Andy “Bud” Madej came to the Lone Star Brahmas as a tender from the Chicago Mission U18 program where he had been a teammate of Brahmas’ goalie T.J. Black for several seasons. The rookie defenseman has a lot of interests away from the rink like hunting, fishing, golf or working on his truck or dirt bike. However, when the puck drops his focus turns to the blueline.
Madej started playing travel hockey at the age of five thanks to a call from his aunt. His older cousins were playing hockey and his aunt mentioned that the organizations Mite team was looking for a goalie. Bud had been involved in other sports and was a kid who liked action and there was just too much time setting around for his liking. He was always playing mini sticks with his friends, so when his aunt called his parents signed him up and his hockey career began.
Having started playing as a goalie gives Madej a unique view of the importance of defensemen to the guy between the pipes. “I started out as a goalie, so I know everyone is looking at you when the puck goes in the net,” said Madej. “While I’m on the ice defending I’m going to do my job and give it all I’ve got to keep the puck out of our net.”Black is very appreciative of Madej’s dedication to keeping the puck away from the net. “Bud has been on my team for the past six years,” recalled Black. “He has always been my favorite defenseman because he’s one of those guys who goes into battle for you and will lead the charge.”
“He’s one of those guys who goes into battle for you and will lead the charge.”
Bud likes to keep things on an even keel. “It’s a game that I enjoy and I’m still having fun playing. I don’t like losing, but I try to be loose during the games. I won’t get too low after a loss or too high after a win.” When on the ice Madej says that he is similar to Duncan Keith. “I’m a stay at home defenseman that will skate the puck up when given the opportunity. Don’t get me wrong, I like scoring goals but assists and blocking shots mean just as much to me,” he said.
At 5’ 10” and 175 pounds, Madej is often smaller than many of the big forwards that are common in the NAHL South Division. However, he does not let that intimidate him or make him change his game. “I won’t shy away from anyone, regardless of how big they are I will still go fight for the puck in a corner and try to win the battle,” he said. “I try to get the better angles and dig hard until I come up with the puck.”
Lone Star was not the only organization in the NAHL to recognize Madej’s abilities, he had interest from five or six other teams in the league. After speaking with the Brahmas coaching staff Madej was leaning toward Lone Star and then he got the call that pushed him over the top. “When T.J. (Black) called me and told me what it was like, I was sold.” Madej made a visit in for a couple weeks at the end of last season to get a taste of the NAHL and stayed with his current billet family. “The Kersten’s made me feel like I was at home and I had a great time, plus if I’m going to be away for 8 months I might as well go some place warm,” said Madej.
More from Dallas Sports
- Re-grading the Dallas Cowboys 2017 draft: Looking back
- Dallas Cowboys defense is great but also has room for improvement
- FC Dallas products play major role in USMNT win over Honduras
- Mavs Gaming and WWP Honor Mental Health Month
- Texas Rangers: 3 biggest questions this offseason
That extended visit gave Madej the opportunity to get his feet wet and skate with the team over the last two weeks of practice. So, coming into this season he was already comfortable with the returning veterans. Add in the talented rookies with previous junior hockey experience the team brought in this season and Madej likes the prospects the defensive corps brings to the ice. “I think we are a very skilled group and are getting better every day. I think you’ll see us gel as a solid unit as the season goes on,” Madej said in evaluating the defensive unit.
Madej says that he has been fortunate to play on some very good teams over the years that have provided a list of memorable highlights. While he puts playing for the Brahmas high on that list there are several others that he can point to as well. Madej has played for State Championships seven times winning five. His Bantam Major team won the Toronto Redwings Tournament and went on to the USA Hockey Nationals. He is looking to add to the list this season. “I hope to catch the eye of some colleges and be lucky enough to continue my playing career,” said Madej. “But the most important goal I look forward to achieving this year is winning the Robertson Cup.”
2011/12Chicago Mission U18
2012/13Chicago Mission U18
2013/14Chicago Mission U18
2014/15Lone Star Brahmas