Bradford native Lynkin Health is headed to one of the most prestigious hockey tournaments in North America this summer.
Since 1990, the Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament in Edmonton has been showcasing the best nine and 10-year-old hockey players from Canada and the U.S.
The annual tournament has become an event that has been pivotal to identifying future NHL talent. Well over 200 participants in the Brick Invitational have gone on to carve out NHL careers, including current stars Auston Matthews, Steven Stamkos, and Johnny Gaudreau.
This is the first time a player from Bradford West Gwillimbury has entered the tournament.
Heath is one of 34 hockey players in Ontario who will have the opportunity to play in the tournament as he suits up for the Toronto Bulldogs.
A goalie, Heath’s hockey playing days began in Bradford at the house league level before making the jump to the Bradford Bulldogs A team and finally to the AAA York-Simcoe Express this past year.
“It’s pretty amazing to see him work so hard to chase his goals and his dreams,” said Allan Heath, Lynkin’s father. “Every day he works harder to become a better goalie and that started here in Bradford in the house league system, and it’s been amazing to watch him work his way up.”
“It’s been crazy,” added Lynkin. “I’m very excited."
Given the history of the tournament's ability to identify future pros, the Heath family feels this is the type of opportunity that can open doors down the road for Lynkin.
“Obviously you’re extremely proud of your kid for being able to even be chosen to play at a level like that because it’s a very limited number of kids that actually get that opportunity,” said Allan. “Looking at this as an opportunity in the future to maybe have some of his education potentially paid for or to get to play in the OHL, thinking about that makes us feel very lucky and blessed.”
Watching Lynkin develop on the ice, Allan realized over the last two years that everything was really clicking for his son and that he possessed a special talent.
“We did a lot of training on outdoor rinks during COVID, and I think it was that training that allowed him to get to this level,” he explained. “This year when he played his first year for the York-Simcoe Express, his first time at that level, we realized he’s really good and everyone else kept telling us he’s really good. We knew if we just kept focusing, he would keep killing it and he has been.”
Allan says Lynkin has been humble about the opportunity and that in his mind this is just the beginning with much loftier goals.
“I want to play on the World Juniors, go to the University of Michigan, and get drafted to the NHL,” said Lynkin.