Facing adversity is nothing to new to Brennan Serville (photo credit – Craig Campbell/HHOF) and despite being injured for a large portion of the 2010-11 OJHL season, the 2nd year Stouffville Spirit defenceman will represent Team Canada East at the 2010 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge being held from November 8-14 in Penticton, B.C.
Brennan Serville was born on June 2, 1993 and grew up in Pickering, Ontario, playing the majority of his minor hockey career with the GTHL Pickering-Ajax Raiders organization. During his final season of minor hockey, minor midget, in 2008-09, the tall and lanky rearguard recorded 19 points in 56 games for the Raiders and perked the interest of numerous OHL scouts.
Following the season, Serville would be selected by the Sudbury Wolves in the 8th round, 145th overall, in the 2009 OHL Priority Draft, as well as being recruited by his brother’s Junior ‘A’ squad, the Stouffville Spirit, leaving a major decision to be pondered. But while participating in a spring camp, Serville would suffer a broken collarbone, missing both the Wolves’ rookie camp and the Spirit’s main training camp. With no junior experience to this point, he would make the decision to leave his NCAA scholarship option open and joined the Spirit as a 16-year old.
Recovering from the broken collarbone, Serville would play his rookie Junior ‘A’ season with the poise of a seasoned veteran, prompting Spirit head coach Craig Donovan to say, “He’s playing like he’s been in the league a couple of years. He’s starting to emerge as one of our top defencemen. He’s playing with confidence.” Recording 15 points in 43 games, the 6’3”, 180 lbs. Serville was selected to play for the CCHL’s Prospects Team at the 2010 “Battle of Ontario” and would record 2 points for his club. In January, after being wooed by numerous universities, he would commit to a full scholarship at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York for 2011.
Keeping his OHL option open, Serville would attend the Sudbury Wolves rookie camp (staying within the NCAA eligibility guidelines) that he missed the previous season, but would ultimately return to Stouffville for the 2010-11 OJHL season as one of the club’s undisputed leaders. Once again, the injury bug would hit as Serville suffered an early season, freak, knee-on-knee injury, forcing him to miss the Team Canada East main camp, as well as the 2010 OJHL Governors’ Showcase.
During his recuperation, the tall and lanky prospect would choose to de-commit from Canisius as a steady stream of NCAA schools, as well as the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves, continued to knock on his door. Choosing to leave all his options open is important to Brennan, and he talked about any prospective future in the game, “I love hockey and I’ve always just wanted to play as long as I can. If I can make it in professional hockey that would be a dream come true.” That dream came one step closer when NHL Central Scouting listed the defenceman on their “Players to Watch” list for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Serville was listed a ‘B’ rated player, currently projected to be drafted between the 3rd to 5th rounds.
Despite missing the Team Canada East Evaluation Camp and only playing in nine OJHL games thus far, recording five points, Brennan Serville’s reputation and confident play preceded him, earning a spot on the 2010 squad. A great skater that protects and moves the puck extremely well from the back-end, Serville discussed the thrill of pulling on his country’s jersey, “It is my biggest achievement and proudest moment. It was an incredible feeling just wearing the Team Canada jersey during the tryouts (summer camp) and it will be unreal wearing it at the tournament.” Heading to Penticton with nothing but gold on his mind, Serville took a moment to reflect on those most important to him, who helped him down the path he has followed, “My parents are always there for me. They are very supportive through the good times and the bad times.” If he can remain healthy throughout the tournament, you can certainly expect Brennan Serville to lead Canada East’s defence corps from start to finish.
Stayed tuned over the upcoming days for more features on OJHL Team Canada East members and for more information on the World Junior 'A' Challenge or Team Canada East, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac.