Dewar showing pro-level development | TheAHL.com
📝 by Mitchell Courtney | AHL on the beat
Born and raised in The Pas, Manitoba, Minnesota Wild Attacker Connor Dewar rose through the ranks of figurative hockey and is now establishing himself at the professional level.
Throughout his career, his development was gradual and progressive, but his dream of professional hockey started later than expected.
“The first time I had realistic aspirations to play professional hockey was after my first two years playing major junior hockey,” Dewar said. “It was the first time I thought it was possible.”
In his first two years with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, Dewar had 48 points in 143 games. He improved dramatically in his third and fourth seasons, recording 149 points in 127 games. After his third season at Everett, Dewar’s progress was evident for the Wild organization, and Minnesota selected him in the third round (92nd overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.
After compiling 81 points in 59 games in his fourth season with the Silvertips, Dewar signed a three-year entry-level contract with Minnesota on March 5, 2019, then made his AHL debut with the Minnesota Wild. Iowa on October 19. 2019.
“I noticed right away it was a tougher game in the American Hockey League,” Dewar said. “There were a lot of bigger guys playing. I had to adapt and adapt to that style of play.”
Even for young players hoping to play in the NHL, two separate moves to new cities can be shocking. Dewar’s moves to Everett, Washington to play for the Silvertips and to Des Moines, Iowa to play for the AHL Wild were times he thoroughly enjoyed. Even now, he is grateful for the early opportunities given to him in his young career.
“I liked moving to both cities,” Dewar said. “I met a lot of new people and discovered a lot of new places. I consider myself quite lucky. It’s an experience that few people have at such a young age.”
Additionally, Dewar credits most of his success and development in the Wild organization to his Iowa teammates and coaches.
“Everyone has been good to me. I was extremely lucky to have a great group of guys playing with me in Iowa from the start,” Dewar said. “mike lambas, Cody McLeod, Matt Bartkowski, Kyle Rau, Gerry Mayhew, sam anas and Mason Shaw were all great to me. There are too many to name them all, but there are so many great guys on the teams I played with in Iowa.
Even more special, Dewar says, was getting to know the NHL and playing alongside some of the guys he played with in Iowa.
“It was very cool to see this development,” Dewar said. “I really got a sense of how we all developed and how we all got along. It’s special and you appreciate it a bit more when you all ride together.
His journey has not been without some difficulties. After being recalled to Minnesota and making his NHL debut in Seattle against the Kraken on October 28, 2021, Dewar played three more NHL games before being reassigned to Iowa. He did not view his reassignment as a punishment and instead focused on using his early NHL experience as an educational tool for his own personal development.
“I felt like I needed that first call in October,” Dewar said. “I was able to use this as a learning experience for the next time I was called up.”
In fact, his first experience of hockey in the NHL somewhat relieved Dewar, who had worked tirelessly to get there. Like many young players, his first games in the NHL were an opportunity for him to acclimatize to speed and physique at the highest level.
“My debut was in Seattle, so we were close to Everett,” Dewar said. “A lot of my host family, former coaches, teammates and family were there. It was a day of reflection and a bit of exhalation to be able to say that I made it to the NHL. »
After his first stint with Minnesota, Dewar recorded seven points in his next eight games with Iowa and he was recalled to Minnesota again on December 30, 2021.
Dewar admitted he felt much better prepared for the NHL the second time around because of the time he spent working on his game in Iowa.
“The second time I came I was much more confident in my game and my abilities,” Dewar said. “All of my experiences in Iowa have helped me level up nicely. I’ve done my best not to take those moments for granted.
Dewar was reassigned to Iowa on March 30, 2022, to continue his development and help the Wild in their Calder Cup playoff push. As he continues to establish himself as an NHL-caliber player in Iowa and Minnesota, Dewar says reassignments to Iowa aren’t deterring him from achieving his ultimate goal of being an all-around player. days in the NHL.
“Wherever I’ve been up to now is where I was supposed to be at this time,” Dewar said. “I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped me get to this point.”
Despite Minnesota being on the precipice of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Dewar didn’t let his thoughts shift to the possibility of him joining Minnesota in the near future.
“I’m in Des Moines, my only goal is to help this team get to the playoffs,” Dewar said.