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Campers get special visit from local NHL draft pick

Thursday July 29, 2010

The Gee-Gees’ boys hockey camp received an exciting visit Thursday afternoon from third overall NHL entry draft pick Erik Gudbranson.

The Orleans, Ont., native dropped by to visit his younger brother Dennis Gudbranson, who has been a camper with the Gee-Gees hockey camp over the past week, and spent some time on the ice at the uOttawa Sports Complex sharing his knowledge of the game of hockey with the kids.

“I skate with the Gee-Gees on Saturdays and head coach Dave Leger asked if I would come spend some time with the kids. I hope I can teach them some new skills,” he added with a smile.

Erik’s sister Chantal Gudbranson has also been participating in the girls’ Gee-Gees hockey camp this week.

“Hockey is pretty much our whole life,” said Erik.

Erik, 18, says his brother Dennis – who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005 – has been a source of inspiration for him. “He’s the toughest kid I know. I look up to him even though he is younger than me.”

On August 18, it will be five years since Dennis has been in remission, which is considered to be a full recovery.

Selected by the Florida Panthers, the Kingston Frontenac defenseman is only the seventh Ottawa-area player to be a top 10 NHL draft pick in the last 30 years.

Gee-Gees campers were excited take part in this experience and wished the best of luck to Erik in his future career in the NHL.