Growing up, the rink was my second home. I was extremely fortunate to have a love of hockey ingrained in me from day one, thanks to my father’s 21-year NHL journey. I even made my debut at the arena before I took my first steps, as a mini spectator at my dad’s games. I remember being at the rink almost every day, amazed at what I saw, knowing that one day I wanted to be just like my father.
I started lacing up my own skates when I was 4 years old and then began playing organized hockey a few years later. My journey as a goalie kicked off once I joined a travel team and I haven’t looked back since. I played throughout New Jersey from Mite to Bantam, all with one team. Then at 14, I packed my bags and ventured off to chase my hockey dreams at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a prestigious prep school nestled in Minnesota. This path eventually led me to the NHL draft, where I was selected by none other than the New Jersey Devils (hockey really can be poetic sometimes), followed by 3 years of junior hockey, and a final 4 years of Canadian University Hockey at the University of Ottawa.
Looking back on it now, if I had one piece of advice to share with young players, it would be to soak it all in, because my career went by in a flash. I was always so focused on what the next big opportunity could be that I didn’t fully appreciate what was right in front of me, that I was doing what I loved every single day. These are the moments that you will never get back – the camaraderie, the joy of the game, the laughter with teammates. Balancing ambition and drive to make it to the next level, with an appreciation for the journey and gratitude for the experiences you are granted isn’t easy, but I promise it’s worth it.
My growth was not just shaped by the game but also by the profound bonds forged with teammates and the responsibilities that came with them. As you start playing at a higher level, building relationships and trust is crucial for the team to be successful. Strangely, I find this wasn’t always emphasized throughout minor hockey. Looking back, I wish I had been more aware of the friendships I was forming, some of which could have blossomed into lifelong relationships had I given them the chance.
Yet, I wouldn’t trade my hockey career for anything. It brought me into contact with extraordinary people, some of whom will remain in my life long after I hang up my skates. This beautiful game continues to infuse meaning into my life, now more than ever, as I possess the perspective to truly appreciate it.
Today, the wisdom I’ve gained from coaches and the bonds shared with exceptional teammates has culminated in the creation of Brodeur Hockey School. As a co-owner, I am incredibly proud that we have built a school that is dedicated to nurturing the growth of both players and goalies. It is an opportunity for me to pass on my acquired knowledge to the next generation, to remind them to always be grateful that they get to play this incredible game and to prepare them for life’s challenges on and off the ice.
Getting ready for camps and hearing the sound of skates on the ice bring back memories of some of the best moments in my life.
I am so fortunate to have seamlessly transitioned from a hockey career to running a successful business that keeps me connected to the sport. Hockey has always been an integral part of my identity, and like many others who have been blessed to play the game, I know it always will be. A two-year hiatus from the rink left my yearning, and I’m grateful to have reintegrated it into my daily routine. Getting ready for camps and hearing the sound of skates on the ice bring back memories of some of the best moments in my life. Guiding young athletes through practice constantly brings a smile to my face – reminding me why I fell in love with the sport in the first place.
To learn more about Brodeur Hockey school, visit their website here