Scooter Brickey hasn’t even started his junior year at Port Huron Northern yet, but he already knows he’ll be a Western Michigan Bronco in the future.
Not only was the decision made early – common for high-profile hockey players – but the recruiting process also happened at a quick pace. The talks between Western and Scooter started a few months ago when the defenseman began his tryout for Team USA 16U Select Team.
“The assistant coaches saw me there and loved me,” Scooter recalled.
Almost instantly, the Broncos offered Scooter a spot on their roster. However, Scooter was originally seeking an offer from Boston College or North Dakota.
Of course, the recruiting process can sometimes throw unexpected twists and turns. When Scooter was offered by Western and visited, he almost immediately fell in love with the Kalamazoo campus.
“It felt like home there,” Scooter said. “I really couldn’t turn it down.”
Just to turn up the stress a little bit, both Boston College and North Dakota offered after the second round of Team USA tryouts. Even though those housed his original dream rinks, Scooter was dead set on sticking with Western.
“Me, my dad (Scott) and sister (Sydney) were out on the golf course and I was talking about (Western) and I caught myself getting really excited,” Scooter said. “My dad said ‘That sounds like the place you want to be.’”
The coaching staff and the family atmosphere of Western headlined the reasons why Scooter picked the Broncos. It also doesn’t hurt that the Broncos have a strong presence in the NHL too.
“They’re just pumping defense into the NHL lately,” Scooter said.
Kevin Connauton (Columbus), Jordan Oesterle (Edmonton), Luke Witkowski (Tampa Bay), Matt Tennyson (San Jose) and, of course, Danny DeKeyser (Detroit) are all current NHL players that came from WMU. That kind of track record was too good to ignore for Scooter.
Even with Western’s impressive résumé, the decision was still tough to make. Scooter said he looked to his grandpa, Ronald, and his dad, who was a former North Dakota player and NHL draftee, for advice.
“After every game (WMU head coach Andy Murray) gives the kids notes about their game or even why they’re not playing,” Scott said. “When I was at North Dakota you had to seek out the coach … he would never tell you why they’re playing and why they’re not playing.’’
Until then, Scooter is currently working out every day of the summer in Kalamazoo. After two more years of high school, Brickey will play for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League before gearing up for Western.
Until then, Scooter can focus on playing hockey while the college choice stress is in the review mirror.
Contact Matt Sheehan at (810)-989-6267 or email@example.com. He’s on Twitter @Sheehan_Sports.