Canucks Garrison returns to his roots
Sep 8, 2012 / 9:43 am
Jason Garrison proves the old adage 'If at first you don't succeed - try, try again."
A native of White Rock, the 27-year-old defenceman recently signed a six-year contract worth nearly $28M with the Vancouver Canucks.
But, the road to the NHL, which began with four seasons in Florida, wasn't quite as direct as maybe he would have liked but one that is familiar to a lot of players who rolled through the BC Hockey League.
Undrafted, Garrison played his 19 and 20-year-old seasons with the Nanaimo Clippers under Bill Bestwick.
"I learned a lot and it really paved the way for me and my career," says Garrison.
"Those two years were very good years. I met a lot of really close friends, we were on a winning team and we won a couple of championships and it was a lot of fun."
Garrison is spending the weekend in Chilliwack as honourary chairman of the BCHL's Showcase weekend.
"It's always nice to represent where you came from and this is an opportunity to do that."
During his first season in Nanaimo (2003-04) the Clippers went all the way to the RBC Cup buy were knocked out before reaching the final.
The following season they finished first in the BCHL but were knocked out in the league semi-final.
Garrison finished his two seasons with 29 goals and 89 points in 109 regular season games plus another 25 points in 39 playoff games.
While he went undrafted in the NHL, his two years in Nanaimo were enough to gain the attention of college scouts south of the border.
"It really helped me out hockey wise and gave me an opportunity to play in Minnesota-Duluth. It was really the start of my career."
While not every player who takes the same road gets to the same destination, Garrison says you have to enjoy it while you're there and make the most of it.
"It's an experience. You have to enjoy it, work hard at it and it can really do some wonderful things for you in the future. I think you have to realize that."
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