Josh Brook’s time at Montreal Canadiens’ rookie camp ended a bit early due to an injury, but that didn’t dampen the experience for the 18-year-old defenceman.
“It was an awesome experience, it went well, although the injury wasn’t that great, but the camp was awesome, I enjoyed it and got some great experience,” said Brook upon returning to the Moose Jaw Warriors this week.
Brook, who was taken in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft by the Canadiens, left the first prospect game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with an upper body injury. He didn’t hit the ice with the Warriors for his first practice back in Moose Jaw on Wednesday.
Coming back from the camp, Brook said he was able to get a good appreciation of the kind of speed and skill it takes to play at the professional level.
“I got a very good taste, that’s not even the NHL level and it was a lot faster than it is here, so there’s a big step that I’ve got to take to get to that level, but it was good to get a taste,” said Brook.
After being selected by the Canadiens, Brook attended the team’s development camp and then stayed in Montreal over the summer to do some extra training with their skills coaches.
He came into Warriors’ camp in “the best shape of his life”, but he said he saw that he still needs to take everything up a notch to eventually get to the NHL.
“I want to work on getting stronger and faster and just seeing the ice more before I get the puck, playing better heads up hockey,” he said.
One of the biggest takeaways for Brook during his time in Montreal was what the Canadiens’ organization puts into developing their players.
“They’re just a first class organization,” he said. “The amount of money that they’re willing to put in to help the team be successful, just shows what a good organization they are. Their willing to go above and beyond for their players.”
During his second season in Moose Jaw last year, Brook posted eight goals and 40 points while playing in 69 games. He hopes that the upper body injury suffered in Montreal won’t keep him out too long, but his status is up in the air right now.
“It was disappointing to get injured there, but still got a great experience and got to feel how the game is at that level,” said Brook, who added that he’s looking forward to getting back to work with the Warriors.
“We’ve got an awesome team, I’m very excited about what we have here and this season is going to be awesome.”
The Warriors finish up the preseason this weekend with a home-and-home series against the Brandon Wheat Kings. They travel to Brandon on Friday and then host the Wheat Kings at Mosaic Place on Saturday.
Saturday’s game will mark the return of Warriors’ hockey on Country 100 with James Gallo, Derek Kletzel and Marc Smith bringing you all the action again this season. The Pre-Game Show hits the air at 6:55 p.m. and puck drops at 7 p.m.
Warriors Remain at NHL Camps
There’s still six Warriors away at camps around the National Hockey League with main camps getting underway over the next few days.
Brett Howden, Oleg Sosunov and the Tampa Bay Lightning will get their training camp underway Thursday in Florida. They have off-ice testing on Thursday and the first on-ice action will be on Friday and runs through Monday.
Howden had a goal and two points for the Lightning in their final prospect game against the Nashville Predators.
Dmitri Zaitsev and Tanner Jeannot will be on the ice with the Washington Capitals starting on Friday. Both Warriors will be on the same team as Alexander Ovechkin for the camp.
Jayden Halbgewachs and the Vegas Golden Knights will have off-ice testing on Thursday followed by the first on-ice sessions on Friday. They have a preseason game on Sunday in Vancouver.
Noah Gregor and the San Jose Sharks will open their training camp on Friday as well. Gregor has been on the ice for prospect games all week with the Sharks. They have their first main camp practices on Friday and their first preseason game on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.