It takes a unique blend of skill, toughness, perseverance, and character for any player to suit up in 200 games of junior hockey.
Luckily for Power Dodge Estevan Bruins forward Bryce Platt, who reached that milestone (including playoff games) on Saturday, January 25th against the Nipawin Hawks, he possesses all those qualities. And that has endeared him to teammates, coaches and fans in junior hockey since the 2015/16 season.
“I pride myself of coming to the rink every day with my work boots on, working as hard as I can and being a glue guy in the dressing room,” says Platt.
“Just trying to have fun every day, get the other guys to have fun every day, and just wanting to win every day. That’s what I think has helped me play 200 games.”
Platt’s junior hockey career began with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen at the age of 17 where he would suit up in 34 regular season games and one playoff game, scoring in his lone postseason appearance.
After starting the 16/17 season with the Hitman for two games, Platt would be reassigned to the AJHL’s Canmore Eagles where he would be able to showcase his offensive abilities. Platt registered 20 goals and 35 points, along with 128 penalty minutes in 50 regular season games.
The 17/18 season would be a charmed one for Platt, who not only returned to the WHL level but would play with his hometown team: the Regina Pats. Even better, Regina would be the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup later that spring. Platt would play an important role as a checking forward with the club, suiting up for 60 regular season games and all 7 playoff games before Regina was ousted by Swift Current.
In the Memorial Cup, Bryce Platt would play in all five games for the Pats scoring a key goal in a 6-5 win over Swift Current in the round robin to advance Regina to the semi-final. The Pats would defeat the Hamilton Bulldogs advancing to the Memorial Cup final, where they would be shutout 3-0 by the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
“When I was 18, (playing with the Pats) was something that I didn’t really think was achievable. But it just goes to show that dreams do come true, and it’s something that I’ll remember forever, ” expressed Platt.
“I got to play in front of my friends and family every night. Both my grandparents had season tickets, and that whole season is just very special to me.”
Platt would begin his final season of junior hockey with Regina, but after playing in four games to start the season he would be reassigned to the Power Dodge Estevan Bruins who acquired his rights from Canmore the previous season.
After joining the Bruins on October 6th, Platt made an immediate impact offensively and has continued his strong play throughout the year. With 12 games remaining in the 18/19 regular season, Platt is playing at a near point-per-game pace (35 points in 36 games) and has either set or is on pace to set career high marks in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes.
“Coming to Estevan, I knew that I would have more opportunity. So I’ve been focused on putting up some points and having a good year statistically and doing what I can to help the team win,” adds Platt.
He has also taken the initiative to become one of the Bruins’ community leaders. Platt and his teammates have joined minor hockey practices, read and played at elementary schools with the kids, and on gamedays Platt takes the ‘Prairie Mud Services 7th Man’ into the Bruins dressing room pregame and helps the youngster get the team fired up for a big game.
But the ultimate goal for Platt in his final season is a team-orientated one, and one that has eluded him to this point: winning a league championship.
“It would be pretty special to be able to finish off my last season winning the last game of the year.”
Bryce Platt With A Scoring Chance Against Nipawin’s Declan Hobbs On Saturday, January 25th. Platt Registered A Primary Assist In A 2-1 Shootout Win, His 200th Career Junior Hockey Game. (Photo: Durr Photography)