Langley’s Alex Cotton finally got back on the ice this week, taking part in a socially-distant skate with a few other WHL players.
During his enforced layoff due to a COVID-19 inspired shutdown, Cotton, a 2001-born right-handed defenceman who plays on the Lethbridge Hurricanes WHL team, has been using the home gym at his family’s Milner home to keep in shape.
He’s also been fielding a lot of calls from NHL teams who have noticed the impressive stats Cotton racked up this season.
Cotton finished the year with the Lethbridge club, leading all WHL defencemen in scoring and concluding the season with 20 goals and 47 assists for a total of 67 points in 63 games.
“Almost every [NHL] team” has reached out, Cotton estimated.
“My agent, we talk every day.”
At 6’2” and 183lbs. Cotton has done some growing since he was initially signed by the Hurricanes as a 5’11” 150 lb. defenceman from the Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep, selected in the fifth round draft (99th overall) in 2016.
In April, he was named to the WHL Eastern Conference Second All-Star Team.
Cotton is currently ranked 79th on the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
After he was passed over in his first year of eligibility for the NHL Draft last year, Cotton devoted the time between seasons to an intense schedule of two workouts a day plus one skate.
It led to a great season, with the 18-year-old outperforming every other defencemen.
READ MORE: WHL cancels playoffs
But then, in March, the WHL Board of Governors announced the remaining 54 games on the 2019-20 WHL Regular Season schedule would be cancelled and not played because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need prevent its spread by avoiding large gatherings.
A few days later, the WHL playoffs and championships were also cancelled.
“It sucks obviously, the way it ended,” Cotton commented.
A self-described optimist, Cotton remains confident of a positive outcome.
“It know it will work out,” he told the Langley Advance Times.
“Everything happens for a reason.”
His proud brother Brighton MacDonald is not surprised by the NHL interest, noting Cooton is a rare type of defensive player who is good on offence as well.
“Those types of defencemen are hard to come by,” MacDonald observed.
“We all knew he had that offensive talent.”