Skyler Brind’amour inspired by his father in chasing NHL dream

It turned out to be quite a father-son golf outing for Skyler and Rod Brind’amour in North Carolina on Saturday. They won’t remember their scores, but they will remember learning Skyler had been drafted by the Edmonton Oilers.“I was actually coming home from golfing. I didn’t want to sit around all day the house all day and watch [the draft]. My dad and I went golfing. We were listening to it in the background, and I heard my name called,” recalled Skyler. Story continues below “I was very honoured and very excited.”“It was a nice moment for sure. I’m really proud of him. He’s a good kid and he’s worked really hard,” said Rod.Rod played close to 1,500 NHL games in his career and won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, beating the Oilers in the final. Skyler was just six years old.“I do remember the big Game 7 the most. It was a really good game,” he remembered. “I got to go down to the ice, see the cup, and hug my dad.”Of course, Rod was Skyler’s favourite player growing up.“I just remember him being the hardest worker of anyone in the league,” Skyler said. “He was a really smart player who did all the little things.”Skyler, drafted in the sixth round, 177th overall by the Oilers, is hoping to recreate his father’s work ethic and carve his own path to the NHL.“I think I’m a big centreman who plays both ends of the game. I play defence and offence, win draws, and make plays,” Skyler said.“I try to be a play-maker and play both sides of the puck.”For now, Skyler will join the Chilliwack Chiefs in the BCHL this fall. College hockey is the plan after that.“He still has Grade 12 to get through,” explained Rod, who’s now a coach with the Hurricanes. “We have to get him through high school, then off to Michigan State hopefully the year after that.”Down the road, Skyler Brind’amour could be an Edmonton Oiler. And maybe, win a cup with the team he once cheered against.“It’s ironic, but it’s pretty cool, too.”

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