The Saskatoon Blades have added lots of playoff experience to their lineup this season but one player getting set to make his post-season debut is the one who will be under the most pressure.
Nolan Maier has already played nearly 100 games in goal after taking over the starter’s job as a 16-year-old rookie during the 2018-19 season.
He finished third in the WHL with 36 wins and tied for third with four shutouts in his second season with the Blades, yet he doesn’t get a lot of attention around the league.
“Last year I got a lot more attention than I should have,” Maier said about his rookie season.
“This year it’s been more even across the locker room which is a great thing for the organization.”
Blades general manager Colin Priestner said Maier has done a great job this year between the pipes despite being overlooked.
“He’s been snubbed every ranking you’ll ever find because of his height,” Priestner said.
“People are always overlooking him just like they did in the bantam draft. He’s used to that and it’s kind of his bread and butter, he just thrives in that zone.”
The six-foot-tall Maier said he just wants to give the Blades a chance to win as he prepares for the challenge of the playoff spotlight.
“I have to make sure if the team is not 100 per cent or something goes wrong, I’m always there to give my team a chance to win,” Maier said.
“If I’m that kind of rock, I’m doing my job.”
The Blades take to the ice at home on Friday for Game 1 of their First Round match-up with the Moose Jaw Warriors.