About a month ago, I walked into the radio station and like everyday I start my day saying hello to John and Dan and I said I believe that Fillip Bratt has a chance to report to start the season with the Adirondack Thunder and on Sunday, October 9th it became official that the 20 year old, Bratt would begin his first season in North America under newly head coach Pete MacArthur. Thunder fans and fans of the New Jersey Devils organization may know the last name “Bratt” as Fillip is Jasper’s younger brother who’s currently in his 5th season with the Devils in New Jersey.
The Bratt brothers have taken a very similar path to get to the North American Pro game. Jasper was drafted In the 6th round; #162 overall in the 2016 draft, Fillip, undrafted signed an AHL deal on July 18th announced by Utica Comets General Manager Dan MacKinnon heading into the 2022-23 season.
“Yeah, it’s really funny, for me to show myself that i’m doing something good, and that i haven’t been drafted, but still getting invite to camp and signing it’s really funny, It’s really fun to be here, i’ve been here a couple of times (referring to watching his brother Jesper in New Jersey Devils camp), have my own stall here for once, so it’s fun”.
When it came to talking about his brother Jasper, Filip was not shy in talking about how his brother is indeed his best friend.
“He’s my best friend, when we’re together we hangout all the time, and play land hockey at home, he’s my idol, now i’m doing my journey now, so I focus on my stuff now, but he’s helping me with everything”.
Fillip made his impact on the New Jersey Devils organization immediately earning himself high praise from the Devils brass, by getting invited to Development Camp and then quickly after that Prospect Camp, Devils Main Camp, along with spending time with Kevin Dinnen in Utica and now finishing up camps for the summer and fall under Pete MacArthur in Adirondack.
When it comes to all of that pressure, Filip says his brother to relax and have fun.
“Take in the experience, have fun and do my best”.
Bratt before Prospect Camp in September hadn’t played in game action sense February of 2022. It’s safe to say that his favorite word is fun, but he knows the expectations coming into his first professional season in North America. Bratt has been getting a taste of being on the road and learning different North American things compared to his hometown in Stockholm, SWE.
“It’s been fun, it’s hard with the language sometimes, and know all the drills and stuff, but it’s fun, you learn you see how the older guys how they’ve been here for awhile and how they work, it’s fun”.
When it comes to Bratt’s own game, the 20 year old thinks that his skating sets him apart from the rest. One word he used Speed.
“Speed is the key to my game, More offense than defense”.
Bratt said with a bit of a laugh.
“I think my skating is my biggest part, I think i skate good and move the puck well, so i think skating and puck handling I think those are my best things”.
Jesper has coined the term “The Sensational Swede”. and knows how talented his very own brother is but knows that he can stand out as his own player on the blue line, The 5’10, 179 pounder knows that he make his mark as an individual to make it to the American Hockey League level and just off a handful of competitive games on 200 feet long, and 85 feet wide ice sheet. In comparison, a European rink is a standard 60 meters by 30 meters, or, 197 feet by 98.5 feet.
When it comes to playing on North American ice sheet, Bratt said he’s never played on this ice sheet before.
“No, never, It’s going to be hard, doing that when he’s such a great player, but i just try my best to be myself, be a happy guy, everyday, come to work, and do my best and try to show who I am”.
The biggest lesson he’s learned from his older brother nothing is impossible.
“Nothing is impossible, you can go from the bottom to the top if you work hard and have trust yourself, nothing is impossible we went from Allsvenskan (The second-highest league in the Swedish ice hockey system) (after the SHL), right to the NHL, so yeah, nobody believed in him, so anybody can do it”.
When it comes to Bratt’s game on North American ice, adjustments, different approaches to way he reads different plays, positioning and knowing when to step all things he will take in and of those decisions will sure to be made, as this is only a handful of times that’s he’s played exhibition games between all three camps in the NHL, AHL and now down here in the ECHL.
“I talked a little bit and stuff and like I haven’t had much time here on the blue line as I have in Sweden, so i can’t stand and make my moves and stuff, so I need to shoot the puck faster, move a little bit faster, I think it’s going to be good to my game, i hope it’s going to be good to game”.
When it comes to facing off against other potential prospects in the ECHL and facing off against players that are similar in age, You guessed it, Bratt said he’s up for the challenge and it’s going to be fun.
“It’s going to be fun to be like to see how I stand against the others guys that’s my age that’s here”.
Filip in the summer spent training with Devil organizational teammate Alexander Holtz. Bratt just like Holtz hails from Stockholm, SWE.
“Yeah, it’s really helpfully because Alex and I are good friends and like he helps me with stuff I need to do like, like what type of clothes I need to wear and stuff so he helps me a lot and it’s good to have such a good friend”.
While Bratt and Holtz won’t be teammates in Adirondack, Bratt is thankfully for the lessons that his best friend has given him heading into his first professional season. Playing in North America will be a new adventure Filip described.