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FUTURE WATCH: Davidson's dose of reality

by Ashley Docking / Edmonton Oilers
“I think a lot of people believe they’re invincible and that bad things won’t happen to them.  I was the same way, nothing really ever got the best of me and I never thought it would.”

 
2012 was supposed to be just the beginning for Brandon Davidson; things were falling into place for the defenceman. The Oilers sixth-round pick had signed his first pro contract that summer, played in seven AHL games for the Oklahoma City Barons and then was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
“We had a regular check-up that we do every year at the beginning each season and it was spotted then and it was quickly diagnosed within 48 hours.”
 
Brandon Davidson (photo by Steven Christy / OKC Barons)
Despite not experiencing any symptoms, surgery and chemo forced Davidson to focus on his health and not his hockey, but not for long.
 
Three months later, 11 games in the ECHL with the Stockton Thunder and he was ready to jump back into the Barons line-up.  Davidson played in the final 19 regular-season games and added six assists in 17 playoff appearances for Oklahoma City.
 
After his gutsy return. Davidson was awarded the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Trophy as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.
 
Fast-forward two seasons and the life-threatening disease not only changed the Lethbridge native's perspective, it affected the way his loved ones viewed their own mortality.
 
“I know my family and everybody around me - my friends and everybody back home in my community - have gotten checked since this (his cancer diagnosis).  It was a hard thing to go through but I think it sparked a lot of awareness and it really made people accountable for their health.”
 
Davidson credits his teammates with making his chemo and rehab bearable.

“I don’t think it would have been as easy of a process without them,” and going through it with him reminded his teammates, an unusually candid group, to check their bashfulness at the door because one conversation could be the difference between life and death.
 
“We were always a tight-knit group and we’ve always had an open locker room, but (I think) it was really beneficial for others guys to see the effects of it (cancer) and it really opened up some eyes in our locker room.  It allowed people to feel comfortable about getting checked and to not be embarrassed about it.”
 
Davidson’s Movember support started back in Regina during his first year of junior, “I was playing for the Pats (WHL).  It was a lot of fun but I still can’t grow a mustache now, I’m trying as hard as I can.  Maybe when I’m 35 I’ll have a full one.”
 
Since 2007, Canadian men have been putting vanity aside to raise money for men’s health issues, and this year Davidson and his Barons teammate are doing their part for the cause.   No matter how patchy their upper lip adornment may be.
 
“I feel like I was your average, ordinary human being, I didn’t feel any symptoms or any signs, nothing really slowed me down or sparked any concern. It’s one of those things that you can’t control.”
 
But what you can control is early detection, something that undoubtedly contributed to Davidson being able to continue to live out his dream of playing professional hockey. He has two assists in eight games for the 8-4-4 Barons.
  Barons Player StatsAHL StandingsBarons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 13-14 | 12-13 | 11-12


Stats Updated as of Wednesday, November 26, 2014 | * - 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 8 0 2 2 +2 11
TRAVIS EWANYK F 21 14 1 2 3 -4 22
MATT FORD* F 30 14 4 5 9 -1 4
MARTIN GERNAT d 21 12 0 3 3 +2 8
LUKE GAZDIC F 25 5 2 0 2 -1 7
CURTIS HAMILTON
F 22 14 4 2 6 -4 12
RYAN HAMILTON
F 29 15 8 4 12 +5 2
BRAD HUNT D 26 8 4 11 15 +5 2
KALE KESSY
F 21 13 3 3 6 -6 50
JUJHAR KHAIRA
F 20 13 1 2 3 -2 14
OSCAR KLEFBOM   d 21 9 1 7 8 +10 4
ANTON LANDER
F 23 16 4 10 14 -2 10
KELLAN LAIN F 25 10 0 1 1 +1 20
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 8 1 1 2 -3 13
MARTIN MARINCIN
D 22 1 0 1 1 0 0
ANDREW MILLER F 26 14 3 7 10 +2 0
MITCH MOROZ F 20 12 0 1 1 +1 13
DAVID MUSIL D 21 11 0 2 2 -2 6
JORDAN OESTERLE  D 22 16 3 3 6 -5 2
IIRO PAKARINEN F 23 10 7 3 10 +5 0
STEVE PINIZZOTTO
F 30 9 0 6 6 +3 40
TYLER PITLICK
F 23 11 2 6 8 -1 8
DILLON SIMPSON
d 21 15 1 0 1 -6 2
JASON WILLIAMS*
F 34 15 7 10 17 +3 12
BOGDAN YAKIMOV
F 20 11 1 2 3 -1 4
Bakersfield (ECHL)
Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
GRAEME CRAIG* D 21 18 3 2 5 -4 18
CONNOR JONES* F 24 18 6 11 17 -2 27
KELLEN JONES* F 24 18 5 11 16 -3 10
JOSH WINQUIST* F 21 15 4 12 16 -4 9
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
BEN BETKER   d 20 21 1 6 7 +7 20 EVERETT (WHL)
GREG CHASE  C 19 15 2 13 15 +2 20 CALGARY (WHL)
3 1 1 2 0 2 victoria (whl)
JACKSON HOUCK
f 19 23 7 14 21 -5 25 VANCOUVER (WHL)
DARNELL NURSE D 19 13 6 9 15 +3 25 SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
KYLE PLATZER F 19 23 9 20 29 +9 16 OWEN SOUND (OHL)
MARCO ROY
F 20 20 10 8 18 +6 10 QUEBEC (qmjHL)
NCAA, Junior A & USHL
Name POS age  GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   f 21 11 3 5 8 +3 12 UMASS-LOWELL (NCAA)
LIAM COUGHLIN
F 20 22 9 8 17 0 14 VERNON (BCHL)
WILLIAM LAGESSON
d 18 16 1 10 11 +10 28 DUBUQUE (USHL)
JOEY LALEGGIA  d 22 10 5 6 11 +8 19 DENVER (NCAA)
JOHN MCCARRON   f 22 8 0 2 2 -1 6 CORNELL (NCAA)
AIDAN MUIR   F 19 11 1 2 3 0 0 WESTERN MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TYLER VESEL F 20 10 2 5 7 +1 0 NEBRASKA-OMAHA (NCAA)
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ROMAN HORAK
f 23 29 15 6 21 +4 20 VITYAZ (KHL)
PHILIP LARSEN
f 24 32 1 9 10 -9 22 YUGRA (KHL)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV
f 20 31 4 5 9 -4 6 UFA (KHL)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN
F 25 20 4 3 7 -4 16 TAMPERE (FINLAND)
DANIIL ZHARKOV
F 20 6 0 0 0 +2 4 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (KHL)
8 1 1 2 n/a n/a HK SAROV (VHL)
2014 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
TBD - - - - - - - -   -
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T SO GAA SV% team
RICHARD BACHMAN   27 8 4 1 2   0 2.88 .897 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
KEVEN BOUCHARD  18 15 4 7 2   0 4.48 .853 VAL D'OR (QMJHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 21 5 2 3 0   1 3.54 .888 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
TYLER BUNZ   22 6 2 3 1   1 2.32 .901 wichita (ECHL)
ZACHARY NAGELVOORT
20 9 3 5 0   0 3.00 .900 MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TY RIMMER*
22 13 6 5 1   1 3.02 .903 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
Frans Tuohimaa   23 3 1 3 1   0 2.68 .910 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
3 2 0 1   0 4.22 .904 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
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