Written by: Nolan Kowal/DiscoverEstevan.com
The name Burfoot might be a familiar one to long-time Estevan Bruins fans.
Forward Scott Burfoot donned a Bruins jersey in the late 80’s.
“I loved the community… it was awesome. My first year, I had to dress in a different locker room for the first 10 games of the year because I still hadn’t made the team. Then I finally got to move into the main locker room. And I had to fight just to stay for that first year.”
“I had like 10 fights and I’m not a big guy.”
Five feet nine inches to be exact. His second season was a little more memorable, when the coaching staff gave him a more offensive role. Burfoot put up a whopping 131 points in 60 games in the 1987-88 season.
“We were a good line,” Burfoot reminisced. I had some great teammates and we had a pretty special year. That’s the first year Notre Dame came in and they had (Rod) Brind’Amour and Curtis Joseph and that whole squad. They were basically an NHL team. But Brind’Amour finished second behind me. He’s done pretty well for himself.”
Burfoot would go on to a pro career in the East Coast Hockey League.
Fast forward to 2021. Scott, his wife, their two daughters, his parents, and brother are all in town this weekend to watch Zach, Scott’s son, play for the current Bruins squad at Affinity Place. It’s Zach’s first season in the SJHL.
“I love it, it’s awesome,” said Zach Burfoot, who grew up just outside Chicago, Illinois after his dad finished up his playing career with the Rockford IceHogs, then of the USHL. “It’s a bit of a culture shock from Chicago, but I really like it here. We gave Tarts (Bruins head coach Jason Tatarnic) a call and I ended up coming here.”
Tatarnic says his staff knew they would have to be patient with Burfoot, who just turned 18 a few days ago.
“There’s certain things he’s got to learn about playing junior hockey, and that’s fine, it’s a process for young guys,” Tatarnic said. And you just have to be patient, and he has been patient, I think that’s the key for him, he’s not trying to rush things.”
Scott Burfoot, who grew up in Winnipeg, also played a role in his son’s decision to head north.
“He doesn’t have an advisor, basically it’s me,” he said. “His mom and I felt it was time for him to maybe try and get his feet wet in junior. We talked for a week or two about it, because it’s a big move, for us and for him, because he still has a year of high school left. Talked it over, Zach was so excited about it, it was all he thought about, and we made the decision to come here.”
He adds that he’s seen improvements in his son’s game this year.
“Honestly I’ve seen tremendous growth in him from day one until now,” Scott Burfoot said. “I think sitting out probably motivated him a little bit too, because he’s never been a healthy scratch before. And I thought last Friday (against Weyburn) was his best game so I’m hoping that he just continues it tonight and moving forward.”
Zach Burfoot has played in three of the Bruins’ six games this year. He’ll be in the lineup Friday night against Melfort.
And he’s excited for what’s to come with this talented Bruins squad.
“I’m so excited, I think we have a great team, and I think we’re going to make a really big run here.”
“It should be fun.”