ECHL: Walleye’s McCourt Leaving it All on The Ice

Hector Urica/InsideTheRink

Riley McCourt, defenseman for the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL, lets it be known when he is on the ice. He leaves it all on the ice player and never stops talking. He is extremely talented and shows up in all three zones. Forward Brandon Hawkins leads the team in points, but McCourt is a leader who is the heart and soul of the 2023-24 Walleye roster.

Walleye’s McCourt fit for the Toledo lineup

McCourt brings a tremendous vibe to the team, and he is the most valuable player on the defensive side of the puck. This season, he has greatly improved in all areas of his game, and it shows when he is on the ice. He is not the fastest player on the team, but he makes up for it with his skill set, which makes him successful. he does everything well and makes his teammates better through his work ethic.

McCourt is a native of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, and has stood out this season in several individual categories. In 42 games this season, he has three goals and 24 assists for 27 points, 104 penalty minutes, and is a +12. His 27 points lead all Walleye defensemen, and his 104 penalty minutes lead the team.

Before coming to Toledo, he would play in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the Hamilton Bulldogs and Flint Firebirds, totaling 30 goals and 87 assists for 117 points and 114 penalty minutes in 175 games. He then would begin his pro career in the ECHL, playing for the Wichita Thunder and Newfoundland Growlers, but also played for the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Colorado Eagles and Toronto Marlies during that time. He would record eight assists and 14 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games between Toledo and Newfoundland.

McCourt plays an in-your-face style of hockey while constantly getting the opposition off their game with trash-talking, resulting in penalties for the other team. He does this better than any other player on the team but is also solid on all areas of the ice. He is an underrated part of Walleye’s success, showing up every game and doing his job to perfection. One should not be surprised to see him either wearing a letter on his jersey next season or a full-time AHL player.

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