“Brad Farynuk is a 18-year-old defenseman with the Vernon Vipers. A good open ice hitter,forewards have to watch when he is on the ice. Farynuk moves the puck well and can play all special teams.” so said a 2001 article on Hockey’s Future entitled “BCHL’s three solid defensemen”. Farynuk continued that style of play through college, the ECHL, the AHL, Europe and Asia.
Tohoku Free Blades defenseman Brad Farynuk is retiring after 3 championships in 5 seasons with the club to work in engineering.
The native of Enderby, B.C. played junior hockey in the BCHL with the Vernon Vipers.(2000-2002). In his second year with the Vipers, Brad was an assistant captain on a team that went from missing the playoffs the previous season to finishing first and going to the finals. He received the BCHL best defenseman award in his final season as well. Farynuk is only one of four defensemen in Vipers history to score 100 career points.
In 2002-03 Farynuk moved to the NCAA, on a scholarship, where he played four seasons (captaining the final two) at RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) with Asian League alumni, Oren Eizenman.
Farynuk earned dual engineering degrees and was on the NCAA (ECAC) All-Academic Team in his final three years at RPI.
After college Farynuk played in the ECHL and AHL from 2006-09. He was captain of the ECHL Kelly Cup champion South Carolina Stingrays in 08-09.
In 2009, Brad Farynuk arrived in Japan to play for the newly formed Tohoku Free Blades. He made his mark on the score sheet and left a few marks on opposing players too. Farynuk led all defensemen in scoring and the league in penalty minutes. Although the Blades failed to make the playoffs, Farynuk became an instant fan favorite. Loved by the home fans and hated by the opposition fans, he was the kind of player everybody wants on their team.
The following season, the Blades finished third in the league and were set to play Anyang Hall in the finals when tragedy struck. An earthquake and tsunami hit the Fukushima area of Japan. Many people were injured or perished. The league cancelled the finals and declared both teams co-champions. Farynuk played in Italy the season after the disaster only to return to the Blades once again to win another league title. This time scoring 3 game winners in 6 of his teams playoff victories.
The Blades continued their pattern of missing the playoffs and then winning the championship the next two seasons. However, Farynuk continued to play the game the same way he did was called of the “BCHL’s three solid defensemen.”
He retires as the Free Blades all-time leading scorer among defenseman and as the teams all-time PIM leader. He is also fifth all-time in scoring among defensemen and fourth all-time in PIM among all players in the Asian League.
Gritty, tenacious, scorer, leader, Captain are just a few words to describe what kind of player Brad Farynuk was. Thank you number 44 for the excitement and intensity you brought to the game.