Brady Egan had a breakout season with the Pembroke Lumber Kings in the 2019-20 season. The Carp native played in all 62 regular season games for the Kings, scoring 29 goals and adding 20 assists. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and shutdown the Central Canada Hockey League playoffs before the Kings and Rockland Nationals could get started in their quarter-final series. Nobody knew it would be more than 18 months before the historic franchise would play another meaningful game, but when the Kings do return to the ice this fall Brady Egan will be back in a Pembroke uniform.
The CCHL has announced it will kick off its 2021-22 campaign on September 23rd. The Kings are scheduled to open their season the following night in Kemptville. The league has planned for a 55-game regular season after a lost year in which teams were only able to play developmental scrimmages. That’s what forced the Lumber Kings to trade Egan and several other veteran players to teams in the Maritimes, the only Junior A league that operated last season in Canada.
Egan ended up with the Fredericton Red Wings where he played nine games, picking up 14 points. He enjoyed the experience as it was the first time he had been to the Eastern provinces and the furthest he had lived from home in his junior hockey career. “It was a little nerve-racking going out there but it was an amazing experience. I was able to play hockey when many others were not able due to COVID and also explore and visit many places I’d never been, so I am very thankful I was given the opportunity,” says Egan.
But Egan admits he wanted to come home, and Pembroke has been his hockey home since he began playing junior four years ago. When the Maritime Junior League season ended, Lumber Kings owner Alex Armstrong started looking into reacquiring Egan for his final year of junior eligibility. In early June, the Kings paid a player development fee to ensure Egan ends his Junior A career in Hockey Town Canada, and Egan is thrilled to again be wearing the Lumber Kings crown on his jersey.
“There is no other Junior team I would want to finish my junior career with,” says Egan, who adds, “Pembroke may be a small town but no other team in the CCHL has a more powerful and supportive community. Nothing beats the feeling of being able to play in the Pembroke Memorial Centre and having the fans cheering you on. I love the atmosphere!”
With a lost season, there will be a lot of turnover on the Lumber Kings roster. Egan knows he will be depended upon to be a leader and he is looking forward to the challenge. “Being a 20 year old this season and having the experience of playing four years of Junior A, I know what it takes to win and I am going to lead by example on and off the ice. I know what my mindset was like as a 16 and 17 year old hockey player, so having that knowledge will help me try to be the best role model for the younger guys that are coming in,” says Egan.
During the off-season, Egan is continuing to work out and get as much ice time as possible. He is fortunate to have a gym set up in the basement of his home and has continued to get on the ice a couple of times every week. “Being able to have all the equipment I need has helped me a lot to keep myself ready and prepared,” says Egan.
The Lumber Kings home opener has been scheduled for Sunday, September 26th against the Smiths Falls Bears. It will take a while for Lumber Kings fans to get acquainted with the team, but there will be some familiar names, including number nine, Brady Egan, who says he is motivated to continue to improve all aspects of his game. He is hoping to continue playing the game he loves when his junior eligibility ends, eyeing opportunities to play College hockey in either Canada or the United States. If all goes well, he’ll have a great season and land a scholarship.
For now, Egan will continue to get ready for a season that is fast approaching, cherishing every opportunity he gets to play the game that has been a big part of his life and giving back to the community that has welcomed him. Brady Egan will forever be a Lumber King.