Brandon Saigeon, 21, signed an American Hockey League contract with the Colorado Eagles earlier this summer and is beginning his first professional season in 2019-20. The Grimsby, Ontario, native was a fifth-round draft pick (No. 140 overall) of the Colorado Avalanche in 2018.
After spending the previous four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Saigeon was traded to the Oshawa Generals midway through the 2018-19 campaign. He played 68 games between the two teams last year and recorded a total of 92 points (37 goals, 55 assists) over the course of the season. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound center's draft year was particularly notable as he recorded 70 points (35 goals, 35 assists) in the regular season before posting 25 points (18 goals, seven assists) in the playoffs en route to an OHL championship.
Saigeon is at his second Avalanche training camp and was part of the squad that competed at the 2019 Anaheim Rookie Faceoff earlier this month. He recently sat down with ColoradoAvalanche.com to discuss his career in the OHL and the upcoming season.
This will be your first year playing pro hockey, what are your goals and expectations for this season?
"Just have a good first impression with all of my teammates with the Eagles and the coaching staff and whatnot. We obviously want to win, so that's going to be the goal from the get-go. You know, it's been a long summer training and we've been working hard so I'm really excited to get things going and hopefully be a key contributor to that team."
What would you say was the highlight of your career in the OHL?
"I would say winning the championship in 2018. That was a special year, and we had a lot of special guys in that room. A lot of guys I learned from, and a lot of leaders for sure. Yeah, that was probably the highlight, for sure."
What was it like to be traded to the Oshawa Generals last season?
"It was a bittersweet ending. I had a lot of good memories in Hamilton being there for like three and a half years, winning a championship and whatnot. I had a lot of good friends there, but I was really excited going to Oshawa. They had a good team, and I made a lot of good new friends."
Was it tough to leave your teammates in Hamilton?
"Yeah it was tough leaving, for sure. But obviously Oshawa is a top, first-class organization also so that made the transition easier."
Video: Saigeon before heading to the Anaheim Rookie Faceoff
Do you have any pregame routines?
"I tape my stick, and depending on the night I might change my laces and just get a fresh pair. I'll have a coffee and just relax, get a little stretch and rollout. Then once the game gets closer, I'll start getting a little more quiet and just a little more focused."
How did you start playing hockey?
"I would say from my dad. He played hockey, and we had a tennis court in the backyard because he was a tennis player, and he ended up taking the net out and just freezing it over so it would turn into a hockey rink. It's kind of like your typical Southern Ontario kid dreaming of playing in the NHL."
How would you describe your playing style?
"I would say I'm a versatile, two-way forward who can put the puck in the net and make plays. I take pride in being a big game player, and when the game is on the line, you know really working together with the teammates to get the job done."
If you weren't playing hockey, what would you want to do as a career?
"I actually really like tennis, so maybe I would pursue a tennis scholarship and maybe try to turn pro there. I would say I would be another athlete. My house is full of athletes, so I think I was meant to be an athlete."
Is there an app on your phone that you can't live without?
"Oh man, I would say three: Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. Probably those three."