Seabrook consistent with Lethbridge

By Aaron Vickers

Every time hulking defenseman Brent
Seabrook
collects another jersey, it seems as though another
honor has been bestowed upon him. At least, that’s what the Delta,
British Columbia native will tell you when you ask about each and every
uniform he’s had the luxury of putting on.

And he’s put on some pretty prestigious jerseys.

In June of 2003, Seabrook heard his name echo through the Gaylord
Entertainment Center in Nashville, Tennessee, as the Chicago Blackhawks came calling on him as part of an effort to rebuild their
storied franchise. As one of the top defensemen coming out of the
Western Hockey League, Seabrook heard his name called surprisingly early, at 14th overall.

“I was
just thrilled,” an enthused Seabrook recalled this past weekend. “Going that high, I didn’t
expect it. I just felt great, and was really excited and really pleased
to pull
that jersey over my head.”

Going to such a storied franchise wasn’t lost on the youngster, either.


“With the jersey they have and the background they have with
guys playing over the years, just some great guys in the past and the
present.
Just to be drafted to that organization, an original six team, it’s a
great honor.”

Pulling on the familiar Blackhawk logo over his head was one memory
that the 6’3, 220lb Seabrook said soon wouldn’t escape his mind, but
it was when the conversation turned to the Canadian Maple Leaf, not the Blackhawk, that Seabrook seemed most excited.

The Seabrook residence boasts a collection of Team Canada jerseys that
is matched by only a few of this country’s elite junior hockey players.
Seabrook, who skates with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western
Hockey League, has collected national jerseys, and international recognition, at every stage of his young career.

It was Seabrook in 2002 who captained his Canadian squad in the 8
Nations Tournament, a series of games that saw Team Canada defeat the
Czech Republic for the Gold Medal. Many months after that, it was
Seabrook who would drape his country’s flag on his chest once again,
and wear a letter near his heart. It was again under Seabrook’s
leadership, in an associate captain’s role, that the Canadian squad
would again be victorious, this time defeating Slovakia to capture the
2003 World Under-18 Championships.

So it seemed as though, with such a successful string of victories for
Seabrook and his fellow 1985-born players, that the one thing that had
eluded Canadian hockey in recent memory would soon be theirs – the
World Junior Hockey Championship. Unfortunately for Seabrook, his
teammates, and a nation, history denied the young Canadians the chance
to drape a gold medal around their necks.

“With my experiences last year we had a great team and a lot
of fun, and we all felt we should’ve won that game,” a somber
Lethbridge Hurricanes captain said.

“Everyone says, ‘You’ve won a silver medal,’ but when it happened, and
even now, it still feels like we lost the gold.

Seabrook and his teammates returned to their respective junior clubs with gold in their hearts, but silver in their hands.

While Seabrook made it clear that nothing would be a given with Team Canada Head Coach Brent Sutter in regards to roster positions for those that were a part of the team last season, he has hopes of returning to the international stage to set things right, a motivation that has
certainly sparked the Chicago Blackhawks prospect.

“First and foremost I’m just glad to have the
opportunity to try out again and hopefully come December I get the good
news,” explained Seabrook.

“Going into it this year, we still have the taste of gold in our mouths, and should have 12 or 13 returning
players eligible to return this year. If we get another shot, we
aren’t going to let it slip away this year.”

“We are looking forward to getting back to that final game,
hopefully, and just trying to get the gold – for Canada.”

Beyond the upcoming World Juniors, Seabrook is looking forward to joining the many other talented defensive prospects in the Chicago organization.

“The guys they’ve got in the organization are as talented as any around, and I’m looking forward to hopefully being a part of that and growing with the organization.”

He’s getting good training for the pro game from Lethbridge head coach Lindsay Hofford.

“Hopefully I get the opportunity to jump up into the next level and it’ll be a great opportunity for me,” Seabrook said. “Lindsay is giving me plenty of opportunities and a lot of help with stuff I have to work on to become a pro player. Lindsay’s coached a lot of professional hockey players. All the help he’s giving me is great, and hopefully I’ll take it and move on.”

Seabrook leads Lethbridge defensemen in scoring with 12 points in 19 games, with a -7. His 57 penalty minutes lead the team.

Copyright 2004 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.