Hinz is ready to be an elder skatesman
Ex-peterborough Petes star joins Icedogs for his overage season
Brady Hinz turned 20 in May, though that’s not in ’Dog years.
According to the Ontario Hockey League calendar, overagers, such as the newest addition to the Niagara Icedogs, are elder skatesmen in the final season of their junior eligibility. With the maximum of three overagers per team, Hinz was the odd man out when the Peterborough Petes decided what they wanted their roster to look like heading into the 2020-21 season.
“I was not really surprised, to be honest. They have quite a few overagers over there, so it’s kind of hard to choose from,” he said in an interview from his family’s home in Stratford.
The five-foot-nine, 150-pound forward was acquired for a conditional 15th-round pick in the 2020 OHL draft, which previously belonged to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
“We are thrilled to add Brady to our organization. I have been a fan of his for years,” Icedogs general manager Joey Burke said. “He has a high skill level and plays a style very conducive to how we like to do things in Niagara.”
Hinz, who played parts of two seasons with the Sarnia Sting before going to Peterborough, is looking forward to playing a fifth — and final — year in the OHL. “I’m happy I have a spot to play in, especially being in Niagara. It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s a great organization there and I can’t wait.”
Hinz has fond memories of playing against the Icedogs, who, like the Petes, compete in the Eastern Conference.
“They were always a fast team,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed playing against them, especially playing in Niagara, too.
“The fans are pretty nuts. Hoping there are fans this year and I can play in front of them.”
In 2017-18, the right-hand shot had a career high in points — 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 in total — in 40 games with the Sting and 28 for the Petes.
He scored 15 goals and collected 13 assists in 58 games in Peterborough last season.
Hinz appreciates that overagers are expected to provide leadership on top of their contributions on offence and defence. He is up for the challenge. “I have to be a leader. They are going to be a young team, but we have a lot to prove, especially after last year when they didn’t have the year they hoped to have,” he said.
“We’re going to prove a lot of people wrong this year, and I’m going to show leadership on and off the ice.”
Best wishes from the Petes organization accompanied Hinz to St. Catharines, where the Icedogs play their home games at Meridian Centre.
“Brady was a valued member of the Petes family for the past three seasons,” general manager Mike Oke said. “We are very appreciative of the effort and skill he brought to our team, as well as the leadership he provided both on and off the ice.”
The move west after parts of three seasons in Peterborough comes with the bonus of being closer to home for the Stratford native.
“It’s better for my family. If there is any family emergency, it’s a little bit closer,” Hinz said.
“It’s not much of a difference, but it’s a good spot.”
He ranks speed and the ability to get the most out of his skills as the strengths of his game.
“I use my skills to my advantage a lot,” Hinz said.
“I’ve been working on my D zone quite a bit, chipping pucks off the wall, winning all my endzone battles,” said the veteran forward.
He has kept busy during the pandemic by training with his trainer and working at a golf course.
Hinz hopes to begin studying part-time at Brock University in the second semester. He wants to get into sport management, “maybe like on the business side of things.”
Hinz is optimistic a second wave of COVID-19 won’t push back plans to start the 2020-21 season.
OHL teams have been given the green light to open training camp Nov. 15, with league play expected to get underway a little more than two weeks after that.
“I’m really hopeful. We’re in good hands, so I’m hoping they can all figure something out,” he said.
“Hopefully, we can get to play Dec. 1 in front of the Icedogs fans.”
Hinz, who was selected by Sarnia in the third round of the 2016 draft with the 52nd pick, has 54 goals and 75 assists in 248 regular-season games in the OHL.
He played two games with the junior B Stratford Warriors before joining the Sting at the start of the 2016-17 season.
Veteran forward Brady Hinz has scored 54 goals and added 75 assists in 248 regular-season games with the Peterborough Petes and Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League.