs that he can develop into an NHL starting goaltender.
NHL Player(s) Comparison – Marc-Andre Fleury
Risk = 4/5 Reward = 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Goaltending = 8/10
- 2013-2014 OHL Gold Cup Champion
- 2015-2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal
- 2015-2016 CHL Top Prospects Game
Shots From the Slot (Interesting Notes):
Dylan Wells was the first goalie taken in the 2014 OHL Draft, taken with the first of back-to-back picks in the second round by the Peterborough Petes (21st overall).
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph