Former Warriors forward ready for next level
Jason Bast’s dream is still alive.
Jason Bast, a former Moose Jaw Warrior captain, signed a rookie contract with the Idaho Steelheads of the East Coast Hockey League. Photo courtesy Nate McIntyre/Idaho Steelheads
After four seasons of playing at St. Francis Xavier University and finishing up a kinesiology degree, Bast has agreed to terms with the Idaho Steelheads of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).
“After my season ended at school, I still wanted to keep playing,” said Bast.
At the end of the 2013-14 season, Bast appeared in 13 regular season games for the Steelheads and 11 playoff games.
“It was a rookie contract that I signed on for, but since there weren’t enough games left in the season, I am technically classified as a rookie this year,” he said. “I will be back under the same contract.”
The decision to go back to Boise, Idaho was an easy one, he said.
“At the end of the year, I was deciding where to go. I knew some guys there and heard nothing but great things, so I decided to try it out,” said Bast. “I loved the city, I loved the team and everything just went well. There wasn’t really any consideration into going anywhere else this year. I loved my time there and I am looking forward to another year.”
The 24-year-old Moose Jaw native played with the Moose Jaw Warriors from 2005-2010 and was team captain for two seasons.
After the Warriors, he played with the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL, but put his professional career on hold to go to Xavier University in Nova Scotia on a WHL scholarship.
He is currently in Regina for the summer, finishing up the last couple of classes at the University of Regina for his kinesiology degree.
That transition of playing hockey in the WHL to school was shocking, but he is happy to get back on the ice full-time again.
“It was actually quite a huge change going to school — just the whole lifestyle is so much busier. All of the sudden, hockey becomes the No. 2 priority. It was just so nice to go back when I went to Idaho and having hockey being No. 1,” he said. “Really the only thing on your mind during the day was hockey and that was a breath of fresh air.”
Bast is happy to get a degree, but his focus in on playing hockey.
“If a couple years down the road and I want to use my degree and start my career, I can,” he said. “I am hoping to keep playing as long as it makes sense to play.”
During his time at St. Francis, he tallied 109 career points in 110 regular season games. That scoring touch was not lost when he went to the Steelheads either, scoring 16 points in 13 games.
“I think that’s what I set the bar at, so they are expecting that out of me,” he said. “I know the coaches are detailed oriented and they aren’t just looking for offence out of me. They are looking at a lot of intangible things. In my time there, they really worked hard with on a D-zone and face-offs.”
Bast will head back to Nova Scotia at the end of summer and train with his old team to get ready for camp.
Up first is a tryout with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, who is the affiliate of the Dallas Stars. The Steelheads are the affiliates of the Texas Stars.
“The dream hasn’t died. There is still always hope,” he said. “I am hoping for the best there (Texas) and if not, I will be happy to go back to Idaho. Things can work fast and there might be injuries above and you get a call-up if things go well.”
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