Welcome to another WHL Best of the 2010s feature where we profile the best WHL players from the 2009-10 season all the way to the 2019-20 season. Players are judged based on what they did in each division. This means if a player spent time in multiple divisions, their placement will be judged based on what they did separately while in each division. Don’t forget to vote on our Twitter page, @WHLonA51 to help determine which player will be crowned the best WHL player of the 2010s. We hope you enjoy.

Carter Hart is a household name for hockey fans, but before he reached NHL stardom, he was the talk of the town in the Western Hockey League. A young and talented goaltender, he got his start with the Everett Silvertips, with whom he showcased an incredible WHL career.

THE STATISTICS 

Hart was selected in the eighth round, 158th overall, in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. He signed with the Silvertips on February 12, 2014 and made his career start against the Seattle Thunderbirds later that year on September 20. Hart had an incredible game to start his rookie season, posting a 26-save shutout. 

He continued to prove himself his rookie year, replacing goaltender Austin Lotz as the ‘Tips starter in March 2019. He went on to start all eleven playoff games for the Silvertips that season, tying for second with a 2.28 GAA and ranking third with a .929 save percentage among playoff goaltenders.

Hart finished his rookie season with the lowest GAA in the WHL at 2.29 and the second-highest save percentage at .915. 

His second season was nothing short of spectacular. By the end, he had the most wins in the WHL with a 25-33-1-3 record. He had six shutouts in 21 games, his GAA went down to 2.14, and his save percentage increased to .918.

Hart’s stats only increased throughout his playing career. His GAA for the 2017-2018 was an incredible 1.60, and his save percentage was an outstanding .947. At the end of his career in the Western Hockey League, he had an overall 116-46-19 record, a .927 SV%, a 2.01 GAA, and 26 shutouts, tying Tyson Sexsmith for the most career WHL shutouts.

THE AWARDS

His stats alone would be enough to showcase how impressive Hart’s WHL career was, but when you factor in his awards, things really get mind-blowing. Hart was the first goaltender to win the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy—the WHL Goaltender of the Year award—three times. 

During his second season, he was awarded CHL Goaltender of the Year and was named Most Valuable Player for the Silvertips organization.

 Hart was the highest drafted goaltender in the 2016 NHL draft when the Philadelphia Flyers picked him in the second round, 48th overall. He earned back-to-back CHL Goaltender of the Week awards in November that same year and ended his third season with another MVP award for the Silvertips.

His fourth and final season, 2017-2018, Hart missed the first month of the regular season due to mononucleosis. However, he came back stronger than ever, and at the conclusion of his last season in the WHL, Hart was awarded CHL Goaltender of the Year, becoming the first in league history to win the award twice. He also received the Everett Silvertips Community Relations Award, as well as being named WHL Player of the Year.

Carter Hart is an incredible goaltender, setting and breaking many records during his time in the Western Hockey League. Although his career in the juniors has come to a close, he continues to be revered as one of the best goaltenders to play in the WHL. 

By Gabriel Neumann

WHL enthusiast and goalie aficionado, Gabriel covers the Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince George Cougars, and Kamloops Blazers for Area 51 Sports Network. Hockey and writing are what keep him going. Twitter: @gneumnn

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