Griffen Outhouse wants to prove himself in the Western Hockey League.
That’s after the 17-year-old goaltender from Likely recently found out he’d made the WHL’s Victoria Royals’ roster and will be staying for the team’s 2015/16 campaign.
“It was exciting to find out I was going to stick there for the year,” Outhouse said.
“Now there’s a bigger challenge ahead of me and that’s showing that I can play in this league.”
Last January Outhouse helped lead the BC Major Midget League’s Prince George-based Cariboo Cougars to a Mac’s Midget AAA World Invitational Tournament championship. He finished the regular season with 15 wins, five losses and two ties, with a 2.04 goals against average.
Just three months prior, he had been signed by the Royals.
“It’s definitely a big jump from the BCMML and the coaches I had there prepared me well,” Outhouse said, noting he’s settling in nicely with his new teammates.
“The guys here are great. All the staff are the best in the league at what they do.”
Royals’ head coach Dave Lowry said there’s no denying Outhouse is a very good goalie and worthy of an opportunity to play in the WHL.
“He’s a good kid and he’s a student of the game,” Lowry said. “He wants to get better and that’s what we’re looking for in players we keep. We want guys that want to come to work every day and work on their game and try to get better.”
Outhouse will be playing behind Royals’ starting goaltender Coleman Vollrath, a 20-year-old, four-year veteran of the WHL.
Vollrath’s experience will be a valuable tool in Outhouse’s development.
“Coleman is a great guy,” Outhouse said. “He helps me both on and off the ice every day.”
Lowry agrees, noting Vollrath is a consumate professional.
“The big thing with Griff here with Coleman is he’s going to see how it’s done the right way in terms of preparation and work ethic,” Lowry said. “Not only how you work in practice but how you prepare on game days … he’s a very good mentor for a young goalie.”
Outhouse has yet to see a start this season during the team’s blazing 7-1 start the campaign, however, Lowry said he will get a chance to display his skills this season.
“The guys and coaches are happy about the 7-1 start but we can’t take our foot off the pedal,” Outhouse said.
“We need to keep moving on every game and bring our best out every night.
“Right now I can’t worry about when I’ll get my first start. Coleman has been hot and the team has been good in front of him. I just need to be patient and make sure I’m prepared when the time comes.”