Pulled up from Iowa partway through the 2021-22 season, Connor Dewar quietly made his way onto the Minnesota Wild. Dewar played his first full season as a calm, consistent presence centering the fourth line. As quiet as he is, Dewar continues to surprise on and off of the ice. He’s probably the quietest threat that the Wild have on the roster. And don’t forget, he’ll fight a shark if he needs to.
Playing in 81 games, Dewar logged 18 points, 6 goals and 12 assists. Even more impressive is the fact that half of those goals were scored short-handed. Averaging right around 10 minutes of ice time per game, Dewar was a solid center for a line that was the engine driving the team. Full of heart and physicality, the Wild’s fourth line last season was a joy to watch.
The reason why Dewar gets so many short-handed goals? He’s got an eye for opportunity, and he doesn’t second-guess himself. In both the video above and the video below, Dewar seizes on mistakes by the other team and puts on the jets. He knows that if he doesn’t score, he can still waste plenty of short-handed time. Even if Dewar doesn’t score a lot, he’s got great energy and enough grit to go up against players who are bigger than him. This is especially apparent during the penalty kill.
Dewar’s faceoff percentage was 44.14% last season. Ideally, it would be higher than that. This is easily a skill that he could improve on throughout the next couple of seasons. But does he need to? Dewar seems to have the skills to excel as a Bottom 6 center, and while there are no star centers above him in the lineup, there are plenty of other centers who seem comfortable with where they’re at. Plus, he managed just fine last year with that percentage.
If the fourth line clicks like it did last season, Dewar has an opportunity to pick up scoring a little bit. He isn’t a scoring dynamo, but picking up 25 points is realistic. Of course, he’ll be without his partner in crime, Mason Shaw. Still unsigned and recovering from his fourth torn ACL, Shaw won’t be back in the lineup for a few more months at least. The riskiest prediction is that he’ll pick up more short-handed goals next season than he did last season. Could he have 5 shorties in him? Time will tell.