MISSOULA – The NA3HL draft was held Thursday night and the Missoula Bruins had a dozen picks, but one of those 12 was a little more special than 11 picks before.
The Bruins used their eighth round, #277 overall pick to select 11-year-old Missoula native Jack Berry as an honorary pick.
Berry was diagnosed with cancer in July and has been back and forth between Boston receiving treatment.
The Berry family couldn’t be there, but the Bruins made a custom jersey for Jack that they’ll give to him next time he’s in Missoula.
Head coach Cliff Cook says the decision was a no-brainer and explained how close-knit the hockey community is around the country.
“You know hockey is a small world. It’s a small community. We all stick up for each other. We fight like crazy on the ice but at the end of the day, we know it’s just a game. It’s a small hockey world,” Cook said.
“You find that when you travel places — I’ve coached all over the country — and you always just run into someone you know personally or you have a connection with.”
“You want to keep your family tight and take care of those that need it the most and clearly jack and his family need it the most right now,” Cook concluded.
Jack is the son of Missoula Rural Fire District firefighter Cooper Berry.
-Jack Ginsburg reporting for MTN News