Photo credit: Garrett James Photography
The 2023 NHL Draft is set to take place on June 28 and 29 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings include five players that played in the BCHL last year and another two who are BCHL alumni in college hockey.
Leading up to the draft, we will share interviews with the prospects about the draft process and a variety of other subjects.
The BCHL’s 2023 NHL Draft coverage is presented by Chevrolet.
Penticton Vees forward Bradly Nadeau had a sophomore season to remember in 2022-23. Playing alongside his older brother Josh, the New Brunswick product led the BCHL in scoring with 113 points in 54 games, won the league’s Most Valuable Player award and was also named playoff MVP after leading his team to a second straight league championship.
He accomplished all of this with the pressure of it being his draft year and knowing the eyes of the NHL scouting world were on him each night.
Nadeau tells us about how he handled the pressure, how he developed in his two years in Penticton and what he is looking forward to in the next chapter of his hockey career.
BCHL: With 2022-23 being your draft year, how did you handle that extra pressure?
Nadeau: I turned the pressure into positive energy and it really helped me this year. We had a good year as a team and I think that helped me perform on the ice. Having a good team like that, it makes it easier to perform your best because your team has a standard and you want to play up to that standard.
BCHL: What does being part of a winning team the last two years do for a player’s development?
Nadeau: You learn new habits, winning habits, which helps you in your hockey career. It helps your confidence a lot as a player. Going back-to-back like that was something really fun. There’s nothing better than winning and we got to do that two years in a row.
BCHL: You’ve played the last two years on the same line as your older brother Josh. You were one-two in league scoring last year. What’s it been like playing alongside him?
Nadeau: It’s been really fun. It’s also fun to know we’ll be playing together again next year [at the University of Maine]. Our chemistry together has been pretty good, but obviously it can always get better. Being on the ice with him, he makes it easy. Sometimes [the opponent] has to make sure there are two players on him, so he can’t do everything by himself and that opens up the ice for me.
BCHL: How have you improved as a player in your two years in the BCHL?
Nadeau: My defensive play has gotten a lot better. That’s something [head coach] Fred [Harbinson] really helped me work on. Getting stronger between that first and second year was a big part of my game and, honestly, confidence was also another big part. In my second year, [my confidence] was a lot better. With that confidence, your shot and other stuff like that comes along.
BCHL: How would you describe yourself as a player and how do you think your game would translate to the pro level?
Nadeau: I’m a creative offensive forward. I have to work hard and compete because I’m not the biggest player on the ice. I think that my compete level allows me to perform up to my standard on the ice. There are other good players and, if you don’t work hard, you won’t make it to the next level.
BCHL: What would it mean to you and your family to get drafted?
Nadeau: It would be an unbelievable moment. I’ve been working for this my whole life, even my mom and dad driving me and all the money they’ve spent for me to play hockey. That’s one of my dreams, to get drafted and also play [in the NHL].
BCHL: How much are you looking forward to starting your college hockey career next year?
Nadeau: That’s going to be really fun, getting to play against older and stronger players. Getting to do that with my brother is going to be exciting. I can’t wait to start next year with Maine. I know they’re going to have a good team and hopefully we’ll be able to win.