Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life in the Fast Lane

While looking through some old files I came across a couple of newspaper clippings about Spruce Kings alumni that were about to embark on a NHL journey. I'm going to post them here for all to see starting with this first one of Brad Fast who played for the Spruce Kings in the team's early years in the British Columbia Hockey League.

Hurricanes use third round pick for Spruce Kings defenceman

by Brian Drewry, Citizen Staff

They almost had to call the paramedics out to the Fast household in Fort St. John on Saturday.

Brad Fast is still recovering from the shock of finding out he was chosen in the third round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.

In the final pre-draft rankings by both Central Scouting and The Hockey News, the Prince George Spruce Kings captain was listed to go early in the seventh round - among North American based prospects.

"Shocked is putting it lightly," said fast, who was the 84th player taken at the Fleet Center in Boston and the first Junior A player in Canada chosen. "I just can't believe I went so high."

Curiosity gave Fast the biggest shock of all. Around 1pm he went on the internet to see who went in the early rounds and when running down the list of third round selections - low and behold:

"I just wanted to see who went in the first round. I wasn't expecting to see my name for three or four hour yet, if at all."

Fifteen minutes after he spotted his name the phone rang. It was Carolina's head scout, Laurence Ferguson.

"He acutally said they were lucky I was still around and welcomed me to the team," said Fast.

"He was calling from the draft and said he didn't have much time so he would call me early next week."

Ferguson personally saw fast play during the regular season and during the first round of the playoffs in Penticton. He obviously liked what he saw in fast, who was voted the Interior Conference's top defenceman this past season with 73 points in 58 games.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Fast, who was one of four BCHL players drafted Saturday, will likely not attend the Hurricanes' training camp this fall because he has already committed to the next four years at Michigan State University.

"NCAA rules would allow me to only if I paid my own way but I don't think I'll be doing that," added Fast.

Fast says he will know more about the 'Canes plans for him next week.

"I'm committed to school, that would be my first choice. But I'm sure if they wanted me to do certain things I would have to consider them."

The other three BCHL'ers drafted were Vernon defenceman Josh Reed, who went in the sixth round to the Vancouver Canucks, Victoria winger Greg barber, who was taken in the seventh round by the Boston Bruins and South Surrey forward Colin Hemingway, who went in the eighth round to the St. Louis Blues."

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