Matt Bradley didn’t realize he hit a career milestone when it happened, but that doesn’t make him any less proud of his accomplishment.
The 20-year-old Regina Pats hockey player hit 200 career points during Friday night’s game against the Red Deer Rebels.
“I came off the bus and actually (line mate) Nick Henry was congratulating me, so it’s a cool marker to hit and I’m proud of it,” Bradley said Tuesday.
Bradley came to the Western Hockey League team in May 2017. Before that, he played his entire WHL career with the Medicine Hat Tigers.
He was sure to give a tip of the hat to his former teammates for their help getting him to 200.
“Last year was a big year for me. My line mates Mason Shaw and John Dahlstrom are really good players … they supported me on and off the ice,” he said,
While it was a big transition for Bradley to go from a team he knew well and was comfortable with, he said he was quickly embraced by the Pats players and coaches, which made it all a lot easier.
The Pats even named him an assistant captain.
“The trust they gave me from day one really helped me commit and be all in for this year,” he said.
Not that it was that difficult to do. Bradley walked onto a team that has the only guaranteed berth to the Memorial Cup.
The Pats, as hosts of the national championship, will play in the tournament regardless of the outcome in the playoffs.
Bradley has already made a splash in the absence of Sam Steel, who was in Anaheim for NHL training camp, showing head coach John Paddock exactly what he was hoping for when he obtained the overager.
“He’s a productive player. He’s for the most part what we thought he was. He has a little more versatility than we thought … he can play either wing and he’s going to score basically wherever he is,” Paddock said.
“To be able to put him up with Sam (Steel) and Nick (Henry) is a good option for us.”
With Steel back, the two have been working on chemistry.
“He’s a really good player. He’s fun to play with … these last couple of games I thought we’ve had some chemistry and we’ve been putting the puck in the back of the net,” Steel said, adding he’s a good guy to have in the locker room.
For his part, Bradley loves playing with Steel, too.
“It’s awesome; you just give him the puck and try to get open. That’s been a big thing for me … just trying to support him and find areas where he can hit me and it’s been good so far,” Bradley said.