Evan Sarthou was 7 years old when he first saw Tri-City Americans goaltender Carey Price play.
Price was in net against the Seattle Thunderbirds at KeyArena, and it didn't take long for the budding goalie to realize what he wanted to do.
"Evan fell in love with Carey Price and has wanted to be a Tri-City American ever since," John Sarthou said of his son.
Sarthou got his wish in May when the Americans drafted him the third round of the Western Hockey League bantam draft. Saturday night, the 15-year-old made it official, signing a standard WHL player's contract.
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"It's nice to get it out of the way," Sarthou said. "It's great to be joining their organization. The people here in the Tri-Cities have been great; they support the team. They have great coaches and a great goalie coach (Lyle Mast). That made the decision easy for me."
And following in Price's skates is a bonus, as well.
"When I first saw Carey play, my goalie coach at the time was working with Carey and he got me watching him. I liked the style he played. It's exciting to be in that same crease and hopefully fill his shoes."
John and Jill Sarthou, who have been Seattle Thunderbirds season ticket holders for years, supported their son's decision.
"We had a good idea what kind of program they had, and we affirmed what we thought with our own eyes," John Sarthou said. "What we see from the fringe, is they put out competitive teams, and we took that into consideration."
As well as the scholarship program offered by the WHL.
"You have to take advantage of that," John Sarthou said. "Not all the players do, but (the WHL) is his dream. You take advantage of the situation and see how it plays out."
A native of Black Diamond, a suburb of Kent, the 6-foot, 175-pound Sarthou played for the L.A. Selects bantam AAA team last season, posting a 2.33 goals against average and a .910 save percentage over 47 games.
Sunday in the annual Blue-White game at Toyota Center, Sarthou led the White team to a 5-2 victory, stopping all 15 shots he face in the first half of the game.
Sarthou will participate in main camp this week and remain with the team through the Everett Tournament.
"It is really exciting to have that opportunity to play with the big guys and have that competition," Sarthou said. "To face their shots and experience the speed of the game will be good for my development."
Sarthou will play for the L.A. Jr. Kings U-16 team this season, and he hopes to crack the Americans lineup next year.
His parents are ready to make the transition from Thunderbirds fans to the Americans.
"When they play in Kent, we will wear our Americans jerseys and cheer for them," John Sarthou said.
Notes: Tyler Mrkonjic of St. Albert, Alberta, won the rookie fitness test, while defenseman Justin Hamonic came out on top of the veterans fitness testing. ... The main camp continues at 9 a.m. today with practice sessions, followed by power skating and goaltender sessions. There will be a team scrimmage at 7 p.m. at Toyota Center.