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Creston local drafted to WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes

Brody Rotar was selected in the 2023 Western Hockey League Prospects Draft
Creston product Brody Rotar. (Submitted)

By Jen Rotar

After a very successful 2021-2022 season playing with the Tier 1 AA East Kootenay Avalanche Zone team, Brody Rotar and his family made the tough decision to move to Lethbridge in search of the opportunity to play AAA hockey.

Rotar ended his season with the Avalanche as the top-rated goalie in regular season play. The spring brought some academy playing opportunities, however, he decided he wanted to give AAA a try. Rotar attended AAA tryouts in Lethbridge last fall and was able to secure one of the two goalie spots.

The Lethbridge U15AAA Val Matteotti Golden Hawks welcomed Rotar to their roster and looked forward to what he could bring to the team. The Golden Hawks were a mid to lower level team and Rotar found the Alberta Elite Hockey League to have some high level competition.

Rotar managed to get a 51 shot shut out in a pre-season game versus the Medicine Hat Tigers. The season had its ups and downs and Rotar was averaging 50 shot games during the beginning of the season. The Golden Hawks attended the Northern Alberta Extreme Academy (NAX) Tournament in January, where Rotar put on a show.

For the first game of the tournament, he was given the task to mind net while his team played the top AAA team in Western Canada. Rotar managed to keep the score to a one goal difference until the late in the third period. Rotar saw 64 shots and after some penalty trouble and some unfortunate breakaways, his team lost 6-1. Rotar made some complicated saves and was put in some precarious positions as the top ranked AAA team had some very skilled players. Rotar kept his composure and just kept working hard.

The following weekend the Hawks headed to an Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) showcase weekend in Leduc. Rotar had 62 shots on net and managed to hang on to an overtime tie 2-2 with the second ranked Northern AEHL team. Rotar ended the season in mid-March and headed back home to Creston to complete his school year.

In the following weeks, Rotar received accolades for his hard work and dedication. He attended the Junior A Cranbrook Bucks camp and was selected to play in the Top Prospects game on the final day. Rotar was also selected to attend the Alberta Elite Goalie Development Camp and Showcase in Calgary at the beginning of June. On top of that, he was selected as one of the top 80 U16 players in Alberta to attend the U16 Top 80 camp in Red Deer in July.

On May 11, Rotar received the greatest reward for his efforts as he was drafted to the Lethbridge Hurricanes during the Western Hockey League Prospects Draft (formally the WHL Bantam draft). Rotar was selected in the fifth round and was the 102nd pick.

This is quite the accomplishment for a small town hockey player that managed to work his way up through the minor hockey ranks. Starting off as a Tier 4 House hockey goalie, Rotar has made many sacrifices and put a lot of hard work and determination into achieving his goal of drafting in the Western Hockey League.