Grand Forks – Team Switzerland won a 5-4 game in OT. I loved the passion from both squads but two guys really shined.
One defenseman who played on the top pairing showed a lot of promise.
“I can play either side,” said Riva. “My best side is the right side in the defensive zone. I’m a lefty but I prefer that. I think that way first.
“We have to get faster every game. For us being the older team we have to skate faster and faster every game.”
When asked if his team rise to the occasion against some of the other highly ranked teams? He quickly replied “Yes. And then he talked about how he plays in tight games and overtime situations.
“We have to play easy. Play the system and then we don’t have the mistakes.”
He thinks the game quickly, especially in the offensive zone.
“I’m an offensive defenseman. I also block shots,” he smiled.
He knows what teams are looking for in order to get drafted. He also is a player worth watching as this U-18 tournament rolls on.
Here’s my early thoughts on him:
Elia Riva – 5-10, 165 – D – He’s a 2016 NHL Draft Eligible player and he has a lot of tools in his toolbox. I liked his skating His defensive zone awareness and his offensive flair.