When you think about complete hockey players, the types who can score, hit, provide leadership and do a little bit of everything to help a team win, British Columbia’s Brent Seabrook is among the first players who comes to mind.
Growing up in Tsawwassen, B.C., Seabrook embarked on a fascinating hockey adventure with four names quite familiar to us: Andrew Ladd, Troy Brouwer and Colin Fraser.
They all played minor hockey together with the Pacific Vipers; all eventually made the NHL; and, amazingly, all four of them became teammates and Stanley Cup champions with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Seabrook was a standout in the Western Hockey League with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, playing with another future teammate, Kris Versteeg, before Chicago drafted him to the NHL, 14th overall, in 2003.
Right out of junior, he joined the Blackhawks in 2005-06, the first year after the lockout, and tallied 32 points as a rookie.
Soon, his partner in crime, Duncan Keith, joined him on the Hawks’ blueline.
The two have become the NHL’s premiere shutdown pair since then, winning a Stanley Cup together in 2010 and, a few months earlier, helping Canada to an Olympic Gold Medal.
Now an assistant captain with the Hawks, Seabrook remains one of the NHL’s best all-around defensemen, a guy who can chip in meaningful offense (including a career-high 48 points last season) but who also regularly hangs around the league leaders in ice time, hits and blocked shots.
Brent’s younger brother, Keith, currently plays in the Florida Panthers’ organization.
If he can become half the player Brent is, the NHL will have another outstanding import from Tsawwassen.