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Brandon Devlin: A Real Competitor

Brandon Devlin grew up in the Brampton area

Brandon Devlin grew up in the Brampton area watching the Toronto Maple Leafs on television and dreaming of one day playing pro hockey. Devlin started playing hockey at age 5, following in his footsteps of his brother, Robert. The family all enjoyed hockey, which Devlin says made it easier when it came to getting support for his career aspirations.
“Mom and Dad have always been there for me, whether it was league games or tournaments,” Devlin said. To this day, his parents go to as many games as possible in Peterborough to watch their son play, often on Saturday nights. Devlin played minor hockey for the Brampton Battalion, Toronto Red Wings and Mississauga Ice Dogs prior to being drafted in the 3rd round of the Ontario Hockey Draft by the Barrie Colts, 55th overall.

Devlin was not always a defenseman, as he played as a forward until Bantam when he was moved back to defense since his team was short one night and he was one of the team’s better skaters. The rest is history. It was at this time, as well, that Devlin thought he had a shot at playing pro hockey.

When he was drafted by the Colts, Devlin felt like he was the happiest kid in the world. But, he knew it would take a lot of hard work to be productive in the OHL and possibly make it as a pro. Devlin did a lot of power skating during summers, and even though there were times during the season where he really did not like it, he soon realized it was essential for him to get better and improve his game. Devlin continues to work hard, whether he’s working on his skating or working out. He says he knows nothing comes easy if you do not work hard to be better in all areas of the game of hockey.

Devlin spent a year and a half in Barrie before being traded to the Windsor Spitfires. In Barrie, it reminded Devlin of home, and he formed many great friendships, including one with Dalton Prout (Overage defenseman), who Devlin says had the greatest impact on him, as he was easy to talk to and he was a leader by example and someone to look up to. However, the team in Barrie was not a strong one during Devlin’s time there, and he looked forward to a new start when he was traded to the Spitfires. Windsor was higher in the standings, and Devlin looked forward to new place, new faces and a new city. He spent just over one year in Windsor, but Devlin says he valued his time there, as the coaches, Bob Boughner, Bob Jones and DJ Smith, were smart and knew what they were doing. Smith, in particular, was willing to help Devlin out the most, and it was very helpful as he knew the whole team system. Windsor finished 8th that year and were swept by the first-place London Knights in the playoffs.
Devlin had mixed emotions about his next trade, which saw him shipped to the Peterborough Petes, his third team in three years. That’s not easy for a teenager, as there are many adjustments a young man has to make when he moves to a brand new city and a new team. Devlin knew two players on the Petes, Stephen Pierog and Michael Giguovaz (both of whom were traded this year). The biggest challenge Devlin says he’s experienced during his time in Peterborough is consistency. He believes the team can play with the best teams, but they haven’t performed against the weaker teams, which Devlin thinks results from the players trying to do too much sometimes.
Devlin thinks the team can make a good run leading into the playoffs this year, moving up a few spots in the standings. And then anything can happen once in the playoffs. Devlin’s favourite memories in the OHL are how all the players are brothers experiencing the ups and downs together and overall has a great time and lots of fun. Devlin wants to play in the NHL one day, but he says he knows he needs to improve overall on being aggressive in the offensive and defensive zones. He looks forward to many more years of hockey, and hopefully a shot at the pro level after his OHL career.

Story by Scott Cherwaty, Photos by Peterborough Petes