Steve Oleksy has never been considered a top prospect. In fact, before he made his NHL debut for the Washington Capitals in March, Oleksy played for seven different minor league teams in five years. It’s been a long and often painful road Oleksy has traveled, one that was made even longer because of Braden Holtby.
You see, earlier in the season when Holtby and Oleksy played together in AHL Hershey, the sassy goaltender from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan decided to play a prank on the new Bears defenseman.
I’ll let Oleksy explain.
“I asked him for a ride back [to my car],” Oleksy said to ABC7’s Britt McHenry. “And this was before I really knew who Holts was — and he said,’Yeah. No problem, man,’ So I came up from doing a little interview and I walk out the door just to see him driving away. So I had to lug all the way back to our regular rink which is close to a mile away with my bag on my shoulder. People probably thought I was homeless.”
Regardless, Holtby and Oleksy have become fast friends, as the two would hang out regularly in Hershey. The Holtbeast would even become one of the first in the organization to catch on to Oleksy’s childhood nickname.
“One time I was at his house and on his computer it said ‘Binky’s Computer’ or something like that,” Holtby told RMNB’s Chris Gordon. “I was like ‘Who is that?’ One of the guys told me. It’s one of those nicknames where it’d be pretty funny if it caught on.”
Holtby has also been one of the Oleksy’s biggest advocates in Washington, such as Thursday night after Binky’s first career playoff game. Oleksy would tally the game-winning assist, as well as block a shot with his face and return without missing a shift.
“He can make those skill plays,” Holtby told the media after the game. “It surprises people all the time just because of the role he plays. He’s worked as hard as anyone to improve the skill part of his game.”
Holtby added,”I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without scars, without stitches at some point.”
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It all just proves, that pranks can sometimes be the biggest signs of endearment.