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Claimed: Norris Stopko Bio [1/2]


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Player Information
Full Name: Norris Stopko
Position: G
Jersey Number: 1
Height (inches): 6'8"
Weight (lbs.): 220 lbs 
Birthplace: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada



Norris was born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada to Mike and Dianne Stopko. Norris' father Mike works in the tire industry, owning a tire shop in Red Deer and his mother Dianne a child care worker. Norris grew up in a middle class family and experienced many sports as a child. Hockey may not have been his first love but his father insisted he play his old position of goaltender and it grew on the young man thankfully for the Victory Hockey League.
By the time Norris was set to enter the Western Hockey League (WHL) entry draft he was a well known superstar in the making. He wound up going first overall in the draft to the Calgary Hitmen who wound up with an abysmal showing from their goalies the previous season resulting in just 20 wins on the season. 
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Stopko playing the prankster in a game as an early teen
Western Hockey League
Norris' first WHL season was played mostly as a back up gaining a 2-3 record with the lowly Calgary hitmen. Season two though brought a starting gig with the team and despite only gaining twenty-five wins it was the first wining season by a Hitmen goaltender in the past four seasons so the team was in bad shape but things were looking up.
Come season three Stopko put on a show going 48-9 on the season and taking the Hitmen deep into the playoffs before finally losing out to their Alberta rival and eventual champions, the Edmonton Oil Kings. It was an impressive season and despite it being his draft year and looking like a promising prospect Stopko decided to quit playing hockey and retire before it all really got started baffling all NHL General Managers. Despite all the shenanigans Stopko was drafted in the third round by the Edmonton Oilers.
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Stopko in net for the Calgary Hitmen in his third Western Hockey League season
Stopko Never did play an NHL game but he was contacted a year later by his former agent and now Calgary Wranglers GM in the VHL, Bushito Von Grumpy Bear. It was an opportunity Stopko wanted and he took the spot through some automatic draft circumvention rule. Stopko has now played two seasons on the Wrangles and despite the first seasons outcome being one of the worst ever seasons in VHL history the Wranglers rebounded nicely in his second season and took third last. It looks like the young goalie is really improving rapidly and could be a big reason we may see Calgary in the playoffs next season.
Stopko managed to bring in former Calgary Hitmen teammate Jasper Canmore to the Wranglers as well which bodes very well as the two have really put in some major practice hours this season and looked very poised to be a major force in the league very soon as they made major strides this past season with Canmore sitting eighth in rookie scoring at the half way point and finishing the season second overall which has him in a good place for the rookie of the year vote, especially considering the top scorer was only two points ahead of him with a far better supporting cast around him. 
Player Review
Rebound Control: If Stopko does one thing right it's that he has control over the puck. Stopko has let loose the least amount of rebounds in the history of the Victory Hockey League Minors. It's something of a pride thing with Stopko although the skill is there and if he can keep these pucks under wraps and be this big in the net I'm sure he'll have success.
Size: At six foot eight and two hundred and twenty pounds, Stopko is one of the largest goaltenders to ever play in the Victory Hockey League. He can't skate, he can't score but man does he fill out a net. Not the man you want to mess with at this size. We may even see some fights in this youngsters future. 
Work Ethic: Sleep, practice, gym, sleep, practice, gym is all this guy ever does. Stopko wants to take home trophies and break records. The only way he knows how, to just plain outwork his competition. At the rate this kid is improving he'll be a starter in the pro's very soon. It's Stopko' lead by example attitude that has been ingrained in the young man since childhood that keep him working harder than anyone else on any team he has ever played for.

Penalty Shot: Stopko has a very poor penalty shot record and it is an attribute he has not even seemed to want to work on. I am sure that as his pro career improves he can also improve this record but it doesn't seem to be something that will take a while and maybe something the young goaltender learns as he goes.

Discipline: A goalie is not generally someone you associate with fighting and taking penalties but Stopko has proven to love the Ron Hextall way. Hacking, slashing and fighting his way to the big leagues is something the young goaltender hasn't just done to make his way it is something he has embraced. It looks like Stopko may be bringing this part of his game to the pro league.
Skating: A goalie isn't generally known for being the fastest skater on the ice but at the same time most can make it across their crease. Stopko has a very hard time with his skating and it shows. The young star vows to work very hard to get this issue resolved but as it stands right now he does look horrible. 

Favorite Player: Cal G
Least Favorite Player: Vernon Von Axelberry
Artist/Band: Anything that can get me pumped up for a workout.
Food: Pho
Favorite Beer: Rolling Rock
Other Sports: NFL Football


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  • DollarAndADream changed the title to Claimed: Norris Stopko Bio [1/2]

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