photo courtesy Larry Brunt/Spokane Chiefs
Many young players in the WHL try and make the flashy plays that result in highlight-reel goals. Spokane Chiefs’ forward Ethan McIndoe is not that player. Contrary to those that feel pressured to impress fans or possible scouts, McIndoe goes by a simple mantra when it comes to goals: ” they don’t ask how; they ask how many.”
That pretty much sums up how he plays on the ice. He plays a hard-nosed style that any coach would love to see and he knows this style can pay dividends. He has 17 goals and nine assists for 26 points in his second year in Spokane. This nearly doubles his 15 point output in his 16-year-old season last year.
“I think that just being hard on the fore-check, especially in front of the net. Getting to the hard areas. There’s not too many guys that are willing to go there sometimes and think that really helps me. Competitive edge.”
McIndoe, who mostly plays in the bottom-six forward group, has five of his goals on the power play. He is often slotted in as the net-front presence on the top unit.”All of those goals have not been pretty they have just been banging in juicy rebounds.” Those rebounds are often there with talented forwards like Kailer and Keanu Yamamoto, Hudson Elynuik and Tyson Helgesen firing shots on net from every angle.
“I don’t think I was expecting to get this many goals. I just found that going to the hard areas, especially in front of the net, I’m able to put the puck in.”
When injuries plagued the Chiefs throughout the season, McIndoe was often moved up into the top-six and his versatility is one thing he really values.
“I think that I’m kind of considered a role player. I can be put into different situations. I think that just sticking to my own game really helps me adjust.”
Having to play different roles in the lineup did not mean that he changed how he played the game though.
“I think that being hard on the fore-check and being a gritty player, I found that I’m really good in front of the net especially when coach puts me on the power play. Screen the goalie and bang the rebounds in.”
Throughout the years of play Bantam and Midget level hockey, this has always been what McIndoe does. “I haven’t really changed my style of play, I’ve always been a hard-working power forward that plays a simple 200-foot game.”
He has excelled so much at this style that scouts are clamoring to get some last views of him before the 2017 NHL Draft. His Spokane Chiefs have been eliminated from contention. Because of this, 24 scouts were in attendance at a game McIndoe and the Chiefs played against Seattle on March 8th. McIndoe does not let this distract him though, even with his team out of the playoffs.
“It’s definitely in the back of my mind but I try not to think about it when I’m on the ice and focus on my games and leaving a good last impression.”
Going into the off-season, getting into the weight room is priority number one for the Camrose, Alberta native.
“It’ all about getting stronger. I want to put on some more weight. I ‘m a little skinny right now so I want to bulk up. I need to definitely get faster as well and work on my skills, puck-handling skills a lot.”
While improving his speed and puck-handling will definitely help, any team lucky enough to draft him in this June’s NHL draft would be doing so because of his knack for finding loose pucks and never flinching when chasing down a puck in front of the net or along the boards.