Men’s ice hockey coaches reflect on first Bobcat to skate in NHL game

Photo courtesy of the Calgary Flames.

Photo courtesy of the Calgary Flames.

Bryce Van Brabant, Quinnipiac University junior and men’s ice hockey forward, signed a contract with the Calgary Flames, of the NHL.

Van Brabant is the first Bobcat to officially skate in an NHL game and the second Bobcat to sign with a NHL team a year after Eric Hartzell inked a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“When we first saw him playing for Spruce Grove several years ago, he had a long way to go to get to the NHL. A very smart hockey player already, he put in the work in the gym with Coach Patel as well as on the ice and bought into the program here at Quinnipiac University which enabled him to rapidly improve as an athlete and mature as a person. Along the way, his contributions to QU have had a huge impact on the program’s success over the past three years, which has seen the program ascend to new heights on a national stage and become a household name in the college hockey world,” said Bill Riga, associate head men’s ice hockey coach.

During his time at Quinnipiac, Van Brabant netted 15 goals in 40 games, added seven assists for 22 points and 113 served penalty minutes.

“We are so proud of Bryce.  He has worked hard in his three years at Quinnipiac to improve his game and help elevate our program to national prominence. Watching him play for the Calgary Flames was one of the better moments in my 20 years at Quinnipiac,” said Rand Pecknold, head men’s ice hockey coach.

“Bryce is one of the best people we have had here and we look forward to his future success in pro hockey and look to continue the excellence he was such a big part of on the ice here at Quinnipiac,” said Riga.


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