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Claimed:Hans Wingate Rookie Profile [8/8]

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(S43) G Hans Wingate - A Scouting Report





Name: Hans Wingate

Age: 18

Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 232 lbs

Position: Goaltender

Team: Turku Outlaws


A native of not-quite-hockey-crazy Scotland, 18-year-old goaltender Hans Wingate may be somewhat of a mystery to talent evaluators around the VHLM. After being picked up by the prestigious Warren agency however, which placed former defenseman Karsten Olsen with the second pick in the draft with his only previous player, the hype machine surrounding Wingate has already pulled into overdrive. One scout, known only as Brovy, wrote upon Olsen’s declaration for the VHLM, “So glad their [sic] is going to be an elite goalie besides DT.”


So, just who is this unknown player making so many waves? Like many young players entering the VHLM, the story begins with a hope and a dream. Unlike many other players, however, this dream took him through the Elite Ice Hockey League, the highest level of competition in the United Kingdom.






Entering the 2014-2015 EIHL season, otherwise known as the S40 campaign in VHL parlance, the Edinburgh Capitals had never had a winning record since joining the EIHL from the now-defunct British National League in 2004. However, never before had the team employed a young phenom quite like local product Hans Wingate.


Born in the suburbs of Edinburgh, Wingate was encouraged to try out for the Capitals by Assistant Coach Jock Hay, an Edinburgh native himself. Eager to have some hometown representation beyond longtime winger Kevin Forshall, Head Coach Richard Hartmann agreed on the tryout, but only on one condition: He face the club’s top point scorer, Curtis Leinweber, during his tryout. This way, Hartmann figured, he could rid himself of the local boy quite quickly. What he did not expect, however, was Wingate stopping every single one of Leinweber’s 20 shots, demonstrating unparalleled hand speed for an EIHL goalie.


Wingate did not have the best 2014-2015 season among EIHL goaltenders; his lack of size and an inability to seemingly ever secure the rebound held him back. He did, however, leading Edinburgh to its best ever league finish: third place, and a final record of 25-10-0. Given an unexpected .910 save percentage and an electric-quick glove hand that made highlights throughout UK hockey, Wingate was a near shoo-in to the Elite League All-Star Team, and he was recognized as a top prospect throughout the region.


However, despite his love for his hometown, Wingate saw himself doing bigger and better things. That’s where Hartmann, who had long since come around on his young goaltender, decided to parlay some hometown connections of his own. Originally a native of Bratislava, Slovakia, Hartmann decided to check with his old coaches at the Bratislava Watchmen to determine whether the VHLM would be interested in his goaltender. 10 minutes of tape later, Hans Wingate had begun to be hailed as the next great VHL goaltender, with a little bit of seasoning and coaching.




The Good


Agility: Compared with the finely tendered rinks of Canada and the United States, or even the always-frozen state of ponds in Scandinavia and Russia, hockey rinks in the United Kingdom can be a bit... rough. Constant rain and little freezing weather makes outdoor rinks a near impossibility, and indoor rinks are treated with nowhere near the same love and care as their football and cricket counterparts. Thus, Hans Wingate learned early to not only react to odd bounces of the puck, but to perhaps anticipate them. Especially before he joined Edinburgh of the EIHL, agility for a goaltender was not only helpful, it was a necessity. Thus, it’s unsurprising it ranks among his best skills.


Hand Speed: Have you ever tried to fight an angry Scotsman? Chances are, it did not go well for you, did it? That’s because, following an inordinate amount of alcohol and haggis, Scotsmen are known for using their fists in violent, unexpected ways. For many, that simply means a spell in the local drunk tank. For Wingate, however, it means using his quick hands to keep pucks from flying behind him into the net. There aren’t many young goaltenders who have as high of a Highlight Per Save (HPS) ratio as Wingate, as he can make even the most routine play look flashy.


Potential: Honestly, when push comes to shove and the wheel meets the road and overwrought metaphor meets Word document, scouts aren’t bullish on Wingate because of his agility and hand speed. It’s because of his potential. Wingate is the ultimate boom-or-bust product; he could be the next Daisuke Kanou just as easily as he could be the next Totally Notabear. However, the latter never enters the scout’s mind as much as the former, so experts will continue to fawn over Wingate’s progression. His agent has a big name, and it will be endlessly intriguing to see if the young prospect wilts under the expectations.




The Ugly


Rebound Control: The goal of a mousetrap is not only to catch a mouse, but once it is caught, to never release that mouse again. If a mousetrap caught a mouse, but then allowed that mouse’s tail to easily wriggle free, it would be considered a defective mousetrap. Well, Hans Wingate may very well be a defective mousetrap. His lightning quick speed allows him to block shots the first time, but he’s not particularly adept at holding the puck once it hits his pads. It was estimated that roughly 70 percent of the EIHL shots against him came on second, third or even fourth chances.


Reaction Time: In the time it takes for the puck to be dumped behind the net, collected by an opposing player, and passed to the front of the net for a one-timer, Hans Wingate may recognize that the puck is in the defensive zone. Maybe. Wingate has the reaction time of a sloth three beers in, the quick thinking of U.S. disaster awareness post-Katrina. For all of his hand speed once he realizes what exactly is going on, it takes him twice as long to actually get there. Many scouts attribute this to poor coaching — there aren’t many hockey savants in Scotland — and expect that this will get better in short order.


Timing: Nicklaus Mikaelson, with 391 practice hours, is only in his first year in the league. Fedir Okranitz is expecting to make it two from the S41 draft class next season, while Gunnar Skovsgard may make some noise as well. Jax Barnstormer, Callum Sinclair, and Ivars Klajums may all be first round picks in the S42. So why, then, is there even room for people to be excited about Wingate? The sheer number of goalies in the two classes ahead of him will be hard to overcome, and it’s expected that Wingate may be trying to play catch up for a large portion of his VHL career.

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  • Senior Admin

Shit, totally forgot about this brotha


Overview: 2/2 

Fantastic article, this pretty much exemplified what I intended the Rookie Profile to be when I proposed the rubric changes. Was plenty long and provided an interesting, hockey-based analysis of Wingate.


Pros & Cons: 3/3 

Perfect. Each pro and con was realistic, legitimate, and well explained.


Grammar: 2/2 
Not a damn thing! 


Presentation: 1/1 
Looks good!


Overall: 8/8

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