Following Brandon Duhaime’s report card, it’s time to talk about his teammate and “Dewey 2,” Connor Dewar. He, like Duhaime, impressed in his rookie season and was brought back in a full-time role this past season. He’s not the biggest player at 5-foot-10 and 183 pounds but he doesn’t let his size stop him, and he’s completely embraced his fourth-line role.
Dewar wasn’t just about offense either, he sacrificed his body a number of times to block shots and provided some needed defensive support. He definitely took a step forward this season but, like everyone else, he does have things to improve on.
Dewar’s Strong Showing
Fourth-liners typically aren’t known to score a lot of points and while Dewar didn’t set any records, he did register a decent number of points. In 81 games he scored six goals and 12 assists for 18 points compared to his six points in 35 games during his rookie campaign the season prior. His big strides came in the hits department, he had 48 hits in 2021-22 but jumped to 124 in 2022-23. He also landed himself in the top 10 for most blocks on the Wild with 50 blocked shots throughout the season.
Having a physical fourth line is great, that is typically their main job, but they often get overlooked when it comes to the special team’s area. The Wild’s penalty kill has been known for its success ever since they came into the league with some slight hiccups along the way. Dewar was put on the penalty kill this season and never looked back, he played aggressively and it paid off.
He worked hard to push the issue and get in the face of opposing players forcing them to make mistakes like passing too soon or not committing to a decision which gave him a chance to strike. He poked the puck off a number of players’ sticks leading to 18 takeaways during the season and three shorthanded goals. Those three goals put him tied for 10th among all-time Wild players for most shorthanded goals in a single season. He was just four shy of leader Wes Walz who tallied seven back in the 2000-01 inaugural season.
Dewar’s Postseason Struggles
Dewar fell into the same trap as the majority of his teammates, he couldn’t score any goals or even assist on any. It wasn’t for lack of effort, however; he did have six shots on goal but, of course, he was facing Jake Oettinger who was on fire against the Wild. He also managed to stay out of the penalty box, which helped his team avoid any more shorthanded situations.
Another area Dewar struggled greatly in was the penalty kill; he was such a stud during the regular season but during the postseason he all but vanished. Thankfully, he was able to step up somewhat defensively and kept up his hits with 15 in six games played. He also had five blocked shots, one giveaway, and two takeaways. Clearly, his blocked shots could’ve been higher but it was better than nothing.
The entire team had trouble getting anything going against the Dallas Stars, but Dewar and the fourth line tried to get a spark going on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, while there were small bursts of something, it wasn’t enough to win.
Dewar’s Overall Grade
Like Duhaime, Dewar improved in almost every area this season and really took a step forward with his game. He provided a lot of energy and motivation with his hits especially coming from someone who’s smaller in stature. He was able to register points, block shots, and contribute while shorthanded. All of those things earned him an A- and he has a long way to go in his career, which is very exciting.
In the postseason, things were clearly different and Dewar couldn’t contribute other than hits and a few blocked shots. Physical play is important when it comes to the playoffs but it can’t be the main focus, and the Wild were victims of that exact scenario. As far as the postseason goes, Dewar earned a B- and while he was only in his second season, they needed him to step up as he did in the regular season.
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Overall, he earned a B like his linemate Duhaime. They both played very physically but they lost their scoring touch when the playoffs hit. Dewar has a lot of room to grow his game and will continue to improve as he has a lot of potential. His fiery attitude and aggressive style are exactly what the Wild need and, hopefully, he’ll harness his scoring power as well.