From tending the crease to tending to patient care.
That’s the story of Mark Segal, the former Vancouver Giants netminder who spent two seasons in the Western Hockey League from 2009 to 2011 before moving on to pursue his degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Victoria.
“I work closely with physicians in developing ideas that they think would be useful for patient care,” Segal, who is a research and development engineer for a medical device start-up, told Junior Hockey Magazine as part of its CHL Leaders segment.
Along the way, there were plenty of building blocks for the 27-year-old British Columbia native, who pointed to his time in the junior hockey circuit as playing a big part in developing the personal characteristics that allow him to succeed today.
“You have to learn how to manage your time and to be accountable to people because the coaches at that level are not willing to put up with any tardiness or laziness, and that extends into the professional world,” Segal detailed.
After two seasons in junior hockey, Segal elected to get his education, first attending McGill University, where he strapped on the pads for one more season, before shifting to his home province and the University of Victoria.
“Following my 19-year-old season in junior, I knew I was going to be a bubble player as a 20-year-old, so I decided to go to university at that point,” Segal said. “I played a year of university hockey, but after a year, there was likely not a career for me as a hockey player and I just took what I could from my experience there and shifted my focus to building a career elsewhere.”
For Segal, while it wasn’t an instant decision to pursue a career in the medical field, he’s thankful for the CHL’s valuable scholarship package in part because it gave him the time and opportunity to find the right career path.
“The scholarship program was great, especially for myself as it took me a couple years to land on what exactly I was going to do,” Segal explained. “Having the scholarship gave me that flexibility.”
The former netminder cherishes his time in the junior ranks and is thankful for the opportunities it provided. It was no doubt an invaluable time in his life that he always looks back on fondly.
“The whole thing was an incredible experience. Being from Vancouver and getting to play with the Giants, my friends and family could come see me play,” Segal said. “The whole thing was really special and, looking back, it’s something I really value.”
Listen to Mark Segal’s full interview with Junior Hockey Magazine here.