What Wild­cats chums had to say ahead of Bather­son’s big game:

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Ryan Huestis: “I got the chance to play against Drake when I was in my fi­nal year of midget and you could al­ways tell by the amount of skill he had there was def­i­nitely some­thing spe­cial to come in the fu­ture.

I also was very lucky to not only play with him for the Val­ley ju­nior A Wild­cats but to sit be­side him in the dress­ing room.

There are so many great mem­o­ries I got to share with Drake on and off the ice. From pick­ing him up af­ter he got out of school or com­ing back to my bil­let’s to play Xbox.

I couldn’t be hap­pier for Drake, his hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to the game of hockey over the past cou­ple years has been phe­nom­e­nal.” John Dea­con: “I’m re­ally happy for Drake. He’s an un­be­liev­able hockey player and an even bet­ter per­son.

Drake was a great guy to play with on and off the ice. He’s such a tal­ented [and] smart hockey player, but the big­gest thing I re­mem­ber from him is how much he loves the game.

He’s the kind of player that’s the first one on the ice and last one off. I lived close to him, so we drove to prac­tices and games to­gether and he’s just a good guy to be around.

He’s al­ways nice, he’s funny, and he’s one of the most hum­ble peo­ple I know.”

Lukas Kane: “I’m re­ally ex­cited to watch and see how [Drake] adapts to the big league.

He al­ways finds a way to get the job done no mat­ter where he plays. And play­ing with Drake back when he was a Val­ley Wild­cat was a lot of fun.

He al­ways en­joyed the game and loved ev­ery minute of it. He’s def­i­nitely one of the smartest play­ers I ever played with.

He made the game so easy, just get­ting the puck to you when you’d least ex­pect it and he’[d] make it look ef­fort­less, too.”

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