With the 29th selection of the 2020 NHL Draft, the Vegas Golden Knights have selected Brendan Brisson from the Chicago Steel of the USHL.
Playing in the under-scouted USHL, Brendan Brisson gave scouts a reason to make time for the league that regularly sees talent move on to the NHL. He and the entire Chicago Steel squad made up one of the best programs in junior hockey, and Brisson was a cornerstone of that.
The 6-foot-0, 185-pound centreman is the son of NHL agent Pat Brisson and watched and learned from NHL stars growing up. He stood out at the World Junior A Challenge, thanks to a booming one-timer and offensive skill. The current plan is to head to the University of Michigan in 2020-21, when/if the NCAA season kicks off.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“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 cancelled.
Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2020 Edition
“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.
“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.”
How This Affects the Golden Knights Plans
From not being a team at all just a few years ago, the Golden Knights not only have one of the best rosters in the NHL, they have one of the best prospect pools outside of it. Adding Brisson adds to that in a very big way. After stealing Peyton Krebs in the 2019 NHL D, the Golden Knights again get a potential steal in the first round.
What’s impressive about the Golden Knights is that they came into the NHL swinging, and with the pool they’ve built, that isn’t changing any time soon. This club has been built the right way and teams should be taking note of the “Golden Knights way.” Brisson should be a top-six forward in this very dangerous group very soon.
Get the latest NHL Draft & Prospect rankings, news and analysis
Starting out as an Ottawa Senators contributor for The Hockey Writers, Josh is now an editor and at-large contributor, focusing on prospects, the NHL Draft, hockey history, and breaking news stories.