EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips locked up what they hope will be a big piece of their future Thursday when they announced the signing of 2001-born goaltender Dustin Wolf to a WHL standard player agreement.
The signing took place on the Xfinity Arena concourse and was streamed on Facebook Live, giving some indication of how important the signing of Wolf is to the organization.
“He’s wowed me every time I watched him,” Everett general manager Garry Davidson said. “I thought in camp he was rock solid as a 15-year-old playing against a lot of older guys. He was as good as anybody was in camp and did very well … I’ve never seen him yet when I haven’t been impressed with his performance.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound netminder from Tustin, Calif., is an important addition for an Everett organization that has tried to prioritize signing elite American players since Davidson took over as general manager in 2012.
“This is sort of the icing on the cake here, so to speak,” said Davidson, whose team currently features U.S.-born Brian King and Snohomish County native Wyatte Wylie.
Everett’s fifth-round (104th overall) pick in the 2016 bantam draft, Wolf has posted a 1.63 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage in 18 games with the Los Angeles Junior Kings U-16 team of the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League.
A trip to Everett’s fall training camp was a major selling point in convincing Wolf to make Xfinity Arena his new home. The youngster saved 21 of the 22 shots he faced in the annual Green vs. Grey Game that concluded training camp.
“Being able to see the people that come to the games and experiencing the somewhat big crowd from training camp was a big mind-opener to me,” Wolf said. “Being in the building, being with the guys, it was definitely a reason I chose this place.”
Wolf figures into Everett’s future as 18-year-old starter Carter Hart has signed with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and will likely be gone to the professional ranks following the 2017-18 season. Mario Petit, Everett’s current backup is 19, while 16-year-old Dorrin Luding is an Everett-signed, 1999-born prospect currently playing with the Valley West Hawks of the BCMML.
“Being around (Hart) for the next couple years here will be a big eye-opener for me I think,” Wolf said. “Being around him and hopefully (other) future Tips guys who go to the NHL is going to be a big experience for me. Hopefully I learn a few things from them.”
An only child, Wolf will relocate with his parents, Mike and Michelle, to the Everett area from Tustin. The family previously moved from the San Jose area to Southern California six years ago when Wolf began playing with the Junior Kings.
“Being with a billet would be pretty cool too,” Wolf said, “but having family up here and being able to live in your own home with your own bed is going to be definitely a change of scenery, but it’s going to be good.”
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