This month’s alumni spotlight focuses on Brady Bakke.
Brady Bakke owes a lot to hockey.
“I don’t remember how I got in the game, but I gained one of my life-long friends from my first team,” recalled Bakke.
Bakke began his hockey journey in Stettler, before moving on to elite hockey in Red Deer.
“My Mom is probably influenced my hockey career the most,” said Bakke. “She changed me from a defenceman to forward. She told me to ‘just go after the puck,’ and it worked out.”
As a forward, Bakke played all five years with Red Deer in what is now the Alberta Elite Hockey League. He capped off his AAA career winning a Telus Cup in 2012 with the U18 Optimist Chiefs.
He graduated to the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) where he played three seasons with the Bonnyville Pontiacs. His hockey career then took him to university, where he played two seasons with Concordia University in Edmonton.
“You go through a lot of ups and downs in minor hockey and probably ride the emotional roller-coaster of wins and losses too much,” said Bakke. “When you move to junior hockey you need to stay as even as you can because ups and downs will make you go on huge swings.”
Hockey also took Bakke across the pond to play in Europe. Looking back on everything hockey has given him, he has one piece of advice:
“Enjoy it. We all start playing hockey because its fun. Keep hockey fun,” said Bakke. “It is supposed to be a release from regular stresses and no matter how hard the game becomes, remember why you began playing.”
Now an assistant coach for the AJHL’s Blackfalds Bulldogs, Bakke is giving back to the game to give the next generation the same opportunities hockey gave him.