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FUTURE WATCH | Brad Hunt

by Ashley Docking / Edmonton Oilers

If you were to be stranded on a deserted island and were only allowed to bring one Oilers prospect with you, there is no doubt it would have to be Brad Hunt.

The 26-year-old defenceman of the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons would certainly will you home with his cheerful personality.

“I think it was in high school, this one motivational speaker came and talked about positivity. How you can just change somebody's day simply by going to say, ‘Hi,’ to him or her, and ask how he or she doing, even if you don't know who the person is,” said Hunt.

Photo by Steven Christy | Oklahoma City Barons.

And although it wasn’t an epiphany for the good-natured teen, it was definitely a lesson that helped shaped the kind of man he is today.

“I was always a happy and jolly kid before that, but it kind of put it into perspective. Like what it can do to somebody's day if you can simply asked, ‘How are you?’ Just being positive and not be negative towards them.”

So when I asked about a low point that stands out in his hockey career- to get a gauge on how Oilers free agent signing deals with adversity – his non-answer reply was no surprise.

“I don't really know what I would say my lowest point would be, that's tough to say,” Hunt said. “I just love coming to the rink and playing hockey so no matter what happens I always enjoy it.”

Part of that shake-it-off attitude is derived from his role as a community ambassador within the hockey world.

All players go through it. The feeding of the disadvantaged, the providing of equipment to kids and the going to local hospitals to spread some cheer around the holiday season.

“It makes you take a step back and just realize how fortunate you are and how lucky you are that you literally get to play a game for your job,” said Hunt.

“Our life is a game and you see these people that are suffering with their family in the hospital and around Christmas time… they don't get to go home. It just makes us feel so lucky to be able to go to the hockey rink in the morning and have fun with 20 buddies. It just puts everything into perspective, life is so hard for some.”

So even when down, you count your blessings to maintain positivity but, on the other end of the spectrum, Hunt certainly has some standout hockey memories that fuel his love of the game.

Photo by Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers

“Definitely going to the Frozen Four my first year of school with the Midji’s (Hunt played four years at Bemidji State University). That was a high moment for the team,” Hunt recalled. “We didn't win the Championship but we weren’t expected to go as far as we did.”

That season Hunt had 32 points through 37 regular season contests before advancing to the playoffs. The Midji’s won the CHA Tournament – where Hunt took home All-Team Honours— which gave them a bid to the Men’s Division I Tournament.

“Just seeing how the team came together and how I’ll remember those people forever (makes it a high point).”

Speaking of coming together, that’s exactly what the B.C native’s team in Oklahoma City is doing right now. With a record of 31-13-3-3, they sit tied atop the AHL standings with 68 points.

“It's like a big family,” Hunt said. “Everyone really likes each other and I think that really helps. Everyone enjoys going to the rink and being around each other.”

The challenge for a team that isn’t meeting too much resistance is to continue to set goals and not take for granted the fact that they’ve been successful to date.

“The guys in the dressing room are realizing that we haven't won anything yet. We're doing well, but the ultimate goal is to get to the playoffs. Then the goal after that is to go to the Calder cup finals,” said Hunt. “So I think everybody has the same mindset, everyone seems to be buying into what (the coaches) instilled in us.”

This season Hunt has 13 goals (a professional career high) and 34 points in 36 games. But none of those goals compare to the one that is the biggest for any hockey player.

“Scoring my first NHL goal in front of family and friends, that was something I'll never forget.”

Hunt got on the board on the power play in his second game this season on October 11, 2014. The goal came against Ryan Miller in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

So I wanted to know, where does a puck of this prestige rest? Do you keep it for motivation? Did the parents claim it to show of with pride?

“No actually, I think either (Oilers employees) J.J (Hebert) or Pat (Garland) has the puck. I'm not sure what they're doing with that, but I haven't got it from them yet!”

“You need to get on that,” I respond.

“I know! I agree.”

Puck or no puck in hand for a guy who, at the age of 15, had his coach convince him he was going to get a shot in the NHL, Brad Hunt is a catch the Oilers were lucky to trap.

Barons Player StatsAHL StandingsBarons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 13-14 | 12-13 | 11-12


Stats Updated as of Wednesday, February 18, 2015  | * - Player on AHL contract with Oklahoma City Barons

Oklahoma City (AHL)


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
KEITH AULIE D 25 8 0 1 1 -6 0
BRANDON DAVIDSON D 23 36 2 5 7 +10 28
TRAVIS EWANYK F 21 46 2 2 4 -17 73
MATT FORD* F 30 43 13 20 33 +3 18
MARTIN GERNAT d 21 40 0 7 7 +3 30
LUKE GAZDIC F 25 5 2 0 2 -1 7
CURTIS HAMILTON
F 23 44 10 14 24 +2 25
RYAN HAMILTON
F 29 32 15 14 29 +11 6
BRAD HUNT D 26 36 13 21 34 +4 6
CONNOR JONES*
F 24 20 2 2 4 -1 10
KELLEN JONES*
F 24 23 4 4 8 +1 4
KALE KESSY
F 21 17 3 3 6 -7 61
JUJHAR KHAIRA
F 20 45 3 6 9 -8 50
OSCAR KLEFBOM   d 21 9 1 7 8 +10 4
ANTON LANDER
F 23 29 9 22 31 +8 20
KELLAN LAIN F 25 2 0 0 0 0 4
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 13 1 2 3 -1 24
MARTIN MARINCIN
D 23 27 0 7 7 -4 20
ANDREW MILLER F 26 46 13 21 39 +12 8
MITCH MOROZ F 20 40 1 3 4 -7 71
DAVID MUSIL D 21 43 1 7 8 0 27
JORDAN OESTERLE  D 22 49 6 15 21 +5 6
IIRO PAKARINEN F 23 39 17 11 28 +17 20
STEVE PINIZZOTTO
F 30 21 1 10 11 +4 76
TYLER PITLICK
F 23 14 3 6 9 +2 8
DILLON SIMPSON
d 21 45 2 8 10 +3 8
JASON WILLIAMS*
F 34 47 16 22 38 0 22
BOGDAN YAKIMOV
F 20 45 6 12 18 +7 12
JOSH WINQUIST*
F 21 21 4 4 8 +2 9
Bakersfield (ECHL)
Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
GRAEME CRAIG* D 21 43 4 5 9 +3 47
CONNOR JONES* F 24 27 10 16 26 +3 29
KELLEN JONES* F 24 27 7 18 25 +3 12
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 22 1 10 11 -7 15
JOSH WINQUIST* F 21 18 5 18 23 -6 11
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
BEN BETKER   d 20 51 5 20 25 +25 41 EVERETT (WHL)
GREG CHASE  C 20 15 2 13 15 +2 20 CALGARY (WHL)
32 14 21 35 +3 25 victoria (whl)
LEON DRAISAITL
f 19 17 9 18 27 +9 10 KELOWNA (WHL)
JACKSON HOUCK
f 19 51 18 25 43 0 67 VANCOUVER (WHL)
DARNELL NURSE D 20 33 9 22 31 +12 56 SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
KYLE PLATZER F 19 52 23 43 66 +9 34 OWEN SOUND (OHL)
MARCO ROY
F 20 47 22 19 41 +6 35 QUEBEC (qmjHL)
NCAA, Junior A & USHL
Name POS age  GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   f 21 29 9 13 22 +3 27 UMASS-LOWELL (NCAA)
LIAM COUGHLIN
F 20 53 20 40 60 0 31 VERNON (BCHL)
WILLIAM LAGESSON
d 18 33 1 12 13 +10 73 DUBUQUE (USHL)
JOEY LALEGGIA  d 22 27 10 17 27 +10 35 DENVER (NCAA)
JOHN MCCARRON   f 22 25 1 7 8 -7 26 CORNELL (NCAA)
AIDAN MUIR   F 19 25 5 8 12 +8 4 WESTERN MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TYLER VESEL F 20 28 6 12 18 +10 0 NEBRASKA-OMAHA (NCAA)
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ROMAN HORAK
f 23 51 18 13 31 -3 24 VITYAZ (KHL)
PHILIP LARSEN
f 25 53 5 17 22 -22 30 YUGRA (KHL)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV
f 20 56 14 10 24 -2 12 UFA (KHL)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN
F 25 39 5 6 11 -5 62 TAMPERE (FINLAND)
DANIIL ZHARKOV
F 20 8 0 0 0 +2 4 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (KHL)
35 2 5 7 -11 20 HK SAROV (VHL)
2015 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
DARNELL NURSE
D 19 7 0 1 1 +8 6 CANADA
WILLIAM LAGESSON
D 18 7 0 1 1 +1 8 SWEDEN
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T SO GAA SV% team
RICHARD BACHMAN   27 22 14 4 3   3 2.30 .921 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
KEVEN BOUCHARD  18 29 9 12 5   0 4.32 .856 VAL D'OR (QMJHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 21 28 15 9 2   1 2.55 .919 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
TYLER BUNZ   22 17 6 10 1   2 2.97 .890 wichita (ECHL)
ZACHARY NAGELVOORT
20 20 10 8 0   1 2.65 .908 MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TY RIMMER*
22 25 8 11 3   1 3.20 .889 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
Frans Tuohimaa   23 29 11 12 3   0 3.10 .882 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
3 2 0 1   0 4.22 .904 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)

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