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Leaf profile: Dallon Stoddart goes from watcher to one of many leaders on the Nelson Leafs

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
October 7th, 2011

Throughout the KIJHL season The Nelson Daily Sports Editor Bruce Fuhr will take a capsule look at the players on the Nelson Leafs hockey club.

Today the focus in on Nelson native and Leaf winger, Dallon Stoddart.

It wasn’t that long ago when Dallon Stoddart was watching Brock Munro gain speed at center ice before breaking through the defence and picking the top corner of the net.

Or, Dylan Walchuk progress from an unknown to a household name in as he led the Leafs in playoff scoring during Nelson’s waltz to the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League crown in 2009.

That was then.

And this is 2011 where the 6-foot, 175-pound Stoddart is not the watcher. He’s the right there in living Green and White doing his own flying, with a parachute of course, up and down the left wing.

“It’s every kids dream growing up playing minor hockey to play for your hometown team,” Stoddart admitted to The Nelson Daily.

“And now I get to live it.”

This is actually Stoddart’s third stint with the Heritage City franchise that is younger in 2011 than most other KIJHL teams.

His first turn came as a bit of a surprise.

After completing the 2009-10 season with the Kootenay Ice of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League, Stoddart joined teammates Troy Petrick and Blake Arcuri as call-ups to the Leafs.

During the playoff run Nelson was decimated with injuries forcing then head coach Simon Wheeldon to scramble to put a line up together.

Hence the likes of Stoddart, Petrick and Arcuri, dubbed the “Black Aces” by one local media personality, were called upon to fill the lineup.

Stoddart played four games, which was more than enough time to allow the injured players to return the lineup and help the Leafs upset the Fernie Ghostriders and into the KIJHL Final.

However, the Leafs lost to the Revelstoke Grizzlies in five games.

But being part of the buzz inside the NDCC Arena was one of the highlights for this Nelson Minor Hockey grad.

Last season, Stoddart’s first full campaign with the Green and White, now that was not as much fun at all.

“Sometimes (playing for your home town’s junior team) has its up and downs but overall I have my guys around me to help and I tend to zone everything else out,” explained Stoddart, deciding not to attend any Junior A camps, instead focusing on the Leafs.

“And if I need any help I have the people around me as support.

Stoddart, the son of Sharon and Doug Stoddart, has always loved playing hockey. But at the tender age of 18, he already realizes education is a big part of his future.

He only hopes hockey can also be part of that future.

“I really want to go to school and continue to play hockey,” said Stoddart, working toward an engineering degree starting this fall at Selkirk College in Castlegar.

“And I’ll try to do whatever I can to make that dream come true.”

Stoddart is one of a quartet of Nelsonites on the Leafs roster. Two of those players, Carsen Willans and Linden Horswill, join Stoddart to form the all-Nelson line.

Prior to Thursday’s game in Grand Forks, the trio had accumulated 15 points.

“We starting to get to know how each other plays,” said Stoddart, leading the Nelson trio with seven points, including three goals.

“We getting to know where were going to be and how we can help each other out on the ice.”

Despite being the old guy on the line, Stoddart likes what he sees in teammates Carsen and Linden.

“(Carsen and Linden) maybe younger but they know how to play this game and are learning how to get the job done and have their heads in the right place,” he said.

Just like Dallon Stoddart, who has grown from a fan to one of the leaders of the Leafs.

Dallon Stoddart Fast Facts
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 175 pounds
Shoots: Left
Hometown: Nelson
Age: 18
Favourite Music: Likes all music
Favourite NHL Team: Vancouver Canucks
Favourite NHL Player: Sidney Crosby
Blackberry or iPhone:
Blackberry, but iPod for music

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