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Jason Garrison

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Jason Garrison leads all NHL defensemen with eight goals. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Jason Garrison

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With Kevin Kennedy

I went though all the levels from house league to AAA in Aldergrove, B.C. That was when I had the best time in minor hockey. I remember I was in either atom or peewee and we won the league championship and that was for sure the highlight of my young career.

I had some great coaches growing up. One guy I remember was John Blessman. He played professional hockey and he was our idol - he was the guy we all wanted to be like because he could shoot the puck hard and he was big. Whenever he spoke everyone listened.

My parents were also really involved. They drove me to the rink and got me the equipment when I needed it. I actually still have one of those Gretzky Easton aluminums back at home. I remember never wanting to break that stick. I remember using those until the bitter end and it was all cracked on the bottom and stuff.

When I was younger I collected hockey cards and was into roller blading and skateboarding. These days I still like to be outdoors, but I prefer golf and camping and more relaxing activities to pass the time like reading. I was big into the Dan Brown books and a lot of guys read on the road so you kind of just pick up on what other guys are reading and try it. It`s a nice escape.

At times I thought it was a long shot to make it to the NHL because I was a late-bloomer and I honestly didn't think I was going to make it as far as I have. That’s the reason I went to school. Somewhere down the road I wouldn't mind being a strength and conditioning coach for a pro team, just to keep me around the guys and stay involved in hockey.

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Jason Garrison