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WIDE-EYED KULAK SOAKING UP PRO HOCKEY LIFESTYLE

By Mike Cadarette

The newest face on the Heat roster would prefer to be playing post-season hockey, but the consolation prize is just as exciting for him. Brett Kulak’s Vancouver Giants had a rough season, but for Brett, joining the Heat is a bit of sunshine in what was a rather gloomy year for his junior club.

“I knew it was a possibility the whole time,” Kulak said Wednesday after his first practice as a member of the Heat, “but it was weird, I didn’t really hear much, so I was thinking, ‘okay, maybe not this year. They won’t bring me up.’ Then I got the call [on Monday]. I was really excited. I called my parents right away and they were really happy. I came down here yesterday, met the coaches and we went over some video and got all set up here, got set up in the hotel. There was just lots of excitement and I’m really happy to be here.”

And while his first pro practice was an eye-opener, the 19-year-old rearguard credits his preparedness to Giants’ head coach Don Hay who knows what it takes to get his players to take that next step in their career.

“Don does prepare players really well and the Giants have developed a lot of good players into the NHL. In practice he’s always on me to be faster and stuff, so it kind of prepared me more to come here.”

Kulak made big strides this year on a Giants club that struggled. The Flames fourth-round pick in 2012 collected 12 goals and 44 points in 72 games this season. Kulak hopes that his time with the Heat will ready him for when he’s able to join the team as a full-time member.

“I’m just taking it all in, getting as much experience as I can. I’m not sure if I’ll get in a game, but I’m going to come out and practice, learn and catch on to how fast they move the puck and take as much away from it as I can.”
 



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