As the ninth overall selection of the 2014 WHL bantam draft, Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Ian Scott entered his major junior career with high expectations. He was the highest netminder taken in the draft since the Tri-City Americans chose Carey Price seventh overall in 2002.
“The draft was a normal day for me,” says Scott. “I went to school, but I did watch it in class. I thought it was cool to go that high in the draft. I tried not thinking about being drafted as high as other goalies. I just was honoured to be picked by Prince Albert.”
The 6-foot-4, 169-pound Scott has lived up to the hype thus far in his WHL career. He’s asserted himself as one of the league’s top young goaltenders this season, posting a .921 save percentage and a 2.88 average throughout his first 10 contests.
“A lot of it has to do with making sure I’m ready every game,” says Scott, who is regarded as a B-list prospect (second or third round) by NHL Central Scouting Service in the 2017 NHL draft. “I prepare night in and night out to make sure I’m mentally ready to play and am ready for the game.”
The Calgary, Alta., native believes his mindset of focusing on his team rather than the NHL draft has played a significant role in his early success this season. Moreover, he worked hard this past off-season to polish his game.
“I can’t think about the draft,” he says. “It’s something you wait for, but you have to put it to the side and focus on what’s in front of you. I have to do that right now and just not worry about the draft… I trained hard in the off-season and took every opportunity to work on every aspect of my game and improve things like my hand speed, skating and tracking the puck."
Looking back at his rookie year in 2015-16, Scott believes his former goalie partner, Rylan Parenteau, who was recently dealt to Tri-City, played a major role in helping him get to where he is today.
“I can’t thank him (Rylan) enough for the last two years,” says Scott, who turns 18 in January. “He was a huge help in helping me get used to this league and playing in Prince Albert. He took the time to help me out and I enjoyed playing with him.”
1. How did you become a goaltender?
“In about novice no one else wanted to play goalie, so I ended up playing it and just stuck with it all these years.”
2. Do you look up to a goalie in the NHL?
“I like Carey Price. I’m always impressed with his calmness and mental state. I like how he brings a calm atmosphere to his team.”
3. Do you have a favourite NHL team?
“I like the (Vancouver) Canucks. My dad is a Canucks fan and he got me into watching them and liking them.”
4. Do you have a favourite band or genre of music that you prefer listening to before a game?
“I like listening to all sorts of upbeat music. I like stuff that wakes you up and something that is catchy.”
5. If you weren’t playing hockey, what other sport do you think you would be pursuing right now?
“Probably volleyball. I played volleyball in junior high and enjoyed it.”
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen