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SHL75: #64: Wyatt Wollker
(This post was last modified: 03-02-2024, 01:21 PM by luke. Edited 2 times in total.)

Wyatt Wollker

Wyatt Wollker came into the league with huge expectations, drafted 1st OV by the Texas Renegades in S26 in a draft class with many promising defensemen. He joined the league as a true rookie, spending just one season in the SMJHL before making the jump to the SHL. His first 2 seasons were nothing to get too excited about while he was developing but the potential was there. After his second full season, he was traded to the Los Angeles Panthers in a massive 8 player trade dubbed ‘The Trade that Broke the SHL’ ?[LINK]? The Panthers were rebuilding after being a top team for several seasons and were looking at Wollker as being a cornerstone of that rebuild. S28 was his first season with LAP and the first season where his potential really began to shine through, scoring 29 points. S29 saw a bit of a drop off, and in the offseason Wollker was on the move again, due to Muerto becoming the GM of the Manhattan Rage. He was once again involved in a huge deal that saw him sent to the Manhattan Rage in exchange for Chris Crutchfield and multiple other players involved. This is when he began to shine.

In S30 he broke out with a 12 goal, 44 point campaign, which, at the time, was a remarkable point total for a defenseman. His efforts earned him a nomination for the Aidan Richan for most improved player, and the Rage made the playoffs for the first time in several seasons. Once again his second season (S31) with a team was a bit of a downer, only getting 29 points and seeing MAN miss the playoffs, but the team, and Wollker, came storming out in S32. A huge part of a team which scored goals like few others, alongside such top forwards as VLAD McZehrl, Harry Hans, and Kian Hamilton, Wollker’s 47 points in the regular season helped the team make the playoffs, and continue all the way to the Challenge Cup finals only 3 seasons into a rebuild.

His next 3 seasons would be considered his peak as he notched campaigns of 48, 51, and 57 points - a defenseman who was a PPG player was extremely rare in this era so while those numbers may seem pedestrian now, they were eye-popping at the time. S33 he received his first nomination for the Stevens Award, and a 2nd team all-star finish. In S34 he was also nominated for the Stevens, 2nd team all-star, and the Rage won the Challenge Cup going 12-0-2 in the playoffs, with Wollker scoring at over a PPG pace. In S35 Wollker finally won the Stevens and was named 1st team all-star after his 57 point season, in which he led the entire league in assists. In fact those 46 assists was the 5th most all-time in the ‘realism era’. Sadly, though, the Rage missed the playoffs due to a tiebreaker. He was named an all-star in Seasons 36 and 37 as well despite the Rage missing the playoffs both seasons. In S38 he had a resurgent season helping the Rage win their second Challenge Cup in that decade. In S39 the Rage were under new management and looking to rebuild, so an aging Wollker was sent to the Edmonton Blizzard where he played 3 more seasons before retiring. When he retired he was a top 5 all-time scoring leader for defenders with 634 points in 852 career games, and is still in the top 20 of all-time defense career points.

Wollker’s legacy is a defenseman who rewrote the book on what it meant to be an offensive defenseman - a 5 season stretch where he was a PPG player, 9 straight seasons with more than 10 goals, and 10 straight seasons with over 100 shots. He was a mainstay on the defensive scoring leaderboards for almost a decade, and has the highest point-per-game average of any defenseman with at least 800 games played, at 0.744.
In an era with such impressive players at that position as Alonzo Garbanzo, Bubba Nuck, and Big Manious - Wollker was in the conversation for best defender of that era, which is why he makes the list of top 75.

All written by @Muerto - money goes to him

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Congrats kez!

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My very first GM

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@Muerto congrats Kez! Well deserved.

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Still pissed how they did my boy dirty in the final season of GoT

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