Conner Roulette is the prototypical player who excels in the modern NHL.
Standing 5-foot-11 and 158 pounds, what the Seattle Thunderbirds left winger lacks in size he makes up with in offensive prowess. A freshman with the Thunderbirds last season, the shifty skater made an immediate impact before wrapping up the year with 39 points to sit third in team scoring and eighth among rookie league-wide.
A projected first rounder for the coming NHL Draft – and one of six WHL talents to earn an ‘A’ rating in NHL Central Scouting’s latest Players to Watch report – Roulette reflected on his first season with the Thunderbirds, what makes him stand out on the ice, and more in the latest edition of the CHL Sunday Spotlight presented by WINMAR:
How do you evaluate your rookie season?
I evaluate my rookie season as one of those seasons to figure out the type of player I am. It was a big adjustment going from AAA to the WHL. Being a rookie took a lot of getting used to. Once I figured out the type of player I can be in that league, I stuck to it and just played my game.
What was the biggest adjustment going from AAA to the WHL?
The biggest adjustment for me in going from AAA to the WHL was figuring out the type of player I am and playing with the new guys who I am not used to. Playing in Winnipeg (growing up) in the local leagues, I am used to playing with the players I grew up playing with since I was nine years old, so the biggest adjustment for me was just playing with the new players.
What is your best strength as a player and how have you worked to develop this aspect of your game?
My biggest strength as a hockey player is scoring goals and being an offensively-minded player. I like to be around the net and have the puck on my stick. I worked on that a lot just from watching videos of how players play, watching the people I idolized growing up, and just by being around the net in games and in practices.
What is it like to be recognized as a possible first-round pick ahead of the NHL Draft?
To be recognized as a possible first-round draft pick is definitely an honour and it makes my family proud. I think, for me, it is one of the best things. It gives me a lot of confidence as well and gives me something to look forward to when I am training and skating. I take a lot of honour in it and I am just hoping that I can fulfill that dream.
Which NHL player do you model your game after and why?
The NHL player who I model my game after is Clayton Keller of the Arizona Coyotes. He is one of those players who I feel we play a similar game. We have similar size. He is not one of the flashiest players but he does a lot of things right. He likes to score goals and make a lot of plays. I think he and I play a similar game.