How Layne Ulmer quietly became the joint top scorer for the Devils this year

If I told you that Joey Martin leads all Cardiff Devils in goals scored this year in League, Challenge Cup and Champions Hockey League action, you’d believe me right?

Well, he is top with 19 goals, but he’s not alone. One other player shares that lead and its 38-year-old Layne Ulmer who’s had a great start to the season, especially in Challenge Cup and CHL action. Also it is worth noting, there is a question about whether a goal in the Devils overtime loss to the Glasgow Clan should also be awarded to Ulmer, so if that changes then it means Ulmer has the lead on the team with 20.

Now Martin is your flashy skills guy, he shoots from all over and can score a lot from different areas. I’m not saying Ulmer can’t do that himself, he’s got a great skill set on him as well, but let’s look at how he’s got to share that lead.

Below is an offensive zone, if you didn’t know that, maybe this post isn’t for you. Also, please forgive my poor attempt at designing these graphics, I’ll be the first to admit they’re absolute garbage, hopefully you still get the points I’m trying to make.

As you can see, we’ve highlighted a key area, also known as the slot. The four red dots, those indicate areas where Layne Ulmer has scored in the Devils six Champions Hockey League games. Three goals were from a very similar spot, while the fourth was similar again just on the other side. Two of the goals were tipped in front (goals two and four) while goals one and three were shot he attempted himself.

Next up we’ll look at his six Challenge Cup tallies

Firstly, goal number one has the question marks because my memory isn’t good enough to remember the goal and it turns out it’s not that easy to find the clip of the actual goal, and turns out Freesports highlights are hard to find. Other than that, once again all the goals are scored from in tight, goal number three was a tip in front, while the potential goal seven (at the time of writing it remains at six) would’ve been a tip right around a similar spot to goal number three too.

A bit more of variation above showing where Ulmer has scored in league action, with goals five and nine being rare snipes from a bit of distance, while once again the majority are coming right around the blue paint.

Thatโ€™s exactly where Ulmer is at his deadliest.

He’s got a big body that’s difficult to move and is incredibly strong on his skates. He’s utilised best on the power play when he’s hanging around the slot either looking for a tip in front, or taking the eyes away from the goalie.

He’s had a long and successful career, and should get close to his point totals of the last season in league action, posting a 52 and 53 point season in his first two-years in Cardiff.

He’s a true leader with his play, and has a lot of silverware to his name during his time in Italy and the EIHL.

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