Xavier The Savior

Photo By David Romuald

Recently, a few area scouts were asked to rank the top 10 Minnesota 2008 DOB goalie field. While there was a lot of discrepancy on the ranks of 2 through 10, there was a constant at number 1, Xavier Wendt.

The Plymouth, Minnesota native has done a lot to earn the No. 1 rank, starting with a great season with Shattuck U14’s last year, putting up a 27-2 record with a 1.72 GAA and a .922 SV%. Xavier has continued his success this off-season, as he’s been putting in hard work and showing his mental strength while competing at the High-Performance Camps in Minnesota and at the National 15 Camp in New York. These camps are extremely difficult for goalies, as players tend to take more chances, subsequently leaving the goaltender to face an increased number of quality scoring chances. These factors didn’t seem to bother Wendt as he stepped up to the challenge and played great in-between the pipes.

This past week Xavier put up near perfect numbers at the 2023 USA Hockey-BioSteel Boys 15 Player Development Camp, allowing only 1 goal on 50 shots, and this was against the top competition in the age group. Wendt dazzled during the camp, showcasing his athleticism while being in control. These are two attributes that can work against each other as snap movements and quickness often result in overcommitting and a loss of composure. There were very few instances during the camp where Wendt looked out of position or in any sort of distress. He proved it was his crease, and he forced the opposition into mistakes by them trying extraordinary plays in an attempt to beat him.

Wendt excels by challenging shooters and blocking a lot of net in the process, yet he’s not susceptible to the backdoor goal as he has great anticipation of the developing play and the quickness laterally to get there. Xavier keeps his pads flush to the ice when going down and keeps the five-hole covered. His recoveries are smooth and are done without losing positioning. His puck tracking is excellent, mixing his vision and awareness to aid him in stopping pucks through screens. He also tracks well in-tight and can eliminate a lot of chances and garbage goals by doing so.

Xavier has looked great over the past 12 months and his #1 ranking among 2008 goalies in Minnesota is legit, but the real question may be, is he the #1 ranked 2008 in the U.S.?