Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli spoke with Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy, who shared that the team’s current plan is to send Dustin Wolf to the minors. Conroy told Seravalli, “There’s injuries for other teams and you’re always looking at all your options … I’m not going to rush to do anything.”
Wolf has emerged as one of the best goalie prospects throughout the NHL, and maybe one of the best players in the AHL, over the last two seasons. The netminder won the AHL’s Baz Bastien Memorial Award in each of the last two seasons, recording a .924 save percentage in 2021-22 and a .932 last year. With this win, Wolf became the third goalie to win the award twice and the first to win it in back-to-back years. His 42-10-2 record last season also earned him MVP honors, winning the AHL’s Les Cunningham Award. Wolf became the eighth goaltender to win the award and the youngest player to win it since Jason Spezza.
Those are seriously impressive resume pieces for the 22-year-old. But because of his age, Wolf is the only goaltender at Calgary’s camp that’s exempt from waivers. This makes him easier to send down than Daniel Vladar, his competition for the NHL backup role. Vladar appeared in 27 games last season, recording a .895 save percentage, slightly higher than the .892 that starter Jacob Markstrom recorded through 59 games.
Wolf made one appearance – his NHL debut – for the Flames last season, letting in one goal on 24 shots and recording the win. Conroy referenced injuries when speaking about Wolf and that’s likely what it will take for the young netminder to earn a consistent NHL role. But when Wolf takes the Flames net, the reigning ’AHL Goalie of the Year’ will absolutely be a name to watch.