By Brett Poirier
Jan. 31, 2014
For Alex Bradley, hockey skates on his feet and a stick in his hands have became the norm.
The Summerside Western Capitals forward was on the ice before he began elementary school.
At age five, he began skating in his hometown of Lower Coverdale, N.B, a suburb of Moncton.
His parents, Paul and Stephanie, always by his side at games and practices, are thrilled to see where he is today.”
Now in Summerside with the Capitals, Alex is entering his second half with his new team.
“We’re so proud of Alex, ” said Stephanie. “Sports are in our family. It was important to my husband that Alex got involved with the game.”
Following in the footsteps of his father, who played high school hockey, Bradley was motivated to make him proud.
“They always cheered me on and supported me my whole life,” said Alex. “They helped guide my career.”
For Capitals general manager Pat McIver, the decision to bring Bradley to his Maritime Junior A team was a no brainer.
“He’s a key offensive guy on our team.”
Summerside acquired Alex as part of a trade involving former Capitals star Danny Chiasson before the season began.
“We got his rights through trade that involved one of our best guys. We really wanted him with us and paid a big price to get him.”
Although he has been successful in recent years, it hasn’t always been that way for Alex.
In the early days of his minor career, he tried out for a spring team and got the bad news he had been cut.
“I remember him asking ‘did I make it’ when he woke up. We wanted to say yes so bad, but we had to tell him no,” Stephanie said.
That may have been a defining moment in his young career. A new work ethic was born.
“He worked his little behind off after that.”
Coming into the Western Capitals season, management expected big things from Alex but his dominance has been stunning.
Through 37 games he’s leading the points race on the squad, averaging exactly one point per game. An elite playmaker, Bradley leads the team in assists with 23. Also an impressive feat, he leads the league in rookie points.
Linemate Brad Power is also a rookie and close friend of Alex. The two have been at the forefront of many Capitals’ wins.
Power, one of the youngest in the league at 17, speaks highly of his teammate.
“He’s a quick and hardworking player,” said Power. “Alex is one of the most determined player’s that I’ve ever been on the ice with.”
Alex and Power have combined for 71 of the Caps points this season, 28 per cent of the team’s total production.
Since meeting at the beginning of the season, it has been tough separating the two.
“We’re good buddies on and off the ice,” said Power. “I hope both of us can stick around and have a future in Summerisde.”
McIver is on the list of people looking to keep them together.
“Alex and Brad on the ice together is hard to stop,” said McIver. “They’re two young guys we intend to keep.”
The future looks bright in Summerside. The top six point getters are all under 19, allowing each player potentially two more years with the team.
But right now, the future doesn’t go beyond the books for Alex.
He took a year off and recently completed a math class at Three Oaks Senior High. Alex plans to attend post-secondary on the Island next year.
Production off the ice, like school, is what makes his parents most proud.
“It’s not all about the goals and assists, but meeting new people and growing as a person,” said Stephanie. “Paul and I are really happy for everything he’s done on the ice.
“It’s not always about being the best, but working hard and achieving things in life other than hockey, and he’s doing that.”