By David Fleet
Carson Riddle described his first year in the North American Hockey League as fast, physical and tough.
“You get the hang of it after a few games,” said Riddle, 18. “The speed is amazing and you just have to keep on training even after the season ends.”
Riddle of Ortonville and 2019 Brandon High School graduate was drafted by the Austin Bruins of the North American Hockey League last year.
The NAHL is one of the top junior league teams in the United States and consists of 24 teams, playing a 60 game schedule from mid September to April.
The Bruins finished the regular season 32-22 and qualified for the playoffs where they were defeated by the Aberdeen Wings in the first round 3-1. The Wings went on to win the 2019 Robertson Cup Championship.
Riddle played center and left wing in 47 games for the Austin Bruins, a city southwest of Rochester, Minn.
“Many NHL teams come to the games,” said Riddle, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 165 pounds. “However none have contacted me so far.”
Riddle hopes to make an NHL roster someday and is ready for the challenge. “I’m on the summer I’m Eastside Elite—that include juniors, college, and NHL players. We skate year around. You have to keep training and training, working out is the key.”
In June Riddle returned home to graduate with his Brandon High School class after taking classes online.
At 7-years-old Riddle stepped on the ice. Since then he’s played for the Orchard Lake Pirates, Orchard Lake United, Belle Tire and Honeybaked. His Belle Tire team won three state championship titles out of the four years he played with them. His Honeybaked team won the state championship title in March 2017.
Following a two-three year stint in the NAHL, Riddle has committed to attend Western Michigan University and skate for the Broncos of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. This fall he will take college classes online and with a strong season could join the Broncos in the Fall of 2021.
Riddle live with a billet family in Austin. Billet families offer room and board to junior ice hockey players like Riddle, who leave home to join elite teams in other towns. Carson is the son of Mike and Marcy Riddle.