There’s a lot on Ian Scott’s plate this year.
With Carter Hart and Stuart Skinner both graduating from the Western Hockey League, the Calgary product is one of a handful of netminders vying for the crown of the best goalie in the league.
The 19-year-old is also looking to earn a pro contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and make the roster for Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship over Christmas in British Columbia.
Above all that though, Scott wants to help the Prince Albert Raiders on their longest playoff run since 2005, and one that the team hopes will lead them to their first Ed Chynoweth Cup since 1985.
“We want to win this year and that’s the mindset all of us had here when we came to town for training camp,” Scott said.
“There’s personal goals that I’ve set for this year as well, but the main thing is to give it my all for this team. If I can help us succeed, I think everything else will fall into place.”
Although it’s only been a pair of scrimmages, Scott already looks to be in midseason form at the Art Hauser Centre as he allowed just one goal in two games this weekend.
“The compete level has been really good so far,” Scott said. “I think it’s getting better in each game as the younger guys are starting to feel more comfortable and the returning guys are getting their feet back underneath them.
“It’s always great to be back in Prince Albert and to be back with the guys once again. There’s never a dull moment with them.”
This past season Scott posted his best numbers to date as a member of the Raiders as he compiled a 24-16-3-3 record with a 3.10 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.
After making a brief cameo in the 2016 playoffs, Scott started in all seven games of the first round series with the Moose Jaw Warriors, where he had a 3.25 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.
“I think that playoff series was huge for us,” Scott said. “We got that taste of post-season hockey and what it takes to be successful.
“All you have to do is look back at Game 7 (which the Warriors won 5-4) and all of the twists and turns that happened that night. We never gave up in that game and I think we can learn a lot from that going forward.”
After the Raiders’ season came to an end, Scott was called up the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies, where he made his pro debut on April 15 and stopped 33 shots in 4-3 win over the Belleville Senators.
Scott then had a front row seat for the Marlies’ playoff run as they would win their first Calder Cup championship in franchise history.
“It was a pretty exciting experience to be with the team for that ride, especially as I got to be alongside (Marlies goaltenders) Calvin (Pickard) and Garret (Sparks) the entire time,” Scott said.
“Both of them welcomed me with open arms and it was a great opportunity for me to learn. It was really cool to see how professional they are both on and off the ice.”
As he gears up for the Maple Leafs’ rookie camp next week, Scott is hoping to build off the lessons he learned from his time with the Marlies towards earning a pro contract.
“They (the Maple Leafs) have talked a lot with me about making sure that I’m doing work off of the ice on the mental side of things, along with making sure that I’m continuing to get stronger,” Scott said.
“I just want to keep developing my game and keep progressing. My goal is to be in the professional ranks next year and I’m working hard to achieve that.”
Sunday’s two scrimmages saw a pair of differently played games as Team Gold topped Team Green 2-1 in a shootout during the morning affair, while Team Orange beat Team Green in a high-scoring 6-4 contest in the evening.
Sergei Sapego had the lone goal for Team Gold, while Aliaksei Protas and Kaiden Guhle both scored in the skills competiton.
Matthew Lehman replied for Team Green, who were unable to solve Scott in the shootout despite the efforts of Luc Marleau and Dean Spak.
Sunday’s second scrimmage saw 10 different goal scorers find the back of the net.
Parker Kelly, Carson Miller, Blake Jacques, Mkyllan Couture, Graham Skinner and Nolan Allan all scored for Team Orange.
Adam McNutt, Kody McDonald, Justin Nachbaur and Evan Herman countered for Team Green.
Monday will see six scrimmages take place at the Art Hauser Centre, with the first trifecta starting at 9 a.m. and the second trio of games getting underway at 5:30 p.m.
The Raiders’ will host their annual Green and White Game Tuesday at 6 p.m., with the first cuts slated to be made later that evening.