Talk about an early Christmas present. When the Portland Winter Hawks dealt 18-year-old Colton Sceviour to the Lethbridge Hurricanes, for him it meant going from a cellar dweller to a true contender in the matter of minutes.
Chosen 10th overall in the 2004 WHL Bantam Draft, Sceviour spent parts of four seasons with the Hawks including six games in 2004-05 as a 15-year-old. Portland was a bottom feeder last year with a paltry 17 wins and 37 points, almost 20 points less than the next worst team in the league. This year the Winter Hawks are faring no better with 6 wins and 13 points at the Christmas break.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are a team on the rise and have a general manager in Roy Stasiuk who is aggressive in making changes he deems necessary to take his team to the next level. So with his club playing well but still seeing room for improvement, Stasiuk made the seven-player deal with Portland that brought Sceviour to the Bridge City.
Hurricanes bench boss Michael Dyck recently described what the addition of Sceviour has meant to his team.
“He brings us some depth as far as scoring goes,” said Dyck. “Up until we acquired Colton we had [Mitch] Fadden, [Zack] Boychuk and [Dwight] King together and it was tough to spread the scoring around when you have all three guys on one line and they can be held in check, especially on the road.
“He’s a real opportunist; he can shoot the puck and he can score.”
Although clearly happy with his new lease on life with Lethbridge, Sceviour was quick to remind that it was the Hawks that gave him his start.
“Very seldom do you feel happy to get traded or what to get traded but this was a good move,” Sceviour began. “As much as I liked playing there and they gave me my start and all that, we weren’t having success there, they needed a shake up and coming to a team like this is wonderful!
“It’s a great feeling; a whole different atmosphere and everything is entirely different and it’s much better,” continued the Red Deer product. “I’m glad that this is how it all worked out.”
Listed at 6’0 and 199 lbs, Sceviour is a solid two-way junior player and appears to be a good fit with the Stars, one of the teams that has excelled with his type of player. Sceviour spoke very highly of his experience at the NHL club’s summer camp and feels comfortable in the organization, after the obvious period of stargazing.
“That day was exciting,” he said recalling how he spent the time during the draft. “I woke up early and kept clicking refresh on the internet to see what happened and finally I got the call from my agent to let me know I got drafted and obviously I was excited.”
Sceviour attended Dallas’ summer sessions and had the opportunity to get tutelage from a Hall of Fame marksman in the process.
“It was skill development and stuff like that,” he explained. “Brett Hull was there doing some shooting stuff, not a bad guy to learn from!”
His last bit of association with the Stars was in the fall at the Traverse City Prospects tournament. The annual event has continued to grow in popularity and Sceviour says it was an eye-opening time for him.
“That was a really fun time and a good experience getting to see the speed difference between the NHL and the AHL is still a couple of steps ahead of that so you realize what you still have to work on,” the center said. “I learned a lot of things there and then they had their main camp but they sent me back to Portland.”
For the benefit of those who haven’t seen Sceviour play with either the Hurricanes or the Winter Hawks, he describe the type of player that he feels he is and how he fits in with Lethbridge.
“I like to think that I’m an offensive guy,but on a team that’s this deep you have to be able to play defense as well, you can’t just be a one-way player or else they’ll find someone else that can play your position.
“You have to be able to good offensively, create some stuff with the cycle down low but at the same time you have to be able to contribute in your own zone and keep the other team’s top lines from scoring if you’re out against them.”
According to Sceviour, despite the change of scenery from the WHL basement to near the penthouse his own personal expectations haven’t changed since before the season began.
“I want to go out and play the same game that I was playing [in Portland],” he said. “I’m playing with different guys which makes it easier because they’re skilled guys like Fadden or Boychuk and all these guys make it easier to play but I still have to play my game the same way I have been playing, just right now we’re having more success at it.”
His 21 points thus far in 34 games is a drop in production compared to 38 points in 49 games last season but Sceviour’s goal scoring is on the rise. Sceviour’s career high 12-goal mark will fall this year as the pivot already has 11 lamp lighters in the bank with still half a season to go.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes have to be considered one of the top contenders in the WHL’s Eastern Conference and the club considers Sceviour to be one of those players that all good teams have on the roster that help get them over the hump.
The Dallas Stars are hoping the same thing.
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