By Buddy Pinkston
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
DULUTH, Ga. – Brad Schell respects his elders, meaning nearly everybody else in the ECHL.
But he doesn’t fear them.
The Gladiators forward came into the league this season believing age doesn’t matter. A pro is a pro.
“Sure, I look up to the older guys,” said Schell, one of the league’s most productive rookie scorers. “But we’re all professionals. I might be younger, but I’m going to battle hard against everyone in the league, no matter how much experience they have. It’s our job.”
Schell, 20, accepts that there’s plenty he can learn from veteran teammates such as Cam Brown and Rick Emmett, with 26 pro seasons between them.
“We treat each other like professionals,” Schell said. “They might say things that you don’t want to hear sometimes, but I know they’re trying to help me get to the level where I want to be.”
While displaying the natural offensive talent that earned him a Thrashers contract in 2004, the Scott, Saskatchewan, native is being pushed to develop his all-around game.
“He has great skill, great vision, great hands, and he’s a good skater,” Gladiators coach Jeff Pyle said. “If he has one weakness, it’s intensity. That will come as he gets older, but only if he works as hard as he can at it.”