The roads ahead are unknown and she may be in for a ‘wild’ ride, but regardless, Brooke Norkus is wanting to take the wheel.
The Prince George teen has committed to the Delta Hockey Academy for the 2020-21 season after an impressive rookie performance with the Northern Capitals last year, posting 17 points, 12 assists and five goals, and finishing as the top defenceman on the Under-18 Female AAA squad.
In an interview with PrinceGeorgeMatters, she says she sees college hockey in her future, which was a reason in her decision to move to the lower mainland and join the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL).
“It just seemed like a better opportunity for me to grow as a hockey player,” said Norkus.
“Of course, I love Prince George and I love the Capitals, they’ll always be my family, but Delta just, from where I want to be in the future, I think it’ll help me get there.”
Brooke Norkus was sharp on the blue-line in her 1st full year in FMAAA 🔷 The 15-year-old led all defence on the scoresheet, 12A & 17 points, & the entire team with 4 PP goals. She also lit the Caps’ final regular-season lamp against the Rush on Sunday (March 1) | #CityOfPG pic.twitter.com/SvwnXMrhO0— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) March 2, 2020
The 16-year-old’s ultimate goal in suiting up for the Wild’s Under-18 Female Prep squad would be to earn a university scholarship, specifically for one of the 36 NCAA Division One women’s hockey teams in the United States.
Having already had some experience south of the border at showcase camps, as well as a selection to B.C.'s provincial Under-18 female summer camp roster in 2019, Norkus believes, for now, this next step in her young career is one she’s willing to take.
“I think I could get there. It’s pretty good with the coaching staff they have down at Delta; they’re really player-involved, very interactive with schools and everything that’s going on. So it’ll be a pretty good chance for me to go to Div. One from there.”
U15 Super Elite Division— North American Female Elite Showcase (@FemaleNorth) May 21, 2019
Top Forward award went to Emerson Jarvis of the 2004 Team United.
Top Defence award went to Brooke Norkus from the 2004 Alberta Spartan Outlaws.
Top Goalie award went to Asiai Kachuk from the 2004 Team United.
Congrats Girls. pic.twitter.com/iq2juP2ms1
Norkus’ numbers from 2019-20 not only had her ranked fifth among B.C. female-league blue-liners, but first overall with four power-play markers.
Though lost for words on how she was able to pull off that feat, she says she does what’s expected of her both on defense and offense.
With COVID-19 still in full force and no current end in sight, hockey teams in B.C. can only host training and development sessions for incoming players.
If a vaccine is discovered for the virus and health authorities are able to move into Phase Four, Norkus could be travelling across the country to compete against other schools.
“Everything right now, for us, is so up in the air,” she sighed, noting the day-to-day routine at the Delta Hockey Academy, as it stands, has her both on the ice and in the classroom.
“I’ll be on the ice every day, but I still don’t know what school will look like. I’m on the ice in the morning, I’ll do a workout, then I take two classes at the rink, and then I’m supposed to go back to school for my other two classes in the afternoon, but we’re still not sure.”
Norkus will be moving on her own to Delta and living with a billet family, but plans to come back up to Prince George when she can to see her former teammates and reminisce.
“Having that Winter Classic game [in Nak’azdli Whut’en/Fort St. James] was something really special for all of us. Getting together with all the girls and having a big family was probably my favourite part of the season.”
Last year, the Delta Wild Under-18 Female Prep team finished third in the CSSHL regular-season with a 24-game record of 19-4-0-0-1.