Prince Rupert hockey talent Brett Fudger is hoping a move to Prince George to play for the Junior Cariboo Cougars will him to take his game to the next level.
The 15-year-old centre-forward, who has played hockey since he was four years old, was picked up by the BC Hockey Major Midget League team after playing in a Vancouver talent showcase. The Cariboo, impressed with Fudger’s ability, were one of four teams who asked him to play for them.
Ultimately, it was a combination of being closer to home and team success that led Fudger to join the Cougars. He will move to Prince George in September.
“It’s a lot easier to get back home and it’s the North,” he said. “They’re a really good team, they’ve had a lot of success in their history and they seem to really like me so I went with them.”
Fudger will be used to being away from home as he moved to Comox in 2016 to play midget Tier 1 hockey. He said the skill level and speed of the game were much higher there, the combination of that and help from some of the coaches helped him refine his game.
“They all watched my games, and then after the games they came up to me and told me what I did wrong and what I did good and what I can improve on,” he said. “In the next practices they helped me improve on that and kind of build on my weaknesses. It’s finally gotten to a level where it’s evened out.”
Fudgers said one of the areas he’s improved most has been his mental toughness in games. He said he would be discouraged by a poor shift before but that doesn’t happen anymore.
Fudger said he is looking forward to the amount of high level hockey he will get to play as a member of the Cariboo Cougars as well as the opportunity to meet other players.
“We travel every weekend, and we’re on the ice every day of the week, five days a week, training three days a week with trainers,” he said. “And going to school with my friends from my hockey team. We’ll be having fun.”
Fudger said he knows that this is just one more step forward, and said he hopes to take hockey as far as he can.
“A lot of hockey players want to go to the NHL and that obviously the big main goal for everone,” he said. “But you’ve got to take it step-by-step and I obviously want to end up as a professional hockey player some day.”