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Devils Sign 2023-24 NCAA Hobey Baker Nominee

Dylan Wendt is a 2023-24 Hobey Baker nominee as one of the NCAA’s top players this season.

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New Jersey Devils
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)

According to a report, the New Jersey Devils are signing Western Michigan University forward, Dylan Wednt to a two-year entry-level contract.

Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald was the first to report the impending signing.

The Hobey Baker nominee will join Utica on an AHL Amateur Tryout (ATO) for the remainder of the 2023-24 season.

Wendt is a right-shot center who stands at 6-foot-1, 185 lbs.

Wendt just wrapped up his third season with Western Michigan University. It was a breakout season for the 23-year-old forward who scored 23 goals and 44 points and a plus-10 rating in 38 games. Wendt’s 44 points ranked second overall on the team.

In three seasons in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) with Western Michigan, Wendt totaled 33 goals and 36 assists in 111 games.

According to EliteProspects, Wendt was their seventh-ranked NCAA(AP Photo/Al Goldis) free agent.

Wendt’s breakout 2023-24 season earned him a Hobey Baker nomination as one of the NCAA’s top players. He also was nominated for the NCHC’s Sportsmanship Award.

Wendt joins top NHL prospects such as Cutter Gauthier (Anaheim Ducks), Rutger McGroarty (Winnipeg Jets), and Jimmy Snuggerud (St. Louis Blues) as Hobey Baker nominees.

The Devils’ prospect pool has recently dipped in stature after prospects such as Luke Hughes, Simon Nemec, and Alexander Holtz were all promoted to full-time NHLers, and Tom Fitzgerald traded Shakir Mukhamidullin to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Timo Meier.

However, the Devils’ previously esteemed prospect pool was blue-liner heavy. Now, Wendt joins a pool of respectable prospect forwards such as Lenni Hameenaho and Arseni Gritsyuk, although none are slam-dunk NHLers.

Now, Wendt has an opportunity to join other former Hobey Baker nominees/winners such as Jimmy Vesey, Cole Caufield, and Adam Gaudette.

Western Michigan head coach Pat Ferschweiler explains Wendt’s success is a product of his competitiveness and scoring ability.

“His competitiveness stands out,” Ferschweiler said. “At Western, we talk about how hard it is to score and that you have to work for your offense. We keep relating when you work and move your feet, you’ll have success on the offensive end. That’s what Dylan does to get his offense.”

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