His dream of playing pro hockey came true
Jacksonville native came back from severe knee injury to become only the fifth Floridian in National Hockey League.
Johnny Woodhouse Published: 10/18/2017
Brian Ferlin’s dream of playing professional hockey almost never happened. That’s because the Jacksonville native, who played for the NHL’s Boston Bruins and an affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, suffered a severe knee injury in middle school.
In 2005, Ferlin not only tore the anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees, he had what’s known as an avulsion fracture, where a bone fragment pulls away from the ligament. “It’s very unusual for an athlete to tear the ACL in such a way where we are able to repair it,” said Stephen Lucie, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute. “But I was able to repair and suture through the bone, which was less invasive than reconstruction.”
The ACL injury sidelined Ferlin, a former multi-sport athlete at The Bolles School, for about six months. After rehab, he decided to concentrate solely on hockey. He got so good at it that he was recruited to play in the top amateur league in the country before being drafted by the Bruins in 2011.
After a stint in the minors, Ferlin, who also played hockey at Cornell University, stepped on NHL ice for the first time in February 2015, realizing a childhood dream that began when he first strapped on skates at age 4. He retired from pro hockey in 2018, after suiting up for the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condor.
“The most enjoyable part about the practice of sports medicine is seeing people like Brian fulfill their dreams," said Dr. Lucie, formerly the head team physician for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
Added Ferlin: “I’m really thankful to Dr. Lucie. He allowed me to play the sport I love at the highest level."
Weekend warriors and professional athletes know the physicians and staff of Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute offer a larger number of treatments for injuries of the bone, muscles and joints.