Darwin Knelsen

Former Warrior Brook moves on

After two seasons with the Notre Dame Hounds, Roblin’s Josh Brook began his WHL career with the Moose Jaw Warriors. His WHL debut actually came in the 2014-15 season when he played one game while he was still with the Notre Dame Midget AAA club.

Josh Brook-Ian Briscoe (photo-David Zammit)

In the 2015-16 season, Josh played in 30 regular season games, registering 10 points and adding another five in 10 playoff games. He really showed off his stuff by scoring three goals for Team Canada Red at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Josh called Moose Jaw his home the next season and he continued to improve as a defender while the offence came along for the ride. Combined with the playoffs, Brook had 47 points and added another two assists while playing with the Under-18 Canadian team.

The 2017-18 season saw Josh put together another solid campaign with 32 points in 45 regular season games and six playoff points.

In his final junior season last year, Josh took his game to the next level. With a ton of outside talk swirling around him one day being a full-time NHL player, Josh lived up to some of the hype. He had 75 points in 59 games with the Warriors and three assists in four playoff games.

Josh was also able to take the next step last season as he played seven games with the American Hockey League’s Laval Rocket. That’s where he recorded his first professional assist. In huge news last year, Brook also played for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in Vancouver and Victoria. It was his third Team Canada appearance in four years.

Josh Brook from the Moose Jaw Warriors was selected in the second of the NHL Draft by the Montréal Canadiens. Photo courtesy of the Moose Jaw Warriors

With all of his success and progression throughout the years, it was unlikely Josh would return to the Warriors for his final junior season and ultimately, he didn’t. He started his season with the Montreal Canadiens at their training camp where he spent about two weeks.

Eventually, he was sent down to the Laval Rocket, and now he’s in his first full season as a professional player with the American Hockey League club.

“Things are going pretty well. It’s a learning process right now,” said Brook. “There is a lot of learning to be done, and I’m enjoying the experience and everything I’m going through.”

“I’m learning my defensive game more every day, and I’m picking up on the systems as well,” continued Brook.

A veteran of 239 games, Josh has been in some big junior situations. Perhaps the biggest was with Team Canada at last year’s World Junior Championships. However, Josh has played some important roles with Moose Jaw, most of which placed him in a position where he had to lock down the other teams best players. For now, Josh knows he does have some work to do to get to that level on the professional stage.

“It’s a big change here compared to junior. The guys are stronger and more skilled,” added Brook. “It’s a lot different playing here than in junior.”

Saturday, October 12, will go down in the history books for Josh. In his third game of the season and on his third shot, Josh scored his first ever professional goal in a 4-2 loss against the Milwaukee Admirals. He takes us through what was going on in his mind as the play went on.

“Milwaukee had a bit of a breakdown, and we had a good forecheck, and I got the puck at the top of the circles,” said Brook. “I took a shot and it hit one of the defenders’ sticks and it went in. It was a nice little boost to the confidence.”

“Our expectations are to win the league. We have an awesome team here . We’re also getting better every game,” continued Brook. “Once we get everything running perfectly, we can do a lot of damage in this league.”

After living in Moose Jaw for the past few years, the move to Quebec has been a culture shock for Brook. So, I asked him a few questions about his day-to-day life.

Q: What does a day look like for you?

A: I get up in the morning and head to the rink for breakfast. We then practice and I have lunch at the rink and head home. I hang out with Jake Evans, see what the guys are doing. We’ll play some cards sometimes and video games as well.

Q: Favourite video game?

A: Fortnite. I’ve won a couple games, but I’m not very good.

Q: What’s living in Laval like?

A: It’s been pretty good so far. I’m not living with a billet family anymore, so I’m obviously doing all the cooking and grocery shopping. Jake played here last year so he knows the ropes and he’s helped me out a lot.

In the end, Josh is enjoying living in and playing for Laval and being a professional. But he knows what the end goal is and that’s playing for the Montreal Canadiens. He had that opportunity in the preseason, and now he’s working hard to take it one step farther. In his own words, “The Bell Centre was nuts during the preseason. I can only imagine what it would be like during a regular season game,”

Brook will also make his return to Manitoba in the middle of January, 2020. The club is in Winnipeg to challenge the Moose twice.

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    Darnell Duff

    After two seasons with the Notre Dame Hounds, Roblin’s Josh Brook began his WHL career with the Moose Jaw Warriors. His WHL debut actually came in the
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