Former Jr A Pontiac invited to NHL Development Camp
Photographs provided by of Game Ready Photography.
“I’m excited,” beams former Bonnyville Jr A Pontiac, Brinson Pasichnuk as he speaks of being invited to the Montreal Canadiens Development Camp. The 19 year old defenseman flies out Thursday to attend camp and get a chance to play for the Habs. The opportunity means a little something else for the Pasichnuk’s, explains Brinson.
“It’s pretty special because it’s always been my dad’s favourite team,” Brinson smiles that his dad near cried when he heard the news, “when I told him I committed to their camp he almost broke down in tears.” Following his final season with the Pontiacs, 2015-16, Brinson was invited to the Minnesota Wild’s Rookie Camp. He did not get the call up, but gain a lot of knowledge from the experience.
Brinson recalls cheering along side his dad for a local player, Fishing Lake’s Sheldon Souray, during his time as a Canadien. “I absolutely loved him. He had the hardest shot I’ve ever seen, in my life. I’ve always looked up to him.” An Oilers fan at heart, Brinson says when Souray was traded to the Oilers it was something else, “I’ve always looked up to him.”
The Pontiacs development
“My time with the Pontiacs was unbelievable,” as Brinson explains, the Jr A club shaped him into an athlete, “when I came here, I had a lot of bad habits. Rick (Swan) and Larry (Draper) took those bad habits out of me and that’s what I truly believe got me to the next level and Arizona State. They continue to help me get to my dream of playing in the NHL; I can’t thank them enough.” Brinson was picked up by the Arizona State SunDevils and played out his first year of NCAA hockey this past season; along side his brother, former Pontiac Captain, Steen Pasichnuk.
On the Rookie Camp
“I’ve always been a hard worker,” Brinson says his skating and work ethic are going to be his strengths at getting noticed at rookie camp, “whether it’s practice, a game, or a workout, I’m always trying to work my tail off and be the hardest worker there. That’s what I’m going to bring and I think it’ll be impressive.”
Brinson says he doesn’t expect to being buying a home in Montreal right away, “out of development camp, contracts usually don’t happen. With the NCAA rules, NCAA players can only go to their development camp in the summer, you’re not allowed to go to their fall camps.” Brinson hopes to make an impression, “I’m hoping to show them, they really should’ve drafted me.” The young player smiles at the “opportunity to prove to everyone and show everyone that I’m right there with everybody else.”
Going off of last year’s itinerary, Brinson expects to be skating each morning at 10:00 am, followed by a workout/dry land training and an afternoon scrimmage. “After that you’ll usually do some team building,” Brinson says activities typically range from cooking classes or attending a baseball game, “it all depends on the camp.”
The college life
“My year at Arizona State was unbelievable, I’m already looking forward to going back,” Brinson recorded 13 points (7 Goals, 6 Assists) with the SunDevils in his rookie season, “I learned a lot, not just about hockey, but about life.” Brinson smiles that college was not just about textbooks and hockey. “I had to call mom and dad about money,” a typical freshman move, laughs Brinson.
“That was always our dream to get an NCAA scholarship, so when it happened we were just so happy.” Brinson will be around Bonnyville for the summer; if you’re lucky, spot the athletic working out and training at the Centennial Centre.