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Defenseman Darren Brady Makes Deal With Steelheads for 2021-22
PHOTO: RIT Athletics

BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Steelheads have signed defenseman Darren Brady to an ECHL Standard Player Contract (SPC) for the 2021-22 season after his first professional season with a division rival, Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Everett Sheen announced on Friday.

“It was tough news last year when the Steelheads weren’t playing,” said Brady, “but it gave me another year to do more research on the team and hear from other players. It’s a great organization that treats their players the right way with great fans and a good location.”

Brady, 25, spent a majority of his first professional season in 2020-21 with the Rapid City Rush, posting two assists in 36 games with 12 penalty minutes while on loan from the Macon Mayhem of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). The Lake Orion, Mich. native made his ECHL debut on Feb. 12, 2021 against the Tulsa Oilers and later earned his first ECHL point on Apr. 21, 2021 in Tulsa during the final goal of the game. He also earned two assists in eight games with SPHL Macon through the regular season.

The 6-foot defenseman was slated to join the Steelheads before the organization opted-out of the 2020-21 season, however that gave an opportunity for Brady to not only take a further look at the organization but also get experience within the Mountain Division. It also provided the chance to learn from a larger pool of older and veteran players coming from a leadership role in college to the professional level.

“The Mountain Division works well with how I play; it’s a great division. Every game is going to be a tough one, and there are no easy wins. It’s not easy to be a top team in the division, but if we play the right way and play hard, that’s easily foreseeable.

“I learned [last year] just to take better care of your body. You have to keep stretching, stay up on nutrition, come to the rink every day as if you’re ready for a game. Your preparation needs to align with your execution; if you’re not prepared then you’re not going to execute. It was nice to learn from the veteran guys and pick their brains.”

“Darren is a smooth-skating, gritty defender,” said Sheen. “He makes a great first pass and is responsible in his own end. Darren showed he can play at this level and be very effective while he was with Rapid City last year. We’re expecting big things from him and looking forward to having him.”

Prior to his professional career, Brady played four seasons with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) from 2016-17 through 2019-20, tallying 36 points (10-26—36) in 135 collegiate games with 52 penalty minutes while serving as Captain during his senior season.

“Well, I haven’t been on the western side of the U.S. before,” chuckled Brady. “South Dakota was as west as I would go, usually not as far as Michigan. I love mountains and the outdoors, and I like trying out new areas. I’m just excited for a new opportunity and a new landscape.”

Brady is the 11th Steelheads player and third defenseman announced to an ECHL contract for the 2021-22 season, joining Casey Johnson and Evan Wardley as well as forwards Zack Andrusiak, Luc Brown, Colby McAuley, Will Merchant, David Norris and A.J. White and goaltenders Matt Jurusik and Jake Kupsky. Future announcements and signings will be announced throughout the summer, and you can follow who’s been added on the team’s Summer Signing Tracker.

The Steelheads 25th Anniversary Reunion Game kicks off the 2021-22 season on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Idaho Central Arena! Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Sep. 15 at 10:00 a.m. Season tickets and flex plans are available ahead of the Home Opener on Friday, Oct. 22. Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to plan your seats for the return of hockey to Downtown Boise! Stay connected to the Steelheads leading into 2021 Training Camp on IdahoSteelheads.com or by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 
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