The evolution of Regina Pats centre Adam Brooks is poised to continue this season.
Since joining the team as a 16-year-old three seasons ago, Brooks has been through many ups and downs in his own career and the success of the team overall. With all of that experience in his back pocket, the now 19-year-old feels it’s time for him to take a serious leadership role with the young team.
“When I was 16, the team didn’t do so well. When I was 17, the team was really good and I didn’t think I did very well,” said Brooks.
“It’s definitely something I can along pass on to young guys. I’m looking forward to taking that role.”
Brooks’ teammates can certainly learn from his career. As a 16-year-old rookie, Brooks appeared to have potential to be a good WHL player. The following season, he kind of fell of the map and it appeared that he might not be in the plans for the team’s future.
When then head coach Pat Conacher was fired and the team eventually hired John Paddock, all of the players – including Brooks – were given a clean slate. From there, Brooks set career highs in every offensive category last season.
His story is one of perseverance and he was rewarded with an invite to New York Rangers rookie camp earlier this month.
“It was definitely a cool experience. It was something I wanted to accomplish. Coming into this league, (I’ve) seen a lot guys like Morgan Klimchuk and Chandler (Stephenson), they went away every year. It was something I wanted to do,” said Brooks.
Brooks feels it’s now his responsibility to help some of the younger players not only on the ice but off the ice as well.
Should everything go to the team’s plan, Brooks will have support behind him at centre this season and next with budding young stars in Sam Steel and Jake Leschyshyn. The trio are already a close-knit group and that can only mean good things for them and the team.
“I think with the core that we have right now, we’ll be together for a while. Hopefully it will translate into a winning team in the future,” said Leschyshyn.
Even though Brooks is the elder of the group, he admits to learning a lot from Steel and Leschyshyn as well.
“Sam and Jake are at a different (skill) level,” said Brooks.
“Sometimes I learn a lot from those guys. We’re a close group. There’s not a ton I can tell them, I think, we’re a close group so we’re always talking.”
The Pats got some good news on Tuesday as forward Austin Wagner has been returned to the team from the Los Angeles Kings.
The Pats open the regular season on Thursday in Moose Jaw. They will host the Warriors Saturday night in their home opener.