Todd Fiddler is hot and so are the Spokane Chiefs. Fiddler has scored 18 goals in his last 18 games as Spokane has moved within striking distance of the Western Hockey League's elite. Read story
Fiddler said he knew a trade from Prince Albert was in the air after he followed up a good season as a 17-year-old with a slow start last season. He got the news right after Christmas last year.
"My parents were really happy that I got a change and they were really excited," Fiddler said. "Since I've been here I've loved it so much, and I'm glad I got traded."
Fiddler's brother made contacts with people who knew about Spokane and the Chiefs. The report reassured Fiddler: nice city, nice rink, crazy fans.
Fiddler said Spokane coach Don Nachbaur told him at the time to relax and play each game as if it was just another hockey game. He said Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz told him that he believed in Fiddler's offense and that he could be a special player.
Fiddler was fairly happy with the rest of last season with the Chiefs, but he would have wanted to contribute more. He was pleased to get a fair amount of playoff experience.
Fiddler said he didn't set big goals for this season, other than to play consistently.
The recent scoring barrage surprised him, but Fiddler said he tells himself every day that consistency is the key.
Fiddler's parents, Kelvin and Evelyn, have five children. Todd was the youngest for a long time until a little sister arrived.
"I was the baby for a good nine years and she took the excitement away from me," Todd joked.
Fiddler said his mother took him to outdoor rinks by the time he was 3 years old. She was able to talk coaches into letting Todd play with older kids.
Fiddler would like to advance in hockey, but he said he might return to school if those plans don't work out.
"I haven't planned ahead that far," he said. "I'm just living in the moment, I guess."
Nachbaur recently offered his assessment of Fiddler: "He's doing the right thing. He's thinking about putting the puck on the net and he's got a great shot when he uses it. ... The bottom line is, good players who have skills and tools, they gotta use them, and some guys neglect to shoot the puck. He's one of those guys that's a pure shooter. He has radar on his shot. He knows where it's going and he has great accuracy."