Lynnden Pastachak has begun the next chapter of his hockey career with the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins.
“I’m excited to get a chance to play for the Bruins,” says Pastachak, who is a native of Bienfait. “It means a lot get to play for the Bruins because my dad (Kevin Pastachak) also played for the Bruins. It will also be nice to live closer to home in my Grade 12 year.”
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound winger knew he was ready to make the jump to the junior ranks following leading the SMAAAHL’s Yorkton Harvest in scoring last year with 29 goals and 58 points in 42 games.
“Last year I knew when I started to consistently score that I was ready to play junior hockey,” says Pastachak. “It was a great experience to play for the Harvest for two years, but I knew I wouldn’t be back this year because I’m ready for the next step.”
Pastachak was hoping to crack the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels, but he was cut shortly after training camp started because of a lack of open spots on the wing.
“It was a good experience, but it was disappointing not to make the team,” he says. “It all comes down to numbers. They didn’t have any open spot on the right wing.”
Pastachak is now a free agent in the Dub as the Rebels unlisted him following cutting him. He hopes to get another chance in the league next year, but he also might look at the American college route.
“I’m hoping another team will pick me up and give me a chance (in the WHL),” he says. “But right now I’m just going to keep my options open. The NCAA is still a possibility for me because I didn’t play any pre-season games (in the WHL) and I might do that.”
Despite being a 17-year-old rookie among players up to three years older than him, Bruins head coach-GM Chris Lewgood feels Pastachak will take on a big role this year in Estevan.
“Even though he’s a young guy, I think he could step right in and contribute. I think he’s going to fit right in, in probably a top six role. He could be one of the top rookies in the SJHL,” Lewgood told Josh Lewis of the Estevan Mercury.
Pastachak isn’t making any predictions on how many points he will score yet, but he knows he’s ready to make an impact.
“I want to wait until a couple games into the season before I can really tell how many goals I might be able to score,” he says. “It will depend on what type of role I play. I do know I’m ready to be a good player in this league, though.”