Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hard Work and Determination

Brandon Manning paved his
own way to the NHL

Hard Work and Determination - they are cliche terms in the game of hockey, everybody uses them but few will realize what they will actually do for a player. One player that has reaped his own rewards through hard work, determination and add in perseverance is Brandon Manning.

A local hockey product that learned the game while skating his way through the Prince George Minor Hockey system. His level of play earned him a spot on the Cariboo Cougars BC Major Midget squad in 2006-07 playing alongside a few other future Spruce Kings alumni.

That major midget squad in 2006-07 went to the finals with the likes of Damien Ketlo (G), Alex Wright (G), Joe Morgan (F), Ryan Howse (F), RJay Berra (F), Sam Muchalla (F), Nic DeSousa (F), Tyson Hall (F), Stewart Lambert (F), Geoff Morgan (D), Justin Fillion (D) and of course Brandon Manning (D). In the following season six of those players suited for the Spruce Kings including Brandon Manning who finished his rookie season in the BCHL with 7 goals and 19 assists.

As the Spruce Kings season wound down a year after hosting the RBC Royal Bank Cup Tournament, Manning was called upon by the Chilliwack Bruins to play out the remainder of their regular season and post season. He was able to get into ten games total and impressed enough to have the Bruins keep him in the lineup for the next three seasons including two as team captain.

Despite his presence on the ice, Manning went undrafted to the WHL and undrafted to the NHL. That didn't stop him and in fact drove him to compete harder and show up at the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp in 2009. Manning returned to the Bruins for his 19 year old season and a year later was back at a NHL training camp this time with the New York Rangers.

After playing for a couple of weeks with the Rangers, Manning again headed back to the WHL Bruins to start his 20 year old season. Two months into the season the Philadelphia Flyers decided they had seen enough of Manning and signed him to an NHL entry level contract opting to leave him play out his last year of junior in Chilliwack.

With a spot secured in the AHL, Manning headed to Adirondack for the 2011-12 season where he played in 46 games putting up similar numbers that he did when he played for the Spruce Kings as a 17 year old. As the season wore on, injuries on the Philadelphia Flyers blue line started adding up and Manning was given his shot with a callup on March 8, 2012 for a home game against the Florida Panthers.

Manning finished a plus 2 with three shots on goal while logging 15 minutes of ice time in his NHL debut. He would play in three more games over the next two weeks logging close to 14 minutes in ice time in each game and a plus 1 in his four NHL games.

An example of hard work and determination, Manning continues to exemplify those qualities and the current situation in the NHL hasn't stopped him either. On Saturday night Brandon Manning was recognized at the Spruce Kings game against the Penticton Vees dropping the puck during the ceremonial faceoff. The Spruce Kings went on to win that game 4-2 and during the second intermission, Manning joined Todd Doherty on the team's broadcast.

download audio file

No comments: