By RYAN MCCRACKEN on September 14, 2019.
Aidan Brook is hoping one day he can keep the family tradition alive.
While 16-year-old defenceman was released from the Medicine Hat Tigers earlier this week, if and when he does return for a spot on the roster, Brook will help fulfill an incredibly rare piece of family history.Â
“My dad (Dwayne) played here before, so it was kind of cool when I heard I got traded to Medicine Hat,” said Brook, adding it doesn’t stop there. “My brother (Jakob) plays in (Prince Albert) and my dad played in P.A. too, so now if I play in Medicine Hat we’ve both played with the same team as my dad. That would be pretty cool.”
Brook was drafted to the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2018 at 76th overall before getting traded to Medicine Hat along with a pair of picks in exchange for Henrik Rybinski at the January trade deadline. Dwayne played 64 games for the Tigers over three seasons in the late ’80s, as well as 35 games for the Raiders and five for the Saskatoon Blades in 1989-90. Brook’s oldest brother, Josh, currently competes for the Moose Jaw Warriors, however a trade to the Blades would put one son on all three teams Dwayne played for over his 104-game WHL career.
Brook says he spent his childhood learning from the older males in his family, and watching 20-year-old Josh and 17-year-old Jakob go through the process of securing a full-time spot in the WHL has helped prepare him to make the jump.Â
“I just see all the hard work they put into everything they do,” said Brook, whose brother Josh was drafted to the Montreal Canadiens at 56th overall in 2017. “I just watch them to see what I’ve got to do. They’ve obviously done enough to get there, so I’ve just got to learn off what they do. They just give me little pointers here and there, more Josh because he’s a defenceman.
“It’s fun, you get to see all your older brothers and watch them play, and see a lot of Dub rinks.”
Tigers head coach and general manager Willie Desjardins says Brook showed potential in a number of areas this pre-season, from his imposing 6-foot-3, 178-pound frame to a strong work ethic on the ice.
“He’s from a good hockey family, he’s a big guy, he has a little bit of a mean streak and I think he understands the game well,” said Desjardins. “I liked how hard he competed in the game he played in Irvine.”
While Brook has since returned to Rink Hockey Academy for the upcoming midget season, he said prior to his departure that he made the most of every minute with the Tigers through pre-season and took note of what it will take to cement his place on the roster when he returns.
“It’s been a good experience, getting a lot of good skates in and seeing what it takes to jump up,” said Brook, who netted 26 points in 36 games with Rink’s elite 15s last year. “Seeing what all the guys are like, how big they are, how strong they are, where I need to be and where I need to get.”