Growing up in Cleveland, Adam Scheel was a big fan of Ryan Miller, a stud in goal for the Buffalo Sabres.
“I just liked the way he plays,” said Scheel, who would wear a Buffalo Sabres hat and sweatshirt as he watched the Vezina Trophy winner, who has 358 career wins in 709 NHL games with the Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks.
Just like his American goalie hero, Scheel will use his big build to protect the net when he makes his B.C. Hockey League debut with the Penticton Vees Friday against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the Shaw Centre.
The University of North Dakota Fighting Hawk-commit said he uses his six-foot-four, 185-pound frame to his advantage.
“Use my athleticism when I can to make a big save for the guys,” said Scheel, who won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2017 Under 18 World Hockey Championship in Slovakia.
His goal for the season is to work hard and be the best teammate he can be, including giving the team win and eventually “hold a trophy above our heads.”
Vees co-captain Owen Sillinger has been impressed early by Scheel, who he said is good with his angles.
“I’m excited to see what Adam can bring to the table,” said Sillinger.
Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson likes that Scheel has faced high calibre players with the U.S. National Development program in a two-year stint that included facing college teams. Harbinson views the 18-year-old as a competitive goalie that is athletic.