Nolan Maier last line of defence for Saskatoon Blades

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WATCH ABOVE: The puck stops here – Sep 11, 2019

The Saskatoon Blades play their final two pre-season games this weekend as they prepare for the upcoming 2019-20 Western Hockey League (WHL) season.

What the forward and defensive lineups will look like is still up in the air as several players remain at NHL training camps, but one key player returning is goaltender Nolan Maier.

READ MORE: Colton Dach following big brother to Saskatoon Blades

“I know what I put in this off-season, I know that it’s different than what I’ve done in the past and I’m just really excited,” Maier said.

“I think just the buzz around the rink and all the new guys and the new pieces that we have in the locker room is really exciting.”

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The 18-year-old netminder from Yorkton, Sask., attended Hockey Canada’s under-20 development camp this summer in Calgary where he worked with former NHL goalie coach Eli Wilson among others.

“The position of goaltending is just constantly evolving. There are different nuances in the game that these kids are learning and from multiple different coaches and different verbiage,” Blades head coach Mitch Love said.

“So it’s been interesting to watch his development and I know the one thing with Nolan, in particular, he’s very motivated to be one of the best goalies in the league.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon Blades trade Gary Haden to Victoria Royals

This is Maier’s NHL draft year. He said he’s driven to have a solid and consistent year with the Blades, and hopefully build off last year’s playoff run in the WHL and taking it a step further.

“I want to be the best that I can be and I think I know if I can push toward being the best goalie in the league, that’s what I want to do and that’s how I want to motivate myself during the year,” Maier said.

“But I think as long as I’m there giving my team a chance to win, that’s all I can do really.”

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Saskatoon kicks off the regular season on Sept. 20 against the Prince Albert Raiders at the Art Hauser Centre.

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