Image credit: Arizona State University Sun Devils.
With the announcement that Bonnyvlle-native Brinson Pasichnuk is one of the nominees for the Hobey Baker Award, Lakeland Connect caught with the Arizona State University senior about what it means to him and the support he’s received along the way.
What does this nomination mean to you Brinson?
“It’s honestly been a whirlwind of a week for sure. It’s crazy think about. When you’re in juniors, you know, you’re just dreaming about going to Division I school and when you get to school, you’re playing against these guys that are being nominated for this award, and few of them that have won in the past are just doing incredible and in the NHL right now. It’s pretty surreal to think about it like that – that you’re up for such a prestigious award. But you know, I’m grateful. God is so good that he’s given me this opportunity. I can’t thank the Town of Bonnyville enough. I mean, the amount of support I’ve got over the past week is actually crazy. How many people have reached out and how many people are voting. It’s been really cool so far.”
I was going to ask you about people you may have never heard from that might have gotten a hold of you or just the flood of messages you’ve gotten over the past week.
“Honestly, the last few days my phone’s been blowing up and I’ve been getting a lot of Facebook notifications. I’m honestly seeing some people share the page that I have never even talked to. So just really cool things like that, it just shows you just the incredible support that Bonnyville gives. Yeah, I’m thankful and it’s cool. I’m so excited to be on the show just being able to show Town of Bonnyville that I love you guys and I’m so grateful.”
As Canadian hockey fans, we might not know as much about the Hobey Baker Award, so moving down to the US and starting to play NCAA hockey, was that eye-opening to hear about the prestige related with his award?
“It definitely was eye-opening. I don’t know if many Canadians know how big college hockey is in the States – it’s crazy. You think about North Dakota, they have a 12,000 seat arena and I think they’ve sold it out every single time for years for every game, so just things like that. I mean, even at our rink,I know our rink isn’t the biggest but we sell out every single night. It just shows you how much the game is growing and how much people really do love hockey not only in Canada, but they love it in the States too. So yeah, it’s crazy. You just see some of the players that have been nominated and won this award like Cale Makar, he won it last year. Look what he’s doing in the NHL this year. It’s crazy to see. It’s pretty prestigious and I’m thankful. We’ll see what happens.”
Speaking of the game growing, how about at your school and your program that has been on an upward trajectory over the past few years and now one of the top-ranked team.
“It’s been a fun ride for sure. When I got here, my freshman year, four years ago, there’s some people that heard that we were getting a Division I program and when you’re in class and you tell people you’re on the hockey team, and half of them honestly didn’t even know we had a hockey team at ASU. You’ll go walk around campus this year and people see your backpacks and stuff and they’ll stop and talk and ask you about the season. You can just see how big it’s getting here. How much it’s growing. It’s crazy to see what our team has done in the last four years here. Last year making the tournament, you know, everyone was against us in the college hockey world. We didn’t get too much support. But I think we just showed everyone, what can truly happen on a team when you have the right group of guys that become a brotherhood and a family and when you’re playing for each other, cool things can happen just like last year and hopefully this year. You’re seeing that this year as well. I think we’re ranked 11th in the country right now.”
Your former Pontiac teammate Bobby McMann was also nominated for this award, have you talked with him much?
“No, I haven’t talked with him much lately. My grandma and his mom are really close too and I know they’ve been talking back and forth. But Bobby is a heckuva player. One of the best skaters I’ve ever seen. He definitely deserves to be nominated. He’ll most likely have a very good professional career.
You can go to hobeybaker.com/votes to vote for Brinson, I’m sure you’d be very appreciative?
“I very much appreciate it. There are three rounds in this award, and the first round is strictly fan-based. So the fans get to pretty much decide who moves on to the next round, which is the top 10. That’s why I appreciate the support for this award and everything like that but I also just really appreciate the support in general. I’m just seeing how many people are reaching out and not just wanting to talk about the award but just wanting to talk about the season and life. It’s so cool. Like I said, I can’t tell you guys how much that means to me.”