Former Warrior happy for "fresh start" in Prince George
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Former Moose Jaw Warrior Todd Fiddler scores against the Brandon Wheat Kings earlier this season.
After Todd Fiddler played his final game for the Moose Jaw Warriors in October he wasn't sure he would ever play in the WHL again — to say nothing of Mosaic Place.
Friday Fiddler returns to Moose Jaw as one of the WHL's hottest scorers. The 20-year-old has 29 goals in 33 games since making his debut with the Prince George Cougars on Nov. 8.
"It's going great. It's a fresh start and I'm keeping a positive attitude," said Fiddler. "I'm enjoying it."
It didn't take Fiddler long to find chemistry quickly with his new teammates. After being pointless and a minus-four in his first two games with the Cougars, he scored three goals and had five points in his third game. He has had five five-point nights this season and he has had five hat tricks with Prince George.
"Every team has high top-end skill, obviously, but it just seemed like me and Troy Bourke played together for a bit and then with Klarc Wilson it just seemed like we clicked right away," said Fiddler of his Cougars linemates. "We've just been rolling, really. It's the same for any player: once you have confidence, it just happens for you."
His time in Moose Jaw was short and disappointing for both he and the Warriors. He had two goals and 10 points in 14 games with the Warriors and was a minus-eight. Those numbers are skewed a little when you consider that five of his 10 points came in one game. He had two assists in the final eight games he played in Moose Jaw and was healthy scratched in two of the final three games he was on the Warriors roster. The morning after being scratched a second time he and Warriors management met. It was evident things weren't working and he went home to prepare for the next chapter in his career.
Initially it was believed that Fiddler was hoping to play Junior A hockey for the rest of his 20-year-old season, instead the Warriors were able to trade him to Prince George for a fifth round pick in the 2015 draft. The Warriors acquired Fiddler from Spokane for a third round selection in the 2014 bantam draft in May.
"I had mixed emotions there for a bit, but I made the right choice obviously," said Fiddler when asked about going to play Junior A. "I went in with a positive attitude and tried to work hard."
He scored 42 goals and 77 points in 70 games a year ago in Spokane and now has 29 goals and 55 points in 33 games in Prince George. So what went wrong in Moose Jaw?
"I don't really have anything to say about that, honestly," said Fiddler. "Things just didn't work out I guess."
When discussing Fiddler's departure at the end of October, Warriors general manager Alan Millar said Fiddler "just didn’t seem to engage in the opportunity here in Moose Jaw."
"That's their opinion, not mine," said Fiddler when asked about whether he wanted to be in Moose Jaw. "I loved every one of the guys. I got to know them pretty well and they were all good buds of mine. They're still probably good buds of mine. If I talk to them we'll have a good conversation. I don't know. I guess it just didn't work out."
When Fiddler made his Cougars debut they were 17th in league scoring. They currently sit ninth. Despite contributing a lot of goals to the team, the Cougars record has actually dipped slightly since Fiddler come on board.
They are trying to grab as many points as possible from their current East Division swing as they sit eight points behind Tri-City in the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Fiddler wants to finish his career by making it to the post-season and to do that he knows he has to contribute every night.
He has been held pointless in eight of his 33 games with the Cougars which is pretty remarkable when you consider how much he is producing when he does hit the scoresheet. With the Cougars he is plus-15 in games where he gets a point and a minus-10 in the games he hasn't scored.
"Consistency is what I'm really working on right now," said Fiddler.