The Erie Otters defeated the Kitchener Rangers on Sunday in a close 6-5 game, giving the Otters a crucial two points to cement their spot as the CHL’s first-ranked team.
But the Otters had another reason to celebrate. Goaltender Devin Williams became the fifth goalie in OHL history to earn 100 wins, and the third to do so while playing for only one team. And if that wasn’t enough for the 20 year-old, he also became the first American goalie to accomplish such a feat in the OHL.
And just for good measure, Williams also won the OHL’s Dave Pinkney Trophy in 2013 for the least amount of goals allowed in a season.
But the No.1 ranked goalie in the OHL is looking to add another record to his name as Erie takes-on the North Bay Battalion February 26.
If Williams can get the victory against Stan Butler’s Battalion, Williams will tie the Otter’s record for wins in a season set by Ramis Sadikov during the 2010-11 season.
The Numbers Speak For Themselves
Just this season alone, Williams in 45 games played has 35 wins and just 6 losses on his record, while only letting the puck past him 98 times.
Compare that to last season, where the undrafted prospect allowed 130 goals against in 47 games, you can see he’s come a long way in his development this season.
Williams currently leads the league with a goals-against average of 2.27 and is tied with Tyler Parsons of the London Knights when it comes to save percentage at .919.
To date, the netminder has a career record of 100-43-4-4. And he’s terrific in shootouts, stopping 20 of 21 shots he’s been up against in the skills competition, helping the Otters to a league-leading 6-0 record.
In 33 playoff matchups, Williams’s seen it all, earning himself a record of 21-9-2-0 in the postseason.
A Changed Game
Williams went undrafted in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but however, earned an invite to the Nashville Predators rookie camp after the 2013-14 season. He impressed many, and was invited back to Nashville’s 2014-15 training camp as a free agent.
In five seasons with Erie, there hasn’t been a single statistical or skills category he hasn’t improved in, earning more minutes, better stats, and more wins in the process.
Put simply, he’s been improving each and every game and is a true example of what the OHL wants to get out of their players personal development and ready for the professional ranks.
— MBA (@mbausa) February 22, 2016
It’s looking more and more likely that Erie will be taking on the Saginaw Spirit, who have a few players who can put the puck in the back of the net like Connor Brown and Kris Bennett.
Where he goes from Erie is still yet to be determined, but while he’s with the CHL’s best team, he’ll look to keep cementing his status as one of the Otter’s best goalies in franchise history.
Williams will have his work cut out for him in the 2015-16 postseason. He’ll face lots of shots, and be under constant pressure which seems to be where he excels.
Ben Smith covers the CHL for The Hockey Writers. He also writes for HockeyNow Magazine, FlamesNation and SB Nation.