2008-09: Casey Wellman skated in 39 games as a freshman and was the second-leading scorer for the University of Massachusetts. Wellman scored 11 goals with 22 assists and was +10 with 32 PMs as the Minutemen finished seventh in Hockey East. Wellman was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team.
2009-10: Wellman signed a two-year, free-agent contract with the Wild in March 2010 and made his NHL debut following his sophomore season at Massachusetts. In 12 games with the Wild he scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was -2. Prior to signing with the Wild he skated in all 36 games for the Minutemen, who finished tied for sixth place with Merrimack in Hockey East. Wellman led the team in goals with 23 and had 22 assists with a -5 plus/minus and 38 PMs. Wellman scored 11 of his 23 goals on the Minutemen power play.
2010-11: Wellman played 15 games for the Wild in his first full pro season, opening the year with the Wild before being returned to AHL Houston in November; and later skating in three March games with the big club. Averaging almost 11 minutes of ice time per game, he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -1 with 4 PMs. Wellman was one of the key offensive players for the Aeros, scoring at nearly a point-per-game pace during the regular season and then adding six playoff goals in Houston's run to the AHL Calder Cup Finals. In 66 games with Houston (including playoffs), he scored 20 goals with 26 assists and was -6 with 20 PMs. Wellman signed a one-year contract with the Wild as a restricted free agent in July 2011.
2011-12: Wellman opened the year with Wild AHL affiliate Houston before being re-called by Minnesota at the end of November. He played 14 games with the Wild, missing eight games with a wrist injury, and was minus-four with 2 goals and 5 assists. He was obtained from Minnesota by the Rangers in February 2012 but did not appear in any NHL games: finishing the season with Connecticut in the AHL. In 57 AHL games between Houston and Connecticut he scored 23 goals with 24 assists and was an even plus/mjnus with 21 penalty minutes. Ten of his goals came on the power play. The Panthers obtained Wellman from the Rangers in July, 2012.
Wellman looks like a classic case of the player who is successful in the AHL but has a difficult time transitioning his game to the big leagues. He weighs in at just over 170 pounds which is still slight for an NHL player who is 6’0 tall, and his lightweight frame may contribute to his lack of NHL production. Wellman has an NHL-caliber shot and can skate, and if given the right set of linemates and ice time, he has the skills to be a complimentary second-line scorer.
Wellman was acquired by the Washington Capitals in January of 2013 in a deal that sent Zach Hamill to the Florida Panthers.
Wellman will be given an opportunity to make the Panthers roster this fall. At 24 years of age, his window of opportunity is closing. If he fails to make the Panthers this fall, he may become a standard fixture in the AHL as a top-line minor league player who gets brief moments of NHL spot duty.