He’d be lying if he said it wasn’t a little disappointing to be back in the Queen City after a try at making the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, but Adam Brooks is ready to pick up where he left off with the Regina Pats.
“You never like getting cut from a team, especially when you put a lot of work in (over) the summer,” Brooks said after practice on Tuesday. “In saying that, I’m super excited to be back here.”
And why wouldn’t he be, his team is coming off an exciting season that took them all the way to the eastern conference semi-finals. But just a few weeks ago Brooks was playing with some of the Leafs biggest names. He reminisced about Regina with Tyler Bozak and bonded with Leafs first overall draft pick Auston Matthews. He participated in rookie camp, and played three AHL exhibitions games before the Leafs sent him back to the WHL.
Brooks was a stand out for the Pats last season and the team’s top scorer. He knows there’s a big expectation for him to do it all over again.
“I had a pretty good year and it’s tough to follow that up, to be that,” he said. “Coming into this year my goal is trying to one up it, I guess you try to do that every year.”
But he also wants to do that without rocking the boat. His team is 4-0-2-0 this season without him in the line up.
“I’m not too focused on personal achievement, my goal is to come back here and try to help the team to continue to win and try not to disrupt anything, but right now they’re rolling.”
However, Brooks does feel like he came back with some tips from the Leafs that will be able to help out.
“The way you prepare every day, just the habits those older guys are showing me, just trying to relay those on to the other guys,” he said.
“Just to see some of the shape those guys came into camp in and just the way – even though it was an inter-squad game – the way that they competed and played against each other, that was pretty eye-opening for me.”
The Pats captain acknowledged there’s a lot expectations around the team this year, but the team will try to block all of that out and rally around each other.
“We’re kind of focused on the guys in that room and not focused on what everyone is saying about us.”
Brooks will make his 2016-17 season debut Wednesday night at the Brandt Centre. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.