Just a few weeks ago, former Weber State University hockey player Braxton Green was looking for work and filling out job applications. After hoping to get a chance to play with a hockey team somewhere, it appeared that nobody was interested in signing him.
“My agent had mentioned there were a couple of teams that were interested,” Green said. “But some time went by and I hadn’t heard anything.”
Green’s plans changed suddenly when he got a call from his agent. Kauhavan Hela-Kiekko, a Finnish hockey team, had offered Green a contract to play for the 2014-2015 season.
“It was something that I was definitely hoping would happen,” Green said. “It was a surreal feeling once that contract got sent over to my agent. I knew I had a chance to go and play somewhere.”
“Braxton has always been a great player, and a great leader on and off the ice,” said Joe Pfleegor, head coach of the Weber State hockey team. “He’s got a great work ethic. He’s what we call a complete package. You don’t see too many of those players around.”
Pfleegor was excited to hear that Green had received an offer to play overseas, and said that Green is the type of player that a lot of teams look for.
“He can pretty much do it all,” Pfleegor said. “I think what really stood out with Braxton was the fact that not only was he a talented player, his leadership on and off the ice was phenomenal.”
“It still hasn’t really sank in yet,” Green said. “I leave in about a week, and I think that’s when everything is gonna settle in.”
Green will be joining Hela-Kiekko after tying with Dax Hobbs for the most points on the team with 46 points in his final season as a Wildcat. Appearing in 32 of the team’s 35 games last year, Green scored 24 goals and recorded 22 assists, averaging five points and three shots per game. Green attributes his success on the ice to his entire team.
“I had really great teammates, and a great coaching staff. They got me to where I had the chance to play overseas,” Green said. “If it wasn’t for all the guys pushing me, and the coaching staff guiding me throughout the years, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now.”
When Green joins the team in Kauhava, Finland, he will be the only American on the squad. Green said that he kind of has an idea of what it will be like overseas, when he was 17 he lived in Sweden and played hockey for a year, but it will be a different experience than what he is used to.
“I am nervous. I am going to be on the other side of the world by myself,” Green said. “I’m going very, very north in Finland, so I’m kind of dreading how cold it’s going to be, but I think it’s going to be a really great experience.”
Even though Green will be playing for a new team, in a new country, almost 5,000 miles away from Weber State, the one thing he says he’ll always be is a Wildcat.
“I’d like to say thanks to everyone at Weber State for the support throughout the years,” Green said. “I bleed purple.”