Brendan Brisson – 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Brendan Brisson

The Hockey Writers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Guide

2019-20 Team: Chicago Steel (USHL)

Date of Birth: Oct. 22, 2001

Place of Birth: Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 179 pounds

Shoots: Left

Position: C

NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible


NHL Central Scouting: 20th (among NA skaters)

Bob McKenzie, TSN: 34th 17th

Dobber Prospects: 26th

The Hockey Writers (Bell): 49th

After a 101-point season at Shattuck St. Mary’s, Brisson joined the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League. The teenager scored 24 goals and 59 points in just 45 games before the season was put on hiatus. He helped the Steel to a dominant 41-7-1 record, as they were eventually crowned league champions for having the best record when the season was canceled.

Brendan, the son of long-time NHL agent Pat Brisson, is a pure playmaker with good acceleration and speed. He has great vision and reads the offensive zone really well. He has exceptional hands to go along with his vision. This makes him a deadly weapon on the power-play as he can not only find the open man but put the puck right on his stick as well. The young center has an accurate wrist shot and snapshot that both have a sneaky release.

Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2020 Edition

Defensively, Brisson is a very hard worker. He uses his speed to backcheck and help out his defensemen. While he isn’t a very physical player, he will pressure the puck carrier to force a turnover and uses his smarts and quick reaction to break up plays.

What he lacks in overall size and physicality, he makes up for with his constantly moving feet and his brain. Brisson plays at a high tempo and is always moving, keeping the pressure on the opponent regardless of what zone the puck is in. He has the tools to be a high-level, 200-foot player at the NHL level.

Other THW Draft Profiles:

Brandon Brisson – NHL Draft Projection

Brisson is one of those players whose stock has risen during the course of the season. Early on, he was projected to go somewhere in the early to middle of the third round. After his big season in Chicago, he is likely to go in the last third of the first round. He could fall somewhere between picks 20 and 30.


“Strong relentless light-footed attacking center who understands the nuances on the attack and continues to maintain pressure with passes, positioning and powerful wrist shots. can let go of hard back-hand passes as well as burying his chances from both outside and in close. His superb skating allows him to win the races to the loose pucks, shake and roll off coverage, and take pucks to the net, always putting the defending team on their heels. Light on his blades, he will make one cut, then the next, and then pivot and shoot while in motion. He creates offense where there seems to be none, taking everything towards the goal.” Bill Placzek, Draft Site

“Brisson has the potential to be a top-six forward in the NHL. Capable of playing both wing and center, his future is likely on the wing. He has some things to work on before he is NHL ready and so that he can reach that potential. Brisson’s game is reminiscent of Alex Tanguay but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one that is meant to convey his level of skill or ability.” Ben Kerr, Last Word on Hockey

Brendan Brisson Chicago Steel
Scouts are high on Brisson. (Chicago Steel)

“It was a heck of a draft-eligible season for the first-year USHL center. He lined up on the most dominant USHL squad we’ve seen in years. And he was the straw that stirred the drink for the Chicago Steel from puck drop in September. His impact on the game was most impressive on the man-advantage where his one-timer from the circle/slot area demoralized many an opponent. Brisson has aligned himself as a first-round prospect and maybe even one that goes early on in the top-20.” Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects


  • Release
  • Vision
  • Skating

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Strength
  • Size

NHL Potential

Brisson has the tools to be a legit top-six forward. Whether that is at the wing or up the middle remains to be seen. His two biggest drawbacks are his strength and size, which cause him to shy away from the slot at times. He can work on both of those things while playing at the University of Michigan. The lighter schedule in the NCAA will allow more time to work out off the ice and put on the bulk he will need to survive at the professional level.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 3/5 | Reward – 5/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offense – 8/10 | Defense – 7/10


Brisson racked up quite a few honors during the 2019-20 hockey season. He played at the World Junior A Challenge, where he won a Silver Medal with Team USA and was named to the tournament’s All-Star team. He was also named the USHL’s Rookie of the Year while being named to both the league’s All-Rookie and First All-Star Teams.

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