Brinson Pasichnuk’s whirlwind season is continuing as the local 18-year-old defenceman has been selected to play in the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Prospects Game.
“It is a pretty cool honour. It is going to be fun,” said Pasichnuk. “I am looking forward to the opportunity.”
The Bonnyville product is tearing up the AJHL this season notching 12 goals and 30 assists through 37 games with the Bonnyville Jr. Pontiacs to sit 15th in league scoring.
The accolades started in October when Pasichnuk received AJHL Player of the Month honours. His torrid play continued into November and caught the eye of the NHL and he was added to the NHL Central Scouting’s Player to Watch List. In December he was selected to play for Team Canada West at the World Jr. A Challenge and was a key piece of a squad that ultimately won gold.
While the attention and NHL interest might be distracting for some young hockey players, Pasichnuk seems to be taking it all in stride.
“With some kids (the attention would be distracting). Some kids would deviate a little bit. It is a tough thing to shoulder for a young kid, but not him,” said Rick Swan, head coach and GM of the Bonnyville Pontiacs.
“He is a quality kid. He has great leadership ability and that is all a reflection of his character, which is top drawer.”
After a few games back with his league club, Pasichnuk will be making the trek to Surrey, B.C. to take part in an annual showcase designed for scouts to get an up-close look at the top NHL prospects in the CJHL.
Pasichnuk is one of 40 players from across the 131 CJHL teams identified and selected by NHL Central Scouting to participate in the annual showcase.
The game pits Team West, consisting of players from the CJHL’s five western leagues (BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL, SIJHL) against Team East, made up of players from the CJHL’s five eastern leagues (NOJHL, OJHL, CCHL, QJHL, MHL).
Player selection for the CJHL Prospects Game is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting
“It is a great opportunity as every single NHL hockey team has a member in attendance,” said Pontiacs head coach and GM Rick Swan. “We know he is a great player and we expect him to really showcase his skills when he is playing against the best of his peers.”
Team West includes nine players from the BCHL, nine from the AJHL, one from the MJHL and one from the SJHL.
Joining Pasichnuk on the squad are division rivals Matthew Murray (Spruce Grove), Noah Bauld (Lloydminster) and Troy Van Tetering (Lloydminster).
The game is scheduled for Jan. 26 in Surrey, B.C.