Florek called up to Bruins

Katie Bultman

NMU alumus Justin Florek was recently recalled from the Providence Bruins of the AHL on Saturday, Jan. 4 to play with the NHL Boston Bruins.

Florek signed with the Bruins in 2012 after four seasons with the Wildcats. He was then assigned to play with the Providence Bruins.

Current head coach Walt Kyle was head coach during Florek’s time spent with the Northern Michigan University men’s hockey team.

Kyle said Florek is the type of athlete who does not get distracted by things going on around him.

“He has his eye where he wants to go and the path that he’s going to take,” Kyle said. “He does everything that he can to get there. I think he is a great model for other athletes to look at, in what work and focus mean to your success.”

Florek was called to play for Boston Bruins on Saturday, Jan. 4. In his three games with the Bruins, Florek scored two points for Boston. He tallied his first goal for the team in a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, Jan. 9. Florek also contributed one assist.

Assistant coach Joe Shawhan said it was only a matter of time until Florek was called up to play with the Boston Bruins.

“He so fits their type of player and he’s having success with Providence,” Shawhan said. “Justin’s a great kid. He’s deserving. He put in the extra time after practice, he put in the extra time before practice and he was always a leader during practice.

It’s no accident that he’s had an opportunity.”

Following three games with the Boston Bruins, Florek was assigned to Providence on Saturday, Jan. 11. Boston Bruins Loui Eriksson was taken off the injured reserve list. Eriksson will now take the ice in place of Florek.

Shawhan said he feels Florek will be granted more chances to play up.

“It was good for him that when he went up he had success,” Shawhan said. “I’m sure he’ll get some more call-ups like that and some opportunities to move up and to prove himself and find himself a full-time job.”

Florek scored 54 goals in his four seasons with the Wildcats. He also had 63 assists and led as team captain in his final season at Northern Michigan University.

Assistant coach John Kyle said the success of Florek’s success goes deeper in that he has strong character as a person.

“He’s a kid that deserves everything that he’s gotten because he’s such a good person,” John Kyle said. “I can’t point a finger at any time that I haven’t seen him working hard or doing the right things all the time. That just transfers over to his play.”

Florek grew up in Marquette, Mich. where his family resides. Walt Kyle said Florek comes from a great family with great values and work ethic.

“In my opinion, there is absolutely no question he’s going to have a career in the NHL,” Walt Kyle said. “I think he’s going to have a long career in the NHL. I think he understands the ups and downs that happen sometimes in an early career, and I think he’s going to keep his eye on the ball and get there.”

Florek was not available for comment by press time.