RILEY HUTCHCRAFT SIGNS 1-YEAR DEAL
Backup Netminder Is Ready When Needed
Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock General Manager Jamie Dawick announced today that goaltender Riley Hutchcraft has agreed to a 1-year contract extension. The signing is pending league approval.
Being a backup goaltender in the NLL is not an easy job. Most, if not all, teams ride their number one goalie every night. The Rock are no different with Nick Rose starting in goal for the past 67 consecutive regular season games. It’s a streak that dates back to the tail end of the 2016 campaign. When it comes to Hutchcraft, there is a lot of confidence within the organization in the goaltender in waiting from management on down.
“I think he is a talented, up and coming goalie,” said Dawick of Hutchcraft. “He hasn’t got a lot of minutes simply because Rosey logs the starter’s minutes and he’s been playing some of the best lacrosse of his career over the last few years. If the season had continued, I think you would have seen Hutch get some minutes. We feel very confident about our goaltending situation moving forward with those two.”
The 23-year old from Mimico, ON has played just over 75 minutes over his three-year career. Those minutes equate to one game and one quarter of game play, but his stats are promising with a 5.68 goals-against average and an .863 save percentage. While it’s difficult to figure how those numbers would look playing full 60-minute games, they certainly paint the picture of a goalie who will be ready when called upon.
“I’ve always wanted to be in Toronto and the fact that Jamie and the staff are giving me the opportunity to do that for another year is a real honour,” said Hutchcraft.
So just what is the life of a being a backup goalie in the NLL and what are the things you’re getting ready and focusing on before and during the game?
“It all starts with the hat. I have three to four hats in my stall at practice and then I pick the lucky one and take it to the arena,” explained Hutchcraft. “Before the game, I walk down to the bench, put the hat in the water bottle holder and drink a yellow Gatorade. It’s always yellow, I just love yellow Gatorade.
“During the game, since I’m working one of the doors, I just have to focus on making sure we don’t get caught for too many men so Matty (Sawyer) won’t yell at me. I also have to look after the sticks for our faceoff guys, either Mitch Gustavsen or Brad Kri. I have to make sure I have the right stick ready at all times.”
While playing the understudy to one of the NLL’s top netminders, Hutchcraft has developed a great relationship with his mentor.
“Practicing with Rosey all the time and looking at what he’s done is pretty incredible,” said Hutchraft. “We have also become such close friends off the floor, he’s helped me so much to get to where I am professionally.”
Stay tuned to the Rock’s social media channels and torontorock.com as more signings are announced throughout the summer months.
The next major date on the NLL’s summer calendar is the opening of the free agent signing period on Aug. 1.
2020-21 Toronto Rock Season Memberships are on sale now! For more information or to purchase, please visit torontorock.com.