Local hockey player Seth Bafaro took an MVP playing as part of Team BC and topped the skills testing at the the 2015 Western U16 Challenge Cup in Calgary last month. His father Mike, a huge fan, is very proud of Seth and was happy to brag about his son’s showing at the Cup, a prestigious hockey event.
“It was fantastic. It was the best 2000 kids in western Canada,” said Mike. “The level of hockey was great for Seth to play and great for his parents to watch.
“It was a great experience to represent B.C and play with and against the top 2000-born players in Western Canada,” Seth wrote in an e-mail. “[It] was really nice to be recognized in the semifinal game [versus] Team Manitoba with a game MVP.”
Seth impressed on the ice with his prospect combine testing, a tool designed to gauge a player’s skill and development. The young defenceman said that players compete in comprehensive on- and off-ice testing. The results are entered into a data base and can be used by players and hockey personnel to review and track.
“I was really happy with my results and progression from my last testing,” said Seth, “as well as where I ranked against the rest of the players at the U16 tournament.” And where he ranked was at the top in eight of the tests and second in another three. His dad Mike was very proud to say he “showed very well.”
Seth was drafted by the Tri-City Americans in May of this year, but is still too young to play with them full-time. Before he heads to Washington State to join the Americans, he’s practising making a hockey home-away-from-home in Penticton attending the Okanagan Hockey Academy. This is Seth’s second year there and it’s been harder on his mom and dad than it has for him, or so his father told me. But the sacrifices the family has made appear to be worth it.
“It has allowed me to excel on the ice and has taught me life skills that will benefit me in the future,” Seth wrote about his experience in Penticton.
With a hockey-playing dad (Mike also played for the Tri-City Americans, although back in his day they were called the New West Bruins) and a figure skating mom, Seth was destined to spend time on the ice. But it’s Seth’s drive that has gotten him to where he is today, according to his dad.
“He’s got goals, the immediate one is to win the championship,” said Mike.
Seth echoed his dad, and added: “Next is to be invited to attended Hockey Canada’s U17 development camp in Calgary. And finally to attend Tri-City Americans camp in August and hopefully make the team as a 16 year old.”
That’s right, even though he has a contract with the Americans, he still has to make the cut to make the team. Seth’s a kid who has a vision, and who is keeping his feet on the ground: his ultimate goal is to play at the highest level he’s capable.
“If I’m fortunate enough to play in the NHL it wouldn’t matter which team,” said Seth.