The Everett Silvertips always seem to feature a great goaltender, Thomas Heemskerk, Austin Lotz, Leland Irving — the list goes on. Perhaps none have been more impressive than Carter Hart though. On Saturday night, Hart blanked the Vancouver Giants 5-0, which makes 26 shutouts for his career, and ties him with former Vancouver Giants goaltender Tyson Sexsmith for the Western Hockey League all time lead. To put this accomplishment into perspective, only three other goal tenders in Western Hockey League history have successfully had even 20 shutouts for their career. For the Silvertips and their fans, the rest of the season will no doubt be spent anxiously waiting for the play clock to strike zero on shutout number 27.
Taking a look at some of Hart’s numbers, it seems it would have been impossible for him to replicate much less improve on his numbers from the 2016-17 season. Yet, he managed to do just that. Hart’s save percentage went from .927 to .952 and his goals against average went from 1.99 to 1.53. The only number he has yet to improve on is the nine shutouts he posted in 2016-17, which while still impressive took him 54 games. Hart has only played in 29 games this season (he missed time at NHL training camp and the world juniors) which makes his seven shutouts all the more impressive- 24% of the games Hart has started ended in a shutout this season. It seems Hart is playing on different ice than the rest of the league.
Hart’s gaudy, video game like stats this season were likely a part of the reason the Tips felt confident enough to trade away two prospects, two draft picks (including a first), Montana Onyebuchi and Orrin Centazzo to the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for veterans Garret Pilon and Ondrej Vala. They also brought back former Tips alum Spencer Gerth while also adding Portland forward Bronson Sharp. In what is likely Hart’s last season in the Western Hockey League, the Tips are going all out to win a championship.
Oh and by the way, Hart’s under-study Dustin Wolf is pretty good too. The 16 year old has three shutouts in 15 games this season to go with his .928 save percentage and 2.36 goals against average. The future is bright in Everett.
The Everett Silvertips hit the ice again tonight in Spokane with a puck drop scheduled for 5:05 pm.