This month marks nine years since the Moose Jaw Warriors found themselves fortunate enough to call out Brayden Point’s name with the 14th-overall selection at the 2011 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. From Calgary, Alta. to Moose Jaw, Sask. and on to Tampa, Fla., the ensuing decade has resulted in Point leaving a strong impression on the ice wherever he’s been.
After being chosen by the Warriors, Point made his WHL debut less than one year later in his hometown against the Calgary Hitmen on February 10, 2012. After finishing off his season with the Calgary Buffaloes, Point joined the Warriors for the end of the 2011-12 WHL Regular Season, netting his first WHL goal three days after his 16th birthday on March 16, 2012 against the Prince Albert Raiders.
Sticking with the Warriors through the 2012 WHL Playoffs, Point found his offensive rhythm quickly with the Club. Tallying 10 points (7G-3A) in 14 games, Point and the Warriors advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship that season. His goals would provide a direct impact as well, with three game winners including the series-clinching goal against the Medicine Hat Tigers in overtime of Game 4.
Point continued that offensive success into the 2012-13 WHL Regular Season with 57 points (24G-33A) in 67 games, ranking fourth in rookie scoring. His start to the season was a strong one, featuring points in 12 of his first 17 contests that season.
As he forged a path into the WHL, his first season featured 13 multi-point games with eight of those coming on home ice. While the Warriors didn’t qualify for the 2013 WHL Playoffs, Point helped them close out their season on a high note near the end.
On March 3, 2013, the visiting Saskatoon Blades had taken a 4-0 lead through 40 minutes, but the Warriors stormed back with four goals in the third and claimed the comeback victory in overtime. Point was essential in that win, scoring their third and fourth goals of the contest, also assisting on their second and fifth goals for his first four-point game in a WHL uniform.
The 2013-14 WHL Regular Season marked another season for Point to further prove himself as an elite scorer in the WHL, which he did with 91 points (36G-55A) in 72 games. Looking to rise on NHL Central Scouting’s rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft, Point recorded 25 multi-point games, including a six-point effort that featured one of his two hat tricks on the season.
That summer, the Tampa Bay Lightning made him the 79th overall selection at the NHL Draft.
Heading back to the Warriors for the 2014-15 WHL Regular Season, Point was named the Club’s 30th captain in franchise history. Though he appeared in 12 fewer games than he had the previous season, he record 87 points (38G-49A) to mark a new career-high total in goals. Point reached his goal total with seven multi-goal games, including three hat tricks.
As the Warriors challenged for a return to the WHL Playoffs in 2015, Point stepped up his production with a goal in 13 of his final 14 games.
The season also marked another one of international success for Point, who won a gold medal with Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championship after claiming Hlinka Gretzky Cup gold in the summer of 2013.
Entering his 19-year-old season with the Warriors, Point was determined to help power his team back into the WHL Playoffs for the first time since he was a 16-year-old.
Though he only appeared in 48 games, partially due to also captaining Canada’s entry at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, Point recorded 88 points (35G-53A). His 1.83 points-per-game figure was tied with divisional opponent Jayce Hawryluk for the top mark in the league.
Posting his third-straight season of 30-plus goals and 85-plus points, he tallied a trio of hat tricks as part of his five multi-goal games. His performance, along with the rise of Dryden Hunt, helped to push the Warriors into the 2016 WHL Playoffs.
There, Point continued his strong production with 16 points (6G-10A) in 10 games. The Warriors would come out ahead in a five-game series against the Raiders before dropping a series of similar length to the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Point would conclude his WHL career among the Warriors’ top offensive producers of all-time, accumulating 324 points (134G-190A) in 252 WHL regular season games. He also added 26 points (13G-13A) in 24 WHL playoff games.
Making an immediate jump to the Lightning for the 2016-17 NHL Regular Season, Point has tallied 262 points (116G-146A) in 295 NHL regular season games.
Already an offensive talent to watch out for on a skilled Lightning team, his 16 points (7G-9A) in the 2018 NHL Playoffs and 92-point (41G-51A) campaign in the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season further cemented his place among the game’s top talents under the age of 25. Among his peers from the 2014 NHL Draft, Point is the fourth-highest scoring skater.
Nine years removed from the WHL Bantam Draft to the present day, Point is a can’t-miss name in the hockey world as his reputation continues to grow.