Garlent turns pro
Thorold’s Hunter Garlent, seen in this file shot with the Peterborough Petes, has signed an American Hockey League contract with the Milwaukee Admirals. Photo by: OHL IMAGES
The Nashville Predators made Hunter Garlent an offer he couldn’t refuse.
The 24-year-old Thorold native just completed his third season with the St. Mary’s Huskies, but when the Predators offered the speedy forward a chance to turn pro, Garlent jumped at the offer.
“I’m thrilled. Obviously, it’s an honour,” said Garlent, who signed an American Hockey League contract with the Predators’ farm team in Milwaukee. “The opportunity to play in the American Hockey League, as well as attend an NHL camp, is obviously a dream and something I couldn’t pass up.
“I’m excited about the opportunity. I’ve put the work in and I’m ready for September now.”
Garlent said the deal came together quickly.
“It was pretty crazy. It came together in about 48 hours a couple of weeks ago. I got a call that there was an offer and I had a bit of a deadline on it because of development camp and that’s something I obviously wanted to attend.”
Still, Garlent wanted to make sure he did his homework before making such a big decision.
He consulted with school officials who informed him he had only six credits remaining to complete to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree, then talked it over with his family and coaches.
“Obviously, it’s a tough decision,” he said. “We came in my first year at St. Mary’s and there were 11 of us in that recruiting class so you take into consideration the guys and this what would have been our senior year and obviously a huge year for the team.
“I love it here. It’s the best four years of my life so it made it extra difficult in that sense, but at the same time, in talking to the advisors I thought I was a little further away from a degree. When I heard I had six (credits) left and it was definitely reachable leaving a year early, it kind of became a no-brainer.”
Garlent, who plans to continue to take classes on line, feels making the jump to the AHL at 24 will be beneficial.
“I think it’s huge. That’s one thing I can take away from school. It’s a shorter season but since I’ve been 21 I’ve been playing against 25-and 26-year-olds so obviously I’ve been playing against men,” said Garlent, who played for the Peterborough Petes and Guelph Storm before attending St. Mary’s. “It’s a harder hitting game than junior and I learned a lot from my time here. I grew a lot as a player and a person.
“I feel I’ve matured and those things will help me make the transition to pro.”
Garlent said he received positive feedback from the Predators.
“They said they’ve had scouts that had seen me play and they had good things to say. They see me as skilled player who fits their mold. Obviously, I still have a lot of things to work on but they were excited with the skill set and the speed I bring to the game.
“I feel like I have a legitimate chance. To play in Milwaukee is obviously the goal. I’m just excited for the future. Going to development camp was huge. They gave me some things to work on I’m going to take into the rest of my summer.”
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