IN LIKE FLYNN

Rookie Brian Flynn is already making his mark in Rochester

Tuesday, 12.04.2012 / 3:05 PM
Madison Brown  - Digital Media Intern

Rochester Americans rookie Brian Flynn grew up in Lynnfield, Mass., right around the corner from collegiate hockey powerhouses Boston University and Boston College and, of course, the NHL’s Boston Bruins. His father used to take him to watch these teams as a child, but Flynn began playing before he can even remember. His family of hockey players sparked his interest in the sport and he hasn’t looked back since.

Flynn played several sports through prep school but chose to focus on hockey because that’s what he loved the most. He aspired to play college hockey and hoped it would lead to a career in the NHL.

“Hockey was by far, definitely my passion and the sport I was best at for sure,” said the 24-year-old Flynn. “I always knew I wanted to play hockey.”

His impact on the hockey program at the University of Maine was felt right away. Flynn finished his freshman season second on the team with 25 points (12+13) and had continued success through the next three seasons.

As a senior, Flynn served as a team captain and displayed his best performance as a Black Bear. He finished with 48 points (18+30), second on the team to Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Spencer Abbott. The co-captain led his team to the NCAA Northeast Regional Semifinals where they ultimately lost 5-2 to Minnesota Duluth.

“The whole experience was a responsibility, and being a leader will help you in everything in life,” Flynn said. “I learned a lot from it; I think it made me a better player.”

At the completion of his senior season in Maine, Flynn played five games with the Amerks while on an Amateur Tryout Offer (ATO), before signing a one-year entry-level contract with the Sabres. After picking up just one assist during the five-game ATO, Flynn has carried his collegiate success with him to the Amerks this season.

Flynn’s eight goals and 16 points currently rank third on the team behind Marcus Foligno and T.J. Brennan. After a slow start to the season that saw him collect just one goal in seven October contests, Flynn rattled off a nine-game point streak from Nov. 2-28 where he scored seven goals and chipped in eight assists. The streak was highlighted by his first career professional hat trick as part of a four-point game against Albany on November 23.

Despite his immediate success, Flynn is staying grounded and looking to focus on the season as a whole.

“It’s only such a small portion of the year,” explained Flynn. “You always have to keep a perspective of things. There will be ups and downs and I have to be ready for that.”

After signing with the Sabres last March, Flynn graduated two months later with a degree in financial economics. It was equally important to him as well as his parents to earn a degree while getting the chance to play hockey at Maine.

“As I was brought up, through high school and going into college, my parents always stressed education is the most important thing,” Flynn said. “Someday, if I play 10 years in the NHL, I’m still going to need that degree at some point. You can’t play hockey forever so you need to get a job when you’re done playing.”

Although he has hopes to use his degree in the long run, Flynn’s primary goal is to focus on hockey and get to the next level.

“I want to play in the NHL and have the longest career as I can possibly have and ultimately win a Stanley Cup,” Flynn said. “That’s one of the goals, playing in this league, and it’s definitely something you should work for.”

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