nanaimo clippers

By Tali Campbell – ISN Nanaimo

As a young kid, Vancouver Canucks Defensemen Jason Garrison started playing hockey in his local town of White Rock BC. Since then Garrison has been through early morning practices, hard work and long days, which have all paid off.

In 2003 Garrison joined the Nanaimo Clippers under the helm of Head Coach Bill Bestwick, where he played 2 seasons with the team, tallying 29 goals, 60 assist totaling 89 points while playing 109 games.

Bill Bestwick said he was a great skater, and was very competent in all aspects, “In the ’04 Championship playoff year he played 30 minutes a night. Once he got the confidence and his conditioning, there was no stopping him. And of course, he perfected his shot from the point and was a feared shooter.” Bestwick went onto say he is a great kid, and deserves his success!

From there he went to play with the University of Minnesota-Duluth for 3 seasons, then onto to play for the Rochester Americans in the AHL, the affiliate team for the NHL Florida Panthers and he played a total of 5 seasons with the Panthers and the Americans.

Now, this past summer Garrison signed a 6-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks and Garrison said simply it felt great.

When looking back on his years with the Nanaimo Clippers he said it helped him because of how close the team was, “Great guys, great staff and a great fan base made for a huge 2 years of learning.”

Garrison said it was always a dream of his to make it to the NHL but never thought it was a realistic one. “I never thought my dream would come true, but it did and it came upon me really quickly.” And from there, Garrison scored his first NHL Goal on March 3rd 2010 versus the Philadelphia Flyers.

Garrison wants to let all the Young Clippers and Canucks know that to be an NHL player is hard work mixed with patience. “Believe in yourself when no one else does, and always stay true to who you are.” And his advice would be to block out the negatives and keep in the positives!