Scriver a perfect fit for Blackhawks
Dylan Scriver has been exactly what the doctor ordered for the Thorold Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks have been a bit thin up front the past couple of seasons in terms of offensively gifted goal scorers, so when the 19-year-old Toronto native became available, head coach Scott Barnes jumped at the chance.
“It’s something we really haven’t had in abundance the last couple of years, someone who could score on a consistent basis,” Barnes said. “To get that was huge for us. It wasn’t like it was someone we pursued. It basically fell into our laps. Knowing people in hockey goes a long way.”
Scriver played last season with the Markham Royals of the Ontario Junior Hockey League where he collected seven goals in 47 games.
“He’s brought a little experience playing at junior A and he’s got some offensive ability,” Barnes added. “It’s been a good find for us. He’s contributed quite a bit. Just off the ice too with his leadership, he’s been a big part of the team.”
It didn’t take Barnes long to figure out Scriver would be a nice fit in Thorold.
“I didn’t know what I was getting but then he came to camp and we were pretty impressed,” he said. “Until you see games, you don’t really know how a guy works in games but once we got into exhibition we knew he could make our team.”
Scriver said he was in the market for a change of scenery.
“Honestly, it was not the right fit for me personally with everything going on there,” Scriver said. “Nothing against the team, I just wanted to try something new and definitely living away from home was one of the key parts. I wanted to try being more on my own and independent.”
So far, the arrangement has worked out well, on and off the ice for the big forward.
Scriver is enjoying his billet family, where he lives with Hawks defenceman Mitch Britton. He’s also off to a good start contributing five goals and nine points in eight games.
“I didn’t know much about the league or the teams so coming here and playing against these new teams and new guys, it’s definitely fun not knowing what you’re up against. That part’s been cool,” he said. “Honestly, there’s not much difference other than the fact it’s new guys. It’s about the same calibre and everybody wants it just as bad. It’s not that big a difference.”
Scriver said he’s felt at home in Thorold from Day 1.
“It’s been a little different coming to a smaller town,” he said. “It’s definitely a lot more homey. Everyone was really welcoming. The guys were great and welcomed we with open arms coming in and respecting the OJ too.”
Scriver said he’s happy he made the move.
“I like the way the team is looking for a longer push,” he said. “We have a deep lineup and we have older guys with a veteran presence. Seeing that when you’re coming to a new team excites you because you have a chance win every game.”
Scriver’s has long-range plans for hockey.
“My main goal is to play in Europe and get something back from hockey what I’ve been working for this whole time.”
The Blackhawks, 3-4-1, host the St. Catharines Falcons Thursday, visit the Fort Erie Meteors Saturday, and travel to Hamilton Monday.
“I don’t if you are ever happy as a coach,” Barnes said. “I think our record could be better. I think we’re playing pretty decently. We’ve had some guys out with injuries and suspensions.
“We’re 23-men deep and that’s why we have the roster we have because we think everyone can contribute. We’re OK with where we are but we think we can be a lot better.”
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