Brook on learning curve

Katie Brickman
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Warriors happy with fourth overall pick through camp

Josh Brook will probably go through some more growing pains as a hockey player.

Josh Brook of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Cole Johnson of the Swift Current Broncos battle for position in front the goal crease during a rookie exhibition game at Mosaic Place on Tuesday night. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

The Moose Jaw Warriors first round pick in the 2014 WHL draft has shown what he is capable of this week, but he understands he has a lot of learn still.

“This game was really important,” Brook said after the Warriors lost 4-3 to Swift Current on Tuesday night in a rookie exhibition game. “It showed me what I need to work on and how I need to get stronger and faster.”

Brook looked a little nervous in the first period, but calmed down and played well throughout the game.

“The first period … I don’t feel like my game was that good, but I thought it got better by the end,” he said.

This is the first WHL camp for the 15-year-old from Roblin, Man.

“I was just trying to adjust to the speed and see what it is like to play in this league,” Brook said.

The jump from midget triple A to the WHL is steep, even more so when you are still young like Brook.

“I felt like I showed them a little bit of what I have, but I think there is more to show,” he said. “I don’t think that I played the best that I could.”

As much as Brook downplayed his performance, it was apparent that the 5’11, 155-pound defenceman has raw talent that can be molded into a solid player in the WHL.

“He is a big body and he has gotten better every day at camp,” said Tim Hunter, head coach of the Warriors. “He sees the ice really well.”

He put together a solid performance throughout the rookie game, but was taken out of the play, which resulted in the Broncos scoring the overtime winner.

“It was disappointing what happened Tuesday night, but I told him that is what we are trying to build here … resiliency to forge on when things don’t go our way,” stated Hunter. “I told him not to worry about it and that he was trying to do the right thing.”

Hunter thought that Brook has gotten better throughout the course of rookie camp and into main camp and that he will only get better from an experience like this.

“It is great for him to see what the older guys do and how to push in practice,” Hunter said. “He has learned a ton in the short time he has been here.”

Hunter did say that Brook has work to do, “but showed a lot of good things in the (fitness) testing.”

“There are areas that he has to work on and areas that he is pretty good at,” he said. “I think he has had a very good camp for his age and he has to build on some things. It will make him a better hockey player down the line.”

Brook will suit up again this year for Notre Dame and Hunter is happy to have him close by.

“It is a wonderful situation to have him just down the highway. I hope I can get to see him myself this year and have a conversation with the coach,” said Hunter. “It is great to have him close so that he can come and watch a game once in a while too.”

Brook and the Warriors will play against the Pats tonight in Regina.  

Katie Brickman can be reached at 306-691-1260 or on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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