Griffen Outhouse wants to prove himself in the Western Hockey League.
That’s after the 17-year-old goaltender from Likely, B.C. in the Cariboo region, 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 here 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 B.C. 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.
Outhouse is already making a name for himself after notching his first career shutout in a 3-0 win against the Spokane Chiefs a few weeks ago.
He became the first Royal, and second netminder in franchise history to record a shutout in his first WHL start.
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.”
“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.
The Royals begin a six-game road trip today (Friday), starting in Prince Albert, Sask. to battle the Raiders.
The next home game is on Friday, Nov. 13 when the team takes on the Seattle Thunderbirds. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.