When the Saskatoon Blades have needed a goal, Conner Roulette has been there to provide a spark early in the season.
From highlight reel snipes to setting up his linemates, much of the Blades offence over their last five games has been created by the dynamic winger.
Read more: Blades Bio: Returning dynamo Trevor Wong
Roulette is coming off one of the most memorable weeks of his WHL career, including getting to play in his home province of Manitoba for the first time in close to four years.
He had a goal and two helpers in a 5-3 victory for Saskatoon, part of eight points in four games for the 19 year old in picking up WHL Player of the Week honours for the first time in his career.
“It’s one of the best weeks I’ve probably had so far playing in the ‘Dub,'” said Roulette. “Being able to go home and having such a great week on the ice and off the ice, it’s a really special moment.”
Roulette’s biggest moment in Blades colours so far came on Sunday afternoon, as he potted his second career WHL hat-trick in Saskatoon’s 4-1 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Prior to an upper-body injury to Egor Sidorov last weekend, the Blades’ top line of Roulette, Sidorov and Josh Pillar had driven the bus offensively with the trio combining for 14 of the team’s 26 goals to begin the season.
For Roulette, he wouldn’t be surprised to see his linemates pop up on the league’s radar soon if their production keeps up.
The connection between Roulette and Pillar on Saskatoon’s top line is a bit ironic, especially considering the pair used to do battle on a nightly basis in the WHL’s Western Conference with their previous clubs in the Seattle Thunderbirds and Kamloops Blazers.
“He probably won’t remember but I think we probably chirped each other a couple of times and kind of got under each other’s skin,” said Roulette. “I think that’s part of the game. I never thought I’d end up here playing with a player like that, one of the guys you look forward to stopping in the next game. But, now you look forward to playing with.”
Roulette only trails Sidorov in team scoring for both goals and points with 10 points in five contests since being returned from Dallas Stars training camp.
He’ll be counted on to provide offense even more with Sidorov now listed as week-to-week with his injury suffered last Friday in Brandon, as will rookie Jordan Keller who is expected to take the Belarussian’s place on the top unit.
“In terms of who’s with Roulette and Pillar, I liked Keller there,” said Blades head coach Brennan Sonne. “So, unless something changes I can’t see why I wouldn’t go with that.”
Since being acquired in a blockbuster trade from Seattle in exchange for Kyle Crnkovic, it’s been a whirlwind six weeks for Roulette.
But even with the added pressures of such a deal, it’s been a remarkably smooth transition from the west coast to the prairies for the crafty playmaker.
“You get traded and you’re kind of nervous,” said Roulette. “Whole new setting, whole new arena, new city, everything is different. But, when you’re able to get your feet under you early it’s a great feeling.”
Riding a five-game point streak, Roulette will have the chance to extend it Sunday at 4:00 as the Blades play host to the Calgary Hitmen.