The minimum number of games to play to earn a grade was set at ten. Wellman played fifteen. While the sample size may not be enough to judge potential, or a career, we feel it is enough to determine if he passed or not. The plan from the brass seemed to be to give Wellman this season to find his legs as a pro in Houston, and reward as needed with call-ups. For what it's worth, I think it was certainly a good plan.
Certainly no one would be so harsh as to fail the kid in such a small window of opportunity, right? Make the jump and find out.
JS- GRADE: C- In his first stint, he was pretty much invisible, which was disappointing seeing as we had a good taste of him at the end of last season. However, when he came back for another cup of coffee, he was a completely different player. He was stronger defensively, and this, combined with his already good energy play in the offensive zone, made a lot of us wish he had stayed. We still don't know if he'll become a top 6 or a bottom 6 on this team, but chances are he'll be in Minnesota to stay next season. We'll see how the new coach will use him, as Richards seemed reluctant to give this guy a chance to strut his stuff in situations he's used to playing. 2 points in 15 games is not what we expected, but as he develops further, he should be a good player for us.
Elise- GRADE: C Again, feel weird giving Wellman a grade because he was only around for 15 games and is still young. With some more conditioning in Houston, he could make a solid NHLer, but he's definitely not ready yet.Hopefully one day he can return to his goal scoring superstardom...
Pretty sure that's a mistake, but 111 goals is pretty good.
Dan- GRADE: C What am I suppose to say? I wasn't expecting him to stick on the Wild roster, so when he didn't but performs well in Houston, is it fair to give him a failing grade? Therefore, I just gave him an average grade
Bryan- GRADE: C Small sample size, but Wellman did provide some hop in his few games up. He looked like a prospect, and that he needs some time to find his game, which he was not given. The C grade should not be seen as a knock on him, but instead as an indication he needs to work on a few things. Bring the fire, kid.
Nathan- GRADE: C. The small sample size aside, Wellman came in as a promising prospect looking to be able to showcase his talents for next season, just like he did last season (yes, I know he wasn't able to go to Houston because of the oddities of the college free agent contract requirements) and again this season he showed flashes of that promise but unable to to have that promise persist over the entirety of the call-up. Wellman's goal and assist in 15 games are simply not good enough from someone poised to be a top 6 forward on an NHL roster yet. He still needs to prove he can bring it game-in and game-out. He didn't do it consistently enough again this season. Hopefully he has another great developmental camp and good training camp, or it's back to Houston to get yet more experience under his belt. Next season should be his time to step it up.
Cumulative GPA: 1.90 C
When Wellman was signed, he was the top college free agent. Wild fans went crazy, figuring the kid was the next coming of the Great One. Tempered expectations, and insight from our college hockey watching friends told us that we should not expect Gretzky, yet not expect James Sheppard either. He still has yet to get an extended taste in the NHL, but with what he has shown, given some top six minutes, and some power play time, Mr. Wellman may just have what it takes to make an impression.
He has done well with the Aeros and needs to push for his spot with the big club.