OAKVILLE, Mo. — Chase Bradley was born into a family with five children where hockey is a way of life.
As a result, the Bradley boys decided to turn their backyard barn into something more fitting.
“And over the years me and my little brother and my older brother have just kind of remodeled it, and we put a rink up,” Bradley said.
“They battle,” Chase’s mother, Jennifer Bradley, said. “And they battle out here all the time. They battle in the house playing shinny hockey, and there was a lot of fights and a lot of anger between them.”
Scrimmages in the barn turned into 14-hour weekend road trips to play in hockey tournaments across the country.
Bradley followed in his father’s footsteps by playing hockey at Oakville High School. After playing for the Omaha Lancers in the USHL, Bradley was traded to Sioux City in March where he will play until he starts his undergraduate career at Northeastern University.
He finished practice in Sioux City and headed home to watch the NHL 2020 draft.
“I was just sitting in my bed just looking at the draft and then my roommate came in and told me,” Chase Bradley said.
Bradley had been selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2020 NHL draft with their last pick.
A pick they acquired from Bradley’s hometown team, the St. Louis Blues.
“I was shocked at first,” Bradley said. “I mean, I wasn’t expecting it I should say. It’s something you dream of really. Like, I mean growing up that’s your goal, is to get drafted so I mean all of it coming together, it was an unbelievable experience.”
Oakville native and Stanley Cup champion Pat Maroon was one of the first people to reach out to Bradley directly in a text message and in a public post on Twitter.
"He just congratulated me and told me to keep going and stuff.
Not only was it ironic that the pick was possible because of the Blues, but Bradley’s family believed this was a message from a loved one.
“Their grandfather, who passed away this past year due to COVID-19, actually is from Detroit,” Jennifer Bradley said. “And was a huge Detroit Red Wings fan. So my kids all grew up knowing the Red Wings, knowing the rivalry between the Blues and the Red Wings. And the way that it all played out with the draft and being that Chase was drafted from the Red Wings, I have to think that he had some involvement in that.”