Phoenix lasso buffalo rancher Josh Garbutt

Friday, 27th June 2008

The latest cast of the Manchester Phoenix recruiting lasso has seen Tony Hand land buffalo rancher and defenceman Josh Garbutt.

Originally from Medicine Hat in Alberta, 23-year old Josh Garbutt now lives in Yorkton Saskatchewan, and when he’s not playing hockey, he’s out on the range looking after over a thousand head of buffalo. “It’s tough work as buffalo take some handling, you sure don’t wanna get on the wrong side of them at all,” he joked.

Standing 5ft 11ins and nudging the scales to the 205lb mark, the left-shot blueliner started out as a forward, but has switched successfully to playing defence. “I like to break up opponents rushes and get things moving with a good pass. I enjoy joining the rush and move the puck quickly so you could call me an offensive defenceman. I know my role though and enjoy playing a physical game in our end to get things going.”

Having cut his teeth in the Western Hockey League, Josh turned professional after a year at the University of Regina studying for what he hopes will be an eventual post-hockey career. “I studied on a pre-police course as one day, I’d like to join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – that’s a while away yet though, as I’m excited now about signing in Manchester and coming to play in England. I’ve talked to a lot of guys who’ve played over there and both my fiancée Britney and I can’t wait to get there. It’s a great chance for me and I intend to make the most of the experience.”

Not drafted, Josh has attended NHL camps of both the Washington Capitals, twice, and the Anaheim Ducks and has played semi-pro soccer too. “I really like soccer, football you guys call it. I played as a goalie, the real last line and I loved it, so coming to England, I hope to see the real thing at some point while I’m there.”

Last season saw Josh split the year in the Central Hockey League with the Tulsa Oilers and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, and Phoenix supremo Tony Hand commented, “I did a lot of work on Josh and I really liked what I heard about him. He’s a strong skater and came well recommended by people who know what it takes for guys to cross the Atlantic. He was very professional when we spoke and we came to terms very quickly. At just 23, he’s both young and hungry and I think he’ll be a great addition both in the room and on the ice.”

Player Profile

Josh Garbutt - Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

Josh Garbutt: excited about coming over to England
(Image: Used courtesy of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees)

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