Maple Ridge’s Brad Hunt hasn’t wasted any time getting acclimated to pro hockey, and his performance Thursday night against the Abbotsford Heat shows there is more in store for the young blueliner.
After four years of NCAA Division 1 hockey with Minnesota’s Bemidji State Beavers that saw him score 112 points in 150 games, the five-foot-nine Hunt opted to sign an amateur tryout contract with the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.
Thursday night, Hunt, a former Ridge Meadows Flame, had the opportunity to play in front of a hometown crowd, albeit in an away game, as the Wolves took on the Abbotsford Heat at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, and he made the most of the opportunity.
Hunt scored his first pro hockey goal to tie the game for the Wolves, and picked up an assist for good measure. The Wolves went on to win in the shootout 5-4.
“It’s just good to get the first one out of the way, especially at home in front of my family and friends,” said Hunt. “There were probably pretty close to 40 [in the stands], I guess – family and friends, uncles and aunts. It was pretty cool to get it in front of them.”
The 23-year-old Hunt leaves behind an illustrious collegiate career during which he was named the Collegiate Hockey Association’s rookie of the year, and received numerous athletic and academic all-star honours.
Just eight games into his pro hockey career, Hunt has already amassed four points.
With seven games remaining in the regular season, Hunt says he is hoping to make an impression with the team and stay in the lineup.
The Wolves are currently on top of the AHL’s midwest division with a record of 38-25-6, and have five wins, two losses, and an overtime loss with Hunt in the lineup.
Hunt joins an ever-growing list of local AHL players, including Brett Sonne, Victor Bartley, and Patrick Wiercioch.