Coral Springs son Hunter Brackett, 15, is receiving high scores in his favorite sport and at a Massachusetts Prep school. Playing hockey since the age of four, he has recently been drafted into the United States Hockey League (USHL). The Bloomington Thunder now owns his rights, so he will play and train with them every summer in Illinois until after completing high school. Currently living in Marlboro mass with a host family and a teammate, Hunter is on the radar of some important colleges. He vows to keep playing hard in order to get a Division I commitment.
Sports writer Jeff Cox recently referred to Hunter with this commentary: “Hunter is a pass first player who reads plays well and has good hockey IQ. He’s the type of forward who is relentless, gets on pucks quickly and buys into the team philosophy.”
These high compliments reflect the work ethic and dedication that Hunter has shown as he pursues greatness in a tough game where agility, speed and quick-thinking plays are imperative to success. Hunter takes it all in stride as he plays and trains with his team, the Boston Junior Bruins, and pursues his education. Having just completed his freshman year at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts, Hunter says, “I’ve always loved the sport and I enjoy school a lot, especially history. I have to give credit to my teacher for making it super interesting.”
Local mom Misty Baniewicz is proud of her son and reflects on what it’s like to have him away from home. “It was hard sending him off, but it’s something we talked about a lot before the decision,” she says with a positive spin. “To give him the best chance to pursue this sport that he loves, as long as he’s thriving, happy and committed, that’s all I can ask for. We are really proud of how hard he’s worked!” Visits with Hunter are a regular part of the family’s schedule. Misty continues, “He comes home on holidays when there are no hockey tournaments and I try to fly up at least once a month to visit him. I don’t want let too much time go between visits.”
Hunter’s dad, Griffin Brackett, is extremely proud of his talented son and further explains the reason for Hunter’s relocation. “The USHL is the only Tier 1 hockey league in the United States. If he had stayed in Florida, he probably wouldn’t have been chosen for the draft.” He expounds further on their planning for Hunter’s relocation. “The biggest reason for moving him north was the training and the fact that every game he plays in usually has several scouts attending. Florida is on the map and is producing great players for the NHL, but most of them move north (to New England, Michigan, Illinois) in about 7th or 8th grade to get the best training and competition.” Griffin also lives In Florida, but has a business in Massachusetts so he can visit Hunter and attend a good portion of his games.
Handsome and well-spoken, Hunter tells us, “I feel comfortable in both places, but when I’m in Florida I definitely feel more at home and have a lot of friends nearby. In Massachusetts, I’m on a mission. I’m really working hard and just trying to get better at hockey.”
Playing at Left Wing, when asked to describe his own best qualities on the ice, Hunter says assuredly, “I have a really good hockey sense and really good hands. I can run the power-play on the half wall and I work really hard.” Without a doubt, his recent draft is proof of that. Hunter’s favorite sport to watch outside of hockey is football, “Especially the Patriots,” he tells us. Ok, kid, you are definitely our favorite now!