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Vegas Golden Knights Prospect Analysis: Brendan Brisson

The Vegas Golden Knights have never been a team that has had an overabundance of elite shooters. Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Marchessault are Vegas’ current best shooters. With them both past 30 years old, however, Vegas needs to begin looking ahead to see who will fill their shoes after their time playing for Vegas comes to a close. The team selecting Brendan Brisson at the 2020 entry NHL draft indicates that they have been.

Player Profile

The Vegas Golden Knights drafted Brendan Brisson 29th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

Being the son of Pat Brisson, who Forbes ranks as the number one hockey agent in the world, Brendan was introduced to the sport from an early age. With his father representing players like Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews, there was no lack of hockey in his youth.

From 2016 to 2019, Brisson played for Shattuck St. Mary’s from the 16U to 18U levels, improving his offensive output every season.

During the 2018-19 season however was when he began his transition to the USHL, playing for the Green Bay Gamblers. He only played six games for the Wisconsin-based team, only recording one goal.

In the 2019-20 season, however, Brisson played for the Chicago Steel instead, where he showcased his true offensive talents. In 45 games played for the Steel, he scored 25 goals and tallied 59 total points. This performance really solidified him as a first-round quality player.

After being drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2020, Brisson committed to the University of Michigan. In the 2020-21 season, he recorded 10 goals and 21 points in 24 games.

Currently, in the 2021-22 season, he has seemed to fully embrace his goal-scoring talent. In 12 games he has eight goals and 13 points. He is currently playing with some of the NHL’s other top prospects. Owen Power, Matty Beniers, Kent Johnson and Luke Hughes are all amongst Brisson’s teammates on the best team in the NCAA.

Capabilities and Skills

When Vegas drafted Brisson, they understood he was still a few years away from being NHL ready.  He is a project for the team to develop and attempt to form into an elite-level player. This is why they had no problem with him playing in the NCAA as he was not physically ready to play at a professional level at that point. After one and a half seasons with Michigan, it is evident that he is still developing and showing clear signs of improvement every game.

Brendan Brisson is a talented forward with an eye for goal. The way he plays is somewhat reminiscent of the aforementioned Jonathan Marchessault. They both have great shooting capabilities that they best utilize when partnered with line-mates they have chemistry with. Brisson and Marchessault are also similar in that they play their best hockey when they do not possess the puck. Neither of the two are overbearing physical presences on the ice, so they benefit by being able to rely on their line-mates when on the forecheck.

It’s in the offensive zone that Brisson is able to play his best hockey. He explores spaces and openings in order to find shooting positions. He has a strong wrist-shot and a great one-timer which he deploys on the right-hand side. This makes him dangerous on the power play, something that the Golden Knights continue to struggle with. He shows great hockey sense as well, with his ability to recognize potential rebounds, that he subsequently works to put back on net.

Closing Thoughts

The way Brisson plays would fit in perfectly with how the Golden Knights like to structure themselves. After a few seasons with Michigan he could absolutely have a chance to make it into the Golden Knights roster.  With Peyton Krebs having been traded away, Brisson is now the top prospect in the Vegas Golden Knights organization.

He has the potential to be the future of the Vegas Golden Knights. The skills he brings to the table could potentially make him the symbolic heir to fan-favorite, Jonathan Marchessault. Whether he will eventually be able to develop into this type of player is yet to be seen, but what he has shown up to this point has indicated that it is a possibility.

 

Featured image courtesy of University of Michigan/Michigan Photography

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