Sharks draftee pens emotional essay of dad's cancer fight originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Brandon Coe was drafted by the Sharks in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Draft earlier this month, and if you’re looking for a scouting report on the 18-year-old, you are better off looking elsewhere.
While yes, Coe possesses a strong defensive game, he, more importantly, gives a reason as to why his game is as elite as it is: His family.
The young right winger wrote a personal essay on The Player’s Tribune about his father, who had been diagnosed with cancer when Coe was a sophomore in high school. Coe described how he used the news to make his NHL dreams a reality.
"So when he got sick, his dream became my dream," Coe wrote.
In all actuality, his professional hockey future became more of a possibility when Coe found a new competitive edge -- one that was gained after his dad had gone through everything he endured.
Coe’s dad had been diagnosed before the younger Coe's PHL career began, and despite countless doctor's visits and hospital stints -- including his dad being in remission before the cancer returned -- he hadn’t missed that many games.
"That’s all the motivation I need to do an extra rep of anything," Coe wrote.
The essay dipped into Coe’s childhood, where he and his dad would wake up extra early and arrive at the rink before anyone had arrived after wolfing down Honey Nut Cheerios.
Apparently, there’s nothing in the world as good as a fresh sheet of rink ice. He remembers those memories well, just as he pictured his name being called during the NHL draft.
"I wish I could go back to that fresh sheet of ice at seven in the morning," Coe wrote. "I’d tell that version of myself how lucky he is that he has that guy as his dad."
He had to experience the NHL draft virtually, just as all the other draftees did, but that’s OK -- at least his dad was home to be there with him.