2013 WHL Bantam Draft
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01-07-2013, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Richmond, BC
Been out of action for a while, getting some repair work done. But I’m well enough to type, and promised to follow up on a goalie who plays for BWC A2. This might be a tad lengthy, but a good little read I think … and just one of the many great little stories that usually remains untold each year. Here goes.
The Grandview Steelers play Sunday afternoon home games at BWC. As it happens, BWC’s Bantam A2 team plays their home games immediately beforehand. On one occasion I was early enough for the Steelers that I saw the last two periods of play for the bantam squad. I recognized the BWC goalie had good size (turns out he’s 5’ 11”, maybe 6-ft), but assumed his movement would be slow or his technique would be clumsy. After all, this was the A2 team right?
Well, neither was true. His play was rock solid throughout. He was technically sound and athletically dynamic in the scrambles. I was intrigued, so I asked a few questions. Turned out to be Josh Barrett, a boy our Goalie Coach had told me about in early summer. More on that in a minute.
Anyway, the next Steelers game I came extra early and watched the whole A2 contest. It was another sparkler for Barrett, allowing just one goal on 34 shots and looking completely at ease and in control of himself. A couple weeks later I watched him post a 40-save shutout in a game his team had no business winning. I was keen to see if he could sustain that level of play, but I couldn’t get to his next game myself so I asked the Coach of the opposing team for his thoughts on Barrett’s performance … yet another shutout, on 31 saves.
Now, here comes the kicker. As I said, I only became aware of this goalie this past summer. Our goalie coach had worked with him in some camps and was very impressed, gave him high marks on his technical work, and especially praised his athleticism and work ethic. But the kid wasn’t on my radar at all, so I wanted to learn where he played his first year of Bantam. Turns out he didn’t play minor hockey at all last year! He was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, a painful bone condition that affects the area just below the knee. (I’ve heard Ryan Kesler talk about having had the same condition at about the same age … it almost caused him to give up hockey completely.) Josh’s Dad has told me he’s mostly outgrown the problem now, but still has to ice his shins after practices to ease the pain.
Think about that. Every time the kid drops to a butterfly, it hurts. Pushing himself back up hurts too. When I shared this little detail with our Goalie Coach, he was stunned. In the weeks of training with Josh he had never heard him complain about, or even mention, his condition.
In any case, neither of us can figure out why Josh isn’t on the A1 team. Did he come too late to the party? Is he from the wrong tribe? ;-) What?
I’ve always respected John Batchelor as a Coach, but when I get a chance I’ll have to put the question to him: Why is BWC’s best goalie on their A2 team?
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