After four years with the Rochester Institute of Technology with the Tigers hockey team

McGowan readies for first pro camp

Brad McGowan embarking on professional Hockey career, starting with ECHL’s Greensville Road Warriors

Brad McGowan earned both a major (business management) and a minor (criminology) during his four years at university, so doing his homework is something he is accustomed to.

Therefore it should come as little surprise, that when it came time to narrow down his post-university hockey pursuits after graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology this past spring, he once again did his research.

And what the 25-year-old from Langley came up with was the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL.

The Road Warriors play out of Greenville, South Carolina and the ECHL is one level below the American Hockey League.

There were several suitors for McGowan after his collegiate season ended in April.

But nursing a wrist injury prevented him from practising — he still played — so McGowan decided to wait on his decision.

“There were a lot of things that went into (the decision), like which teams get a lot of guys called up to the next level, if you can get a tryout before camp with an AHL team,” he explained.

“Greenville is a great place and their coach — when I talked to him — seemed really intent on getting guys moved up (to the next level).”

That’s compared so some coaches who are just concerned with winning hockey games and not necessarily helping players move to the next level.

The Road Warriors are the ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows played for Greenville in 2002-03, and more recently, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot played for Greenville in 2010-11.

McGowan will attend training camp with the Wolf Pack at the end of September. If he fails to stick with the AHL club, he would report to Greenville’s training camp, but because his contract is with Greenville, any AHL team is free to pick him up on a tryout at any point during the season.

“I am just happy he was able to secure a spot to try and move up the ladder now professionally,” said Wayne Wilson, the head coach of the RIT Tigers, who recruited McGowan from the BCHL four years ago.

“This is a good starting point (and) I am excited about his future.”

McGowan, who graduated from Walnut Grove Secondary in 2008, capped off his BCHL career with the Surrey Eagles in 2010/11.

That season, he was third in league scoring with 36 goals and 89 points and was the Coastal Conference’s most sportsmanlike player.

And McGowan has been everything Wilson expected during his four years at the private New York university.

“Very skilled, great hands, great hockey mind, he is very smart on the ice and he brought a lot of leadership,” Wilson said.

McGowan had 18 points his freshman year, upped that to 25 his sophomore season, and then after dipping to 21 points his junior year, rebounded nicely to finish with 46 points as a senior.

He leaves the Tigers tied for first in games played with 150 and is fifth all-time in goals (46), sixth in points (110) and ninth in assists (64).

He also helped the Tigers go into the record books this past spring as they became the first-ever 16-seed to knock off a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

McGowan admitted it was a tough transition from junior A to college hockey as the schedule dropped from 60 games to 38.

Instead of playing three or four times per week like in junior, college hockey is two games every weekend. So when a player got on a hot streak, they would have to wait a full week to play again and conversely, when slumping, that player had to wait to try and break their drought.

“If you are hot, it is hard to stay hot, but if you are cold, it is easy to stay cold,” he said.

The ECHL schedule is 72 games while the AHL schedule is 76 games.

To prepare, McGowan is spending his summer here in Langley working out with Impact Hockey Development. At the university level, a lot of the training is about getting stronger, but McGowan is shifting his focus to cardio.

“I still want to be strong, but you have to be more prepared to grind it out over a long schedule,” he said.

There is also added emphasis on cardio since at the ECHL level, teams only dress 10 forwards — compared to 12 at the other levels — so there is plenty of ice time for a skilled forward like McGowan.

And wherever he winds up, McGowan knows he is lucky.

“Even though it (may not be) the NHL, I am still getting paid to play hockey; that’s pretty cool.”

Just Posted

South Surrey mother didn’t have the intent to kill her daughter: defence

Closing submissions in case of Lisa Batstone underway

Surrey woman plans to travel after winning $500,000

Frances Jarvos bought her winning ticket at Willowbrook Mall in Langley

Crime in Surrey dropped by four per cent in 2018 from 2017, city’s top cop says

Surrey RCMP OIC sharing the news with council Monday as city transitions to city police force

Child struck because driver didn’t clear ice from windshield, say Delta police

The child wasn’t seriously hurt and the driver was ticketed for driving with an obstructed view

MINTY: ‘Opening the Doors’ at Surrey gallery with local artist Joanne Dennis

Also, a called for submissions in Arts Council of Surrey’s ‘Just Gates’ exhibition

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read