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Professional Hockey Player & HC Bolzana Star Brett Findlay Reflects On The Road To Achieving His Dream Of Going Pro

Brett Findlay | Starting Center | HC Bolzano Foxes

At the end of the day, hockey is still a game that we grew up playing since we were toddlers. It’s in our blood, and it’s a skill most guys who play professionally have crafted and paved their own pathways to a solid and successful career.

Brett Findlay

Starting Center

HC Bolzano Foxes

× The interview with Brett Findlay was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Going back to the beginning, tell us about your journey becoming a professional hockey player. When did you realize you wanted to pursue a professional career?

Well, from when I was probably 4-5 years old I always said I wanted to play hockey when I grew up.

I was probably around 17 when I actually realized and started to believe that I could play hockey as a career.

At that age, when you are skating with older players in the summer and see the lifestyle they live and things they have achieved, it made me realize how much more I wanted to live that life.

How much I enjoy it can’t even be put into words.

You have over eight years of professional hockey experience, including time in the AHL, ECHL, and European leagues such as the ICEHL where you currently play for HC Bolzana Foxes in Italy. Given your experience, what mentality do you bring to the game now in order to perform at your best?

Once you get into the professional hockey lifestyle, you realize pretty quickly how much more seriously guys take the game at the rink and also away from the rink.

It is a job that provides for not just a single athlete, but also married guys and their families.

So you really adapt quickly and also realize practices and off-ice conditioning is a big part of hockey.

You really have to be focused on those things, also.

How were you able to take your experiences growing up and playing hockey in Canada and translate that to playing overseas? Tell us about the difference in hockey culture that you have experienced.

Yes, the lifestyle in Europe is definitely a change from North America!

But at the end of the day, hockey is still a game that we grew up playing since we were toddlers.

It’s in our blood, and it’s a skill most guys who play professionally have crafted and paved their own pathways to a solid and successful career.

Aside from the ice being a bit bigger, there is a lot of guys who grow up in Europe who want to play in the NHL, so it makes the league a lot more competitive!

What are three characteristics or skills that aspiring professional hockey players should develop in order to build a professional career out of their love for the sport?

Three traits that I try and take pride in or accomplish year in and year out are:

  1. Determination. Working hard day in and day out and not giving up on your teammates is something I try and do everyday when I go to the rink.
  2. Being unselfish. Being a good teammate and picking other guys up when they make a mistake, or helping out with anything away from the rink a guy may be dealing with. Just being a good teammate, in general, isn’t hard to do, and is the biggest thing I take pride in.
  3. Being humble. Hockey is a crazy game of ups and downs, and you have to learn how to deal with adversity. Always be humble, because when things are going good it’s great but when things are going bad, it is tough mentally sometimes to get out of a slump or a streak of a few bad games.

What advice would you give to a young athlete? How can they level-up their gameplay to set themselves apart?

Well, if your passionate about something, you will put in the work, and it won’t even feel like work!

If you truly want to play professional hockey then put your head down, work hard, don’t worry or listen to what anyone else is saying negatively and listen to the people who believe in you and will support you.

And get out there and achieve your goals!

Jaelyn Terrion Jaelyn's Final Thoughts

Brett Findlay, current starting centre for HC Bolzana, has had an amazing journey in professional hockey. It was great to chat with him about his roots in hockey, and what made him fall in love with the game. From skating with talented players at a young age, to achieving his dream of becoming a pro, Brett has established a successful professional hockey career for himself. With vast experience in professional leagues including the ECHL, AHL, and various European leagues, Brett has brought his grit and determination each time he steps foot in the rink. He recognizes the competition that playing professional hockey brings, and credits his success to his determination, being unselfish, and being humble. Brett talks about the importance of realizing your passion for hockey in order to follow your dreams and achieve a professional career! 

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