Though the final stretch of the season has been rough for the Chicago Wolves, losing four of the last five, one of the highlights has been the emergence of 24-year-old centerman Bryce Gervais.
Gervais signed an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) on Mar. 24 after four years at Minnesota State, where he accumulated 101 points (67 goals, 34 assists) in 163 career collegiate games. The Battleford, Saskatchewan native’s 67 goals rank second all-time in MSU’s history.
“It’s a personal accomplishment, but I couldn’t have done it without the teammates I had in the previous four years,” said Gervais, who was a plus-1 in a 4-3 victory versus the Grand Rapids Griffins Saturday. “It’s special because Mankato has been pretty good.”
The transition to professional hockey usually takes some time to adjust. But for Gervais, it is has been pretty smooth. In seven games with the Wolves, he has four goals and an assist. Gervais notched his first professional two-goal game Friday evening in a 4-3 loss to Grand Rapids.
“It’s definitely a different experience playing more than two games in a week,” Gervais said. “The pros are a little faster. Guys are a little bigger. It’s more physical, but that’s about it.
“My linemates here have been nothing but good. They’re finding me on the ice, and I’m just taking shots.”
Said Chicago head coach John Anderson: “He’s certainly making an impression on us right away. He’s not a real big guy, but he’s really tricky and plays hard. He has that knack for scoring, and it’s a hard thing to find nowadays. He’s served himself well.”
With this early success, Gervais is making a solid case to get his first pro contract this summer.
“That’s a goal of mine, and I’m still a ways away. I have to keep working hard, and hopefully, it comes.”
What’s next for the Wolves?
Chicago will finish out the final three games of their season with two contest on the road against the Milwaukee Admirals on Tuesday and the Iowa Wild on Thursday and will play their home finale versus Iowa on Saturday.
Colin Fitts is a Nashville Predators staff writer and is a credentialed media member of the Chicago Wolves. From Nashville, Tennessee, Colin majors in journalism and public relations at Columbia College Chicago. Follow him on Twitter, @FittsTHW. Email: 22fitts [at] gmail [dot] com.