ALLEN, Texas – In celebration of the Allen Americans 10th anniversary, today is the start of a series of profiles about players from the past to see what they are up to today. I hope to catch up with as many players as possible from the last 10 seasons. It should be a lot of fun.
The honor of the first “Where Are They Now” profile goes to Bruce Graham. When you talk about Allen Americans all time greats the records speak for themselves regarding Graham. Bruce was the leading goal scorer for the Americans the first three years of the franchise, was selected to the Central Hockey League (CHL) all-star team all three years and led the Americans in points in 2009-10 and 2011-12.
Graham is 10th all time in games played (184 games) in Allen and his name is all over the Americans record book:
Goals – Bruce ended his Allen career with 97 goals, one behind Chad Costello and Greger Hanson on the all time list. If you compute goals per game Graham had .527, Hanson .503 and Costello .454.
Points – Graham is second all time in points (235).
Assists – Graham is second all time in assists (138).
After the 2011-12 season, Graham left Allen to play in Nottingham, England where he won a championship. He returned to Allen in February of 2014 and was a member of the Americans second Central Hockey League championship.
Bruce and his wife, Whitney, are currently living in Moncton, New Brunswick, where they both grew up. They have three children, Harper will be eight, London will be seven and Beckett just turned three. They are expecting their fourth child, a boy, in January. Here is a Graham family update in their own words.
Our kids are growing so fast and we are expecting another boy the first week in January too! We may be a little crazy. We keep busy with work and all the kid activities, we are always on the go. Between work and kid activities, to have a weekend at home is extremely rare.
What are you doing now?
I am working at Honda selling cars. I have been there for over two years. When I finished playing hockey I did coach a Junior A team with Josh Hepditch (another former Allen American). I also played senior hockey for a few years but think I have decided to officially hang up my skates this winter (Whitney thinks that will change, haha). Whitney works for a junior hockey team in the front office. She does a lot of admin work and is their sponsorship coordinator.
I would love to have some involvement in hockey. I throw around the idea of some kind of private lessons or something but just need to make a plan. I am hoping to help out with my nephew’s team this season.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies, hmmmmm…golf. One can dream, right? Maybe when the kids are older I can get back to you on my hobbies. (haha)
Can you share something about your time playing and living in Allen?
We enjoyed everything about our time in Allen. We reminisce about it all of the time. The organization was always there when we needed something, we were treated well by the team. The people of Allen definitely make that town. They were warm and welcoming, always willing to help if we needed anything. Outside of hockey, there was so much to do! All in all, we love that place. Whitney still considers Allen her second home and says she will live there again someday. We just wish it wasn’t so far from Canada!
What is your highlight, fondest memory of your time in Allen?
My first year in Allen (2009-10) was a year that sticks out. We had a team that had a bond both on the ice and off. The boys spent so much time together, had so many laughs and we had an amazing inaugural season making it all the way the championship finals. That first season will always stay fresh in my memory.
Also, coming back in 2014 for the playoff run was an unbelievable experience. Winning that Presidents’ Cup has to be one of the best highlights of my pro career. I often scroll through those pictures of the night we won. A lot of fun for sure!
Who was your favorite/closest teammate in Allen? Any stories you can share?
That is a tough question because I made so many incredible friends during my time in Allen. One teammate that brought out the kid in me was Tobias Whelan. We did some pretty stupid things. We probably drove others crazy but some of the things we did were always good for a laugh. One time we dropped a Christmas tree from Tobias’ balcony to Erik Adam’s balcony early in the morning. That makes me laugh just thinking about it. Or the time I flipped everything in Tobias’ apartment upside down and I mean everything. I even moved his mattress into his walk-in closet. If I could tell you all of the memories/fondest memories made in Allen, we would be here for hours!
We are planning to make it to Allen for the alumni game in February and look forward to seeing everyone.
DID YOU KNOW: Bruce Graham was a second round (#51 overall) draft pick of the New York Rangers in the 2004 NHL draft. Taken five spots of ahead of Bruce in the 2004 draft was another future champion in Allen, Adam Pineault.