Aaron Dell, G
Hometown: Airdrie, AB
Drafted: Undrafted – Signed as Free Agent by San Jose Sharks
December 2017 – Aaron Dell is forcing his way into some trade talks with his stellar play over the past season and half. Since Dell came into the NHL at the start of the 2016-17 season, no goalie with five or more games played has a better save percentage (.932) or goals-against average (1.98) than Dell. Speaking with a scout from back east, the only possible drawback when discussing Dell is his size at 6-feet tall, but the numbers keep stacking up and despite the lack of ideal size, teams are starting to notice. There are at least three clubs that could use upgrades in goal so it will be interesting to see if Dell will get a chance at a starting gig if he can continues keep these league-leading stats up for the rest of the year. Zachary DeVine
March 2017 – Aaron Dell leads the NHL in save percentage (.938) and goals-against average (1.82) among NHL goaltenders with 300+ minutes played. Dell is getting some talk as a potential target for the Vegas Golden Knights, but either way, the 'World's Okayest Goalie' has shown himself to be a more than capable NHL back-up and talent to stick in the league. Dell is signed through next year and with increased confidence from the coaching staff heading down the stretch, is a backup goalie worthy of stash on your bench this summer to see how the rest of the goalie musical chairs play out. Zachary DeVine
January 2017 – Dell needs more starts in the final 40 games for the San Jose Sharks. The World's Okayest Goalie having only seven starts so far through the first half of the NHL season is, let's just say it’s less than ideal for a team that gave up a second-round pick for a rental backup last season. Contrary to reports, there is no reason for the Sharks to look for a “seasoned” backup netminder. Statistically, Dell is the owner of a better save percentage (.929) and better goals-against average (1.97) than Martin Jones, and posted his first shutout in the NHL against the Flyers on Dec. 30. More starts for Dell should occur in the second half of the season, ideally around a dozen to keep Jones fresh for the playoffs and Dell sharp in case he’s called upon for additional game minutes. Zachary DeVine
December 2016 – Dell continues to ride the bench an almost inexplicable low number of starts. The San Jose Sharks are rapidly approaching the half-way mark of the season and Dell is on pace for ten starts on the year. He's been solid when called upon with a 2.16 goals-against average and .926 save percentage, both of which are better than starter Martin Jones. These stats should not be construed to suggest that Dell is a superior netminder, but only that he's done all he can and should have to earn regular backup work to keep Jones fresh for the stretch run and the Stanley Cup playoffs. His lack of playing time is head-scratching, to say the least. Zachary DeVine
October 2016 – The battle for one of the last jobs available was internal, but Aaron Dell won the backup job with the San Jose Sharks. Dell likely won’t see substantial work behind Martin Jones, who appeared in 65 games last year leaving only 17 games split between last year's backups Alex Stalock and James Reimer. The Sharks have long preferred to give internal candidates a shot at job openings. Reviewing the positive progression Dell has made in every level of hockey; there is no reason to doubt his ability to make the final step to NHL-caliber player. Look for at least a dozen starts to keep Jones fresh and ready for another long postseason. If Dell struggles with the limited starts, a variety of netminders are available on the market, but he has the tools to hold down the job. Zachary DeVine
July 2016 – The former University of North Dakota goaltender resigned with the San Jose Sharks on July 1. Dell took over the San Jose Barracuda starting role and guided the team to the final Calder Cup spot in the West. The San Jose Sharks do not possess good defensive prospect depth at the AHL level, but Dell tied for the fourth-best save percentage (.922) in 40 appearances. Dell does not have the ideal goaltender size that teams look for, standing at only 6', but makes up for the real shortcomings by being an excellent skater with fluid movements around the crease and sets quickly. Dell has performed well at every level of hockey he's played at the NCAA, CHL, ECHL and AHL levels and looks to have earned a shot at the big show. Dell has alway been willing to put in the work and being highly coachable. Dell now finds himself in the battle for the Sharks backup goalie position ahead of the 2016-17 campaign. Zachary DeVine
March 2016 – The Alberta native has taken a rather strange path through development going through the NCAA system rather than standard Canadian junior system. His biggest years in the North Dakota came after his draft year and is a rather late bloomer. He is a goaltender that plays rather low, with quick footwork, challenging shooters with his upper extremities which are also above average. He was given an NHL contract due to working his way strongly up through all the minor pro levels (CHL,ECHL and AHL) and lack of an organizational option with the fortunate departure of Harri Sateri. Dell is currently an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, but he has out played the ‘next in line’ Sharks prospect Troy Groesnick and will likely get at least a contract extension and maybe even an opportunity to crack the Sharks next season as currently the backup job to Martin Jones is up in the air. Jason Banks
Fantasy Outlook: B
He won’t get many starts, but is a must-own handcuff for Martin Jones owners and a player to monitor going forward.
Excellent concentration on a cross-seam pass for a big blocker save:
Large arm save while crossing the crease:
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