Hmmm what is the question or flavor of the day? Just who is the drafting guru in General Manager Ron Hextall going to select at the 2018 NHL Draft? The truth is no one really knows. This young Flyers team has some needs. Help can range from a Right Handed Defenseman to some Centers. These are some positions you can never have enough of. If the Flyers are looking for help down the middle or on the wing, then look no further than a second round stud in Riley Stotts from the Calgary Hitmen.
“It feels really good, and my family is really excited,” Stotts states when referencing the upcoming Draft. “There is still lots of work to do, so I’m focused on continuing to improve and work on all the details of my game on and off the ice.”
Stotts was born on January 5, 2000, in Winnipeg, MB, CAN. If the Flyers are looking for a guy that put the biscuit in the basket, then this young Canadian native might be the key to success. Stotts found himself playing for the Swift Current Broncos for the 2016-17 season. For the season, he amassed 9 goals, and 7 assists for a total of 16 points in 52 games played. Moreover, Stotts continued his decent play for the Canada Red U17 Team in the same season by tallying 2 goals, and 1 assist in for a total of 3 points in 2 games played. These numbers were very strong, and Stotts showed his improvement from the Broncos. So who exactly is this young man?
“I’m a strong worker, and don’t like to stop until a job is done. My dream is to play in the NHL, and it always will be. I look forward to the future, and what it has to offer.”
Stotts continued, “I plan to work on all the little things to create a big picture, and be able to help out my team as much as I can. I want to improve off of each day and be consistent to be able to contribute everything I can to the team, so we can have the longest year possible.”
This young 18-year-old prospect, in Stotts worked hard in the off-season trying to improve his game for his second season for the Broncos. However, Stotts struggled to find consistency for the Broncos to start the 2017-18 season. Through his first 22 games played, he registered just 2 goals, and 1 assist. Moreover, this was one reason the Broncos shipped Stotts to the Calgary Hitmen. He knew he could be better, so his theory was to just stick with it.
While battling through this type of adversity for the first time in his young career. Stotts’s hard work and dedication to the game in the off-season paid off in a big way. He enjoyed the fresh change of scenery, and really had a solid campaign for the Hitmen. Stotts registered 17 goals, and 24 assists for 41 points in 47 games played. This has really solidified his status for the upcoming NHL Draft. One would expect his nerves to be through the roof with being on the cusp of the NHL. However, Stotts is just focused on improving his game, but he has not forgotten who has helped him along the way, as well.
“As a little kid growing up my dream was always to play in the NHL, and it still is. That’s my ultimate goal, and I want to keep improving each day and try to put myself into the best position I can for the future!”
Stotts continued, “Throughout my life of hockey all the coaches and teammates have been a big part of the player I am today, as they helped me improve and taught me about the game. But, most of all my dad has been the biggest person in my life with hockey. He has been there for support and along with that he always has good advice on situations. He is a huge part of who I am today.”
The Hitmen product, Stotts just wants to show people he belongs in the NHL. If one saw him play this past season for the Hitmen, then they would have noticed his good pair of hands. Stotts has a lethal wrist shot, to go with his good vision of the ice. Moreover, Stotts was out to prove that he would be worthy of a draft choice. He wanted to make his dream come true, much like the players he idolizes.
“Growing up my favorite player was Alexander Ovechkin. I liked watching how he could shoot the puck and stickhandle. Today, I like watching Mark Scheifele. He’s amazing to watch with the way he can see teammates get open, and move the puck fast. He can shoot the puck from anywhere, and is strong on his feet.”
The young prospect continues, “My strongest characteristics would be my skating and vision for the ice. I like to make plays and find players through seems to make passes, and create scoring opportunities. I’m hard working in the off season, and like to work on skating and puck handling to improve my game as much as I can.
Hopefully, Stotts can be a draft day steal, as he is a versatile player. Stotts can also play left wing, which may make him fit into a lineup easier. His unselfish attitude cannot be taught, and Stotts can pay huge dividends for the Flyers in the near future. As he completed the interview, Stotts wanted to say one last thing to the fans of Philadelphia:
“It would be an honor to be drafted by the Flyers. I like to use my speed, make quick passes, and try to create plays to help my linemates. I like to try and open up the ice for other players, and make plays leaving the D zone and into the O zone.”
Mandatory Photo Credit: Larry MacDougal via AP