Very few players get the opportunity to win back-to-back National Junior A Championships.
Even fewer get the chance to do it as captain, which makes what Brady Cook is trying to do all the more special.
Cook, the Camrose Kodiaks’ captain, is in Prince George, BC for the 2007 RBC Royal Bank Cup looking to do what no player in the tournament’s 37-year history has ever done: captain two different teams to the national championship in consecutive years.
Cook stood at centre ice at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, ON on and accepted the RBC Royal Bank Cup following his Burnaby Express’ 8-2 win over the Yorkton Terriers in the national final.
On May 13, he hopes to do the same at centre ice at CN Centre.
“It would mean the world to me,” Cook says of winning back-to-back titles. “I play to win championships, and to do it two years in a row, with two exceptional teams, would be unbelievable.”
Like many great leaders, Cook says another championship would be great for him, but he wants to do it more for the other players in the Camrose dressing room that haven’t had the opportunity to reach the pinnacle of Canadian Junior A hockey.
“This (winning the RBC Royal Bank Cup) would be for the other guys more than it would be for me,” he says. “We are a team, and I’m just part of a bigger thing here. To be the first guy to do it would be great, but that’s not the biggest thing.”
While Cook may not have the largest offensive upside – he had just 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in 33 regular season games, and just four (one goal, three assists) in 17 playoff games, it is a lot more than scoring he brings to the table.
Cook describes himself as a physical presence that will do what it takes to win.
“I’m a character guy,” the 6-foot, 195 pound forward says of himself. “I’ve got the reputation of someone who won’t back down, and is willing to punish the opposition, to get in their heads, if that’s what it takes.”
The Kodiaks are the third Junior A franchise for Cook – fourth city, if you count the Express’ move from Coquitlam to Burnaby after the 2004-05 season – and the Edmonton native says he has nothing but praise for all of the organizations he has suited up for.
“Sherwood Park (AJHL) was a great team to play for, but I needed a change of scenery,” Cook says. “I asked to go to Coquitlam because I had heard a lot of great things about how their organization was run, and the same goes for Camrose. I have been really lucky over my career.”
Wrapping up his Junior A hockey career following this season, the 20-year-old Cook says he will look at his hockey future following the season, but not before.
“I have kept my options open, and I’ll look at it after the year,” he says. “I want to go to school and play, and ideally it’ll be Division I (NCAA hockey), but my options are open for Division III or CIS (Canadian university). Right now, though, the focus is to win, and the personal stuff can come later.”