I grew up in South Carolina and have been a fan of the South Carolina Stingrays since its inception in 1993. I’ve seen many great players get their start on Charleston’s ice, including a young Braden Holtby.
Holtby’s stint in South Carolina was short, winning seven out of the twelve games he played. He split that season with the AHL affiliate Hersey Bears, but did represent the Stingrays in that season’s ECHL All-Star game. He really showed out, earning the Outstanding Goaltender award and stopping six out of the seven shooters in the goaltender competition.
I had the chance to watch him play in four out of the twelve games he played in South Carolina. It was clear to see he was special. I lost my mind as I watched the Capitals take on the Boston Bruins on November 5th 2010 when he replaced Michal Neuvirth, also a fellow former Stingray, in the last ten minutes of the game. That’s something I will never forget. The game was tied at three. He made four incredible stops and the Capitals won the game, 5-3.
Special is the only word I can use to really describe Holtby. From the very beginning, I had high hopes for him. I can’t wait to see what he does this season.
By Kristina Stutts