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Josh Brown of London, Ont. working hard to earn every game spot in NHL lineup


For nearly a decade, Josh Brown has made a living playing the game he loves.

"The dream when you are a kid is to play in the NHL and win a Stanley Cup, it's awesome," said Brown, 30, from London, Ont.

The rugged-defensive defenceman is in the second year of a two-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes.

This season has been one of his toughest in the game, as he's been bouncing in and out of the lineup.

"I was kind of more of a mainstay last year, this year it's kind of been more in and out," said Brown. "It has been tough, but you've got to just kind of try and approach each day the best you can and just try and be a good teammate for the guys that are in and just be supportive."

Despite their struggles this season, the Coyotes have a solid defence corps. It has often led Brown to be either scratched or the seventh defenceman."

When he's out of the lineup, he's working hard to stay game-ready.

"I do some extra skates and just working with our skills coach," said Brown. "We do puck moving and just different looks at shooting and things like that and you just kind of try and keep chipping away and adding things to your game for sure."

Brown began his journey to the NHL at the age of four.

"While all the other little kids were using the little bars that help them stay up, that was not Josh," said Estel Brown, Josh's mother. "He was quite willing to fall and just keep going"

Eventually, he started playing in the Oakridge Minor Hockey system, and then went onto the Jr. Knights when he was in grade three.

Although Estel admits she had no idea what that organization was when he was scouted to play for them.

Josh stayed with the Jr. Knights right through minor midget when he was drafted by the Oshawa Generals with the 44th pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection.

During his four-year run in Oshawa, he captained the team for two seasons and won the 2014-2015 Memorial Cup Championship in Quebec.

Josh Brown of London, Ont. hoists the Memorial Cup trophy after captaining the Oshawa Generals to the CHL Championship in 2015. (Source: OHL)

"Anytime you win at whatever level, it's an unbelievable feeling. And especially the Memorial Cup," said Brown. "It's a really cool tournament pretty special feeling in lift that cup."

After leaving Oshawa, he spent a season in the ECHL, then three more seasons in the AHL before making his NHL debut with Florida.

He would also suit up for the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins before signing a contract with Arizona.

He's loving his life in Phoenix where he is married with a nine-month-old daughter.

"The quality of life's great here," said Brown via Zoom from Arizona. "It's nice being in the sun most of the year instead of seeing the snow back home."

The ideal weather, along with a new grandchild, has given Estel every excuse to get to Phoenix.

She's been there five times over the past two seasons, along with watching him play anytime the Coyotes are close to Ontario.

There is one thing she doesn't love about his game, and that is he often drops the gloves.

"He keeps saying to me, 'Mom, that's just all part of what I bring to the game,'" said Estel. "I'm like, ‘Don't fight,’ but he's a big tough stay-at-home defenceman, and he's going to block those shots and that's his style."

Josh Brown began his hockey career in the Oakridge Minor Hockey system in London, Ont. (Source: Submitted)

He's not an offensive player with just nine goals in his career, but his ability to block shots and kill penalties has helped him carve out a nine-year professional career.

"I think I've just worked away to have a decent career so far, and I'll hold on, keep that going for as long as I can," said Brown.

His contract expires after this season, so he's looking to get back in the lineup as much as possible to play toward a new deal in the offseason.

In the short term, he's trying to help the Coyotes get back to the post-season for the first time since 2020, and just the second time in 13 years.

They are currently 13th in the Western Conference.

"We've been on a little bit of a skid, and we've lost some close games in the third period, and we've got to figure out a way to close them out," he said. Top Stories

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