Brandon Avezov Talks Family, Camaraderie and Competitve Hockey in AAU

by Justin Miller

The game of hockey has always been a source of camaraderie and family for Brandon Avezov. It started when he was younger, playing hockey for the Long Island Royals. “I remember countless road trips and even the people who I met when I was ten playing for the Royals, who I still talk to now,” said Avezov. He got to make lifelong relationships while also playing in a competitive hockey environment. 

Today Avezov plays for NYCHC, one of the newest teams to join the AAU’s Empire Conference. Being a part of this club has given him the chance to continue making strong familial bonds. “Everyone is friends with each other; it’s the most amazing culture I’ve ever been in,” Avezov said. “The most amazing team with the most amazing people I’ve met in my life.” Adding to the already great team culture is the fact that Avezov gets to work alongside his immediate family. He noted how special it is to have his father on the team as a coach and to see his mother and sister help with administrative and managerial work. “I am so blessed to have my family as an integral part of this team, and it’s amazing to see my mom, dad, and sister make friends and build great relationships with our diverse group,” said Avezov. “It feels like one big family.”

Some of Avezov’s teammates have also gotten to have special family moments as a part of the team’s inaugural season. He recalled a recent game against New Haven in which Ryan Wieczorek and Johnny Cotton had a special night performing in front of their loved ones. “They both scored goals with their parents, significant others, and their children watching,” said Avezov. Getting to celebrate the success of Wieczorek and Cotton in an 8-1 team victory served as a great memory for the team as a whole. “We got pictures after with both of their families. It was really special to see,” Avezov said. 

    Along with memorable moments shared with family and friends, the AAU has provided Avezov and the NYCHC team a chance to play a high level of college hockey. “I love the hockey we’re playing; it’s very competitive, and I like being able to travel,” said Avezov. Part of what specifically excited Avezov about this league is the provided playoff format. “One of the things I love that the AAU does is that every team makes the playoffs… I love that aspect of giving everyone a chance,” said Avezov. There’s also a lot of confidence regarding what this group is capable of for the remainder of the season. “I think we’re deep; both goalies are terrific and all of our forwards and defensemen are good. I’m playing with good players, and they’re able to set me up and put the puck in the net,” said Avezov. 

    With plenty of games left to go, the inaugural season of the NYCHC team has already been highly successful. The team has formed unbreakable bonds, shared some truly special moments, and played in some meaningful hockey games. This season, and the many that will follow, have encapsulated the best parts of playing organized ice hockey for this club.