BROOKS, AB (May 29, 2023) – The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League have re-acquired forward Nicholas DeGraves from the Penticton Vees of the BCHL.
The Bandits acquired DeGraves’ CJHL rights from the Whitecourt Wolverines on November 10th, 2022, before sending him to the Vees for the remainder of the season. DeGraves now re-joins the Bandits to Captain the squad during his final season of junior hockey.
“I’m incredibly honoured to be a Bandit once again and have the exciting opportunity to lead our group with the hopes of another championship. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have played with some exceptional leaders during my time in junior hockey and am eager to continue the tradition from Taylor Makar, Ethan Lund and Dario Beljo” said DeGraves.
“Although not with our team last season, Nic has been a Bandit through and through. From his days as an affiliate player back in 2019, his growth as a player and more importantly as a person is quite simply astonishing. Nic has been through an incredible amount as a junior hockey player from injury adversity, shortened seasons, trades and championships. His experience is second to none and that along with our relationship make him an ideal choice for our next Captain,” said Bandits Head Coach & General Manager, Ryan Papaioannou.
DeGraves (Edmonton, AB) originally signed with the Bandits following the 2019-20 season from OHA Edmonton (CSSHL), where he put up 70 points in 36 games with the U18 Prep team.
His first season in Brooks was the 2020-21 COVID-shortened season, where he dressed in 14 games, scoring 9 points (3G, 6A). His second season saw his production increase to 47 points (14G, 33A) in 53 games, and 10 points (1G, 9A) in 13 AJHL Playoff Games. DeGraves’ contributions to the Bandits winning the 2022 AJHL Championship included scoring the game-tying goal in Game 2 to force overtime, which the Bandits won.
The 20-year-old went on to score 9 points (2G, 7A) in 6 games at the 2022 Centennial Cup, helping the Bandits win the National Championship in Estevan, SK.
During the 2022-23 campaign, DeGraves committed to Penn State University where he will play with Aiden Fink and current Bandit Nathan Free. He tallied 33 points (9G, 24A) in 29 games for Penticton in the regular season, followed by 15 points (2G, 13A) in 17 BCHL Playoff Games, capturing the BCHL Championship for a second straight league-title.
“The entire Brooks organization is one held in the highest regard within the hockey community, and I look forward to building upon our winning culture.” said DeGraves.
The Bandits welcome Nic and his family back to Brooks for the 2023-24 season.