Matt Harvey is an original Junior Flyer on the first team in 2003-2004 and played three years. He is still playing and here is his story:
After playing Jr.B in High River I went and tried out at Brock University, where it’s pretty hard to make a team as they are always full and pre-select their guys. I ended up getting a spot as a practice player, and also played in some inter-university leagues. After two years of that and finishing school for fun, I still had an inkling to play the game. My plan was to go to London, U.K. and work part time and try to get on a semi-pro team there. I ended up training for hockey that summer and getting there, to find out the teams I’d contacted already had their import players selected. By luck, earlier that summer, I attended a hockey scouting game camp, where I met a friend who was in Finland, and was talking to him and I asked him about the team, and he said they were looking for defensemen. I ended up catching a plane the next day and headed there to tryout. I made the team and that was it.
Last year in Finland I played in a league called Second Division, for the first half of the season. After winning the first half of the season our team, Kemi Lamarit, we moved up to the next highest league, called Suomi-Sarja, which is Finlands 3rd highest league. Our team had six import players, including myself. Four were Canadian guys who played NCAA, D1, or D3, and two were high-level Slovakian players.
Finland was a great place to play hockey; the people there loved the game comparable to Canadians, and we had a large following in our township, Kemi, where I played.
This year I have just arrived in Austria, where I will be playing in a league called the Tyrolean Elite League. My team is called the Kufstein Dragons. Here I am one of two imports (due to league restrictions) and the other import is a Czech. With that in place, I think there will be a lot more performance pressure this year for being an import and hope to have a good season and try to move up.