By Carter Brooks
Photos by Dylan Asmundson

“I definitely bounced around a whole lot when I was younger, as my dad was posted in a few different cities with the RCMP,” Brown told Game On. “He used to be a hockey player himself, back when he was a kid. But I actually grew up in the Northwest Territories, before coming to Kelowna, where I have been the last few years.”

No, Brown wasn’t raised on whale blubber, but he did spend considerable time in the great outdoors, learning to play the game of hockey on frozen sheets of ice. 

“There were these public skates during the day before I was in school,” he reminisced. “I’d get my mom to take me, and there was just no one else out on the ice, so we'd have the whole ice surface to ourselves. That was always really cool having those longer winters and the lake out there. And now we have guys from up north like Dylan Cozens and Gavin McKenna making a name for themselves. That’s just so awesome.”

Brown, who is in his second year with RINK, was voted in as team captain near the start of the 2023-24 season. According to his coach Josh Bonar, the decision was about as unanimous as they come.

Jack Brown Kelowna Hockey

“We have three assistants and one captain,” the third-year RINK coach said. “He was certainly a guy that us coaches thought was in the mix; we could see him being the captain. So, we ultimately took a player vote from all of our guys, and he was on everyone’s list. He was ahead of another guy but he showed up on everybody’s list; everyone had him either for captain or assistant. So, he was the guy that the coaches ultimately decided would be our leader. And that vote just solidified that further.” 

For the 5-foot-7, 140-pound centreman, the role hasn’t been one he’s taken lightly. And as he admits, Brown has the full support of both his coaching and facilities staff.

“It has been super cool,” Brown said of the RINK. “I was definitely really happy when I heard the news that I was captain, and I thought that I could for sure do it. And, you know, I was really proud of how it worked out with the player vote and having the coaches’ approval, and just how I was able to do all of that. And the RINK staff have been super supportive too. The development is great, just the amount of hours we have on the ice every day – it’s quite the schedule. School is so important here too, as education is valued. You’re in class, in the gym, on the ice and then on the bus.” 

Described as the ultimate setup guy by those who know him best, Brown has taken every step possible to ensure proper development of his full 200-foot game as the 2023-24 season rolls on. The youthful leader has caught the eye of scouts, and hopes to hear his name called at the 2024 WHL Prospects Draft this spring. “He’s caught a lot of attention from scouts,” coach Bonar said, “Everybody wants a guy like Jack on their team. He’s a dressing room guy, he’s popular, everyone likes Jack. He might not be the most vocal guy, but he does have a bit of a sense of humor to him. He jokes around with the guys, but he's more of a lead by example kind of leader. That's why everyone respects him so much.”

“He works extremely hard on and off the ice, and at both ends of the ice,” Bonar continued.

“He’s very reliable defensively and contributes quite a bit offensively. He's out there on the power play, he kills penalties. He's just an all-around player. He’s the leader, and that's why he's our captain. And he's got a lot of respect from his peers and us coaches. When it really comes to working every day, Jack goes as hard as he can.”

Hoping to pursue the hockey dream as long as possible, Brown does have somewhat of a fallback prepared.  

“Obviously, I'd love to play hockey for a living, you know, do something with that,” he laughed. “But, if that doesn't work out, I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff on the table. I'm still young, But, I am looking at a couple possibilities. Obviously, real estate for me is pretty cool. So, I might look at selling houses or something like that.”

Carter Brooks | Game On Magazine