The Everett Silvertips saw a Nanaimo native leading them in the scoring department during 2017/18 season.
With 33 goals and 67 assists during 72 regular season games, Patrick Bajkov’s 100 points were tops for the Western Hockey League team. This is his fifth and final season with the team and following the Silvertips’ post-season, the right-winger will move on. Bajkov signed an entry-level deal with the Florida Panthers back in March.
“Obviously, it’s a dream come true,” said Bajkov about signing with the NHL team. “It was a really exciting week there, going through that process … my parents being there supporting me throughout my career, since I was probably five years old, taking me to the rink. Something that I take a lot of pride in, with my friends and my family and a great organization like Everett helping me through the last five years and my billet family and trainers as well.”
As for the Silvertips, they are taking on the Seattle Thunderbirds, currently leading their first-round playoff series 2-1 as of March 29. Bajkov said he is savouring his last taste of major junior hockey.
“It’s a little hard to face, obviously being in a playoff series knowing it’s going to be my last run as a junior hockey player in the playoffs so leaving it all out there, making sure I’m soaking it all in and just working my hardest every game because, like I said, it’s not going to last forever and it’s coming to an end here eventually in the next couple of months,” said Bajkov.
Bajkov remembers the lessons he learned as his career began in Nanaimo. He said it was a great experience to work and learn with great coaches and staff.
“Some of the big things is just knowing what it was going to take to be able to play at a high level,” said Bajkov, when asked about what he learned while in the Harbour City. “A lot of mental and physical parts of the game, just knowing what it’s going to take in the gym and around the rink and the work ethic.”
Bajkov said he’ll spend the off-season training hard and staying on top of his diet and conditioning in order to be in the best shape for training camp and to make an impression.
Through three playoff games, Bajkov has two goals and two assists.