When The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada asked Colton Stothers for his wish, there was no doubt on what the answer would include: hockey.
For starters, the 14-year-old centre with the Bantam AA Toronto Royals, has been on skates since age four. Not long after that first whirl on the ice, he became enthralled by the game with help from his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I scored my first goal when I was four,” said Colton when asked about his earliest memories of playing hockey. “I think I fell in love with the game when I was five, playing as a Timbit between periods at my first Leafs game.”
Again, choosing a hockey-related wish was a no-brainer for Colton, who was born with primary ciliary dyskinesia, a chronic respiratory disorder. The question then became – what in the hockey world do we do?
Enter the 2017 NHL All-Star Game – a star-studded affair in Los Angeles that also included a huge celebration for the League’s centennial year.
“It was the perfect wish,” said Colton’s mom, Marlene. “Throw in the past NHL stars with the present and you have this very special centennial year.”
The whirlwind LA experience included a tour of both dressing rooms and a meet-and-greet with players. Colton even got to chat with P.K. Subban, who attended
the same high school as he does (Runnymede Collegiate Institute) during his GTHL days. The pair also share the same birthday, May 13.
As cool as it was to meet Subban, that wasn’t even the peak for Colton.
“Meeting Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby and seeing Auston Matthews again were definitely highlights.”
That’s right, “seeing Auston Matthews again.” The two had met the week before at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. What’s better? Auston remembered Colton’s name.
Amid all the Hollywood moments, Colton made a point of getting his Royals team picture signed by the all-stars so he could give a copy to each of his teammates.
Just like Colton’s wish choice, the act of sharing the experience with his teammates came as no surprise from a kid whose mantra is to reach for your dreams, regardless of any disability.
“He’s always willing to share the limelight,” said Colton’s father, Rick. “He brings such a positive and encouraging attitude.”