Hockey players dream of making the NHL a permanent playing destination. Players overcome obstacles all the time to reach their goals.
These obstacles vary from player to player, and some of those obstacles are steeper than others.
Blake Lizotte, forward for the Los Angeles Kings, had his dream come true last year. His obstacle? He is 5’7” and 172 lbs.
Lizotte, despite his size, grew on the Kings while still in college and impressed them enough for the Kings to sign him as an undrafted free agent. He came to training camp determined to win a spot on the opening night roster, which he did.
Lizotte is not going to lead the NHL or the Kings in scoring. He will, however, be a player who competes every night, brings blazing speed, an excellent work ethic and also is a defensive pest. Although he only has 3 points in 12 games he has been consistent in showing up every night and showcasing the talents that earned him a job in Los Angeles.
The NHL is no longer a hockey league for giants, if you can play then you can play. Lizotte follows in the footsteps of Johnny Gaudreau, Alex DeBrincat and other NHL superstars who are under 6’0” and producing in some fashion.
Lizotte has surpassed the agents and scouts who said he would never make it and proving the teams who passed on him wrong. He seems to fit right into the system of Todd McLellan, which is working your tail off and being defensively responsible.
Lizotte is fun to watch because he has a non-stop motor, creating chances for his teammates and always aware defensively. He has earned this spot through hard work and dedication, not 100 mph shots or 120 points. Not bad for an undrafted hockey player under 6’0”.
Featured Image: latimes.com