Charlottean native Brendan Hoffman returns to Queen City for training camp

October 6, 2022 – American Hockey League (AHL) – Charlotte Checkers News Release

When Brendan Hoffman was six years old, he donned a Junior Checkers jersey for the first time.

14 years later, he’s back in the Queen City, sporting the real logo as he skates with his hometown club.

“It’s definitely a reminder of where it all started,” Hoffman said.

The 20-year-old hockey player’s journey has taken him across the continent, culminating in three seasons with the OHL’s Erie Otters.

“I went to Atlanta for a bit when I was about 10,” Hoffman said. “I ended up in Toronto when I was 12, went to the O when I was 16, now I’m back here when I’m 20.”

Hoffman has come a long way since he started his hockey journey here, as has Charlotte.

“Back when I was playing, I think the closest Triple-A team was in Atlanta,” Hoffman said. “Now they have several Triple-A programs and several junior programs here. I feel like adding hockey to an atmosphere that once had none brings a lot of excitement to a kid who wants to try a new sport. .”

Hoffman has been invited to the Checkers camp for a trial, and is set to start his professional career this season with the ECHL’s Reading Royals – who signed him to a contract this summer.

The forward has fitted right into this week’s scrimmages, and his presence helps put Charlotte on the map as a hockey town.

“It’s huge,” said Checkers captain Zac Dalpe, whose sons played junior hockey in Charlotte. “It’s always nice to have someone come from the grassroots.”

The impact of seeing someone like Hoffman rise through the professional ranks can be a huge boost to an already thriving community of young hockey players.

“It makes it real for you as a young kid,” said ladies’ head coach Geordie Kinnear, who also has kids who play youth hockey in Queenstown. “You always want someone in your town – whether it’s a small town or not yet a real hockey market – to sort of say, ‘This guy made it. Then I can find a way. It’s a bit of motivation.”

The growth of hockey in Charlotte since Hoffman hit the ice with the Junior Checkers has been staggering — and there’s no sign of it slowing down, thanks in part to homegrown talent rising through the ranks.

“You’re going to see more and more of that,” Kinnear said.

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The views expressed in this release are those of the organization that issued it and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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