A recent late-round draft pick by the Nashville Predators got some big news over in Finland. The best team in the United States Hockey League (USHL) is getting one of their big contributors back for the upcoming season. Plus, we profile one of his teammates on possibly junior hockey’s most dominant team in 2019-20
Pärssinen Earns a Letter
Predators prospect Juuso Pärssinen got some big news on Monday when he was named an alternate captain for Turku Palloseuran (TPS) of Liiga. This is the 19-year-old’s first full season in Finland’s top professional league. He scored five goals and 12 assists in 31 games for TPS during the 2019-20 season.
Pärssinen was selected by Nashville in the seventh round (219th overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-2 winger is looking to play a big role for TPS during the upcoming season. A big start could help his case to play for Finland at the IIHF World Junior Championship at the end of the year. He was a member of the 2019 U18 WJC team that was eliminated by the United States in the quarterfinal round. That U.S. team featured recent top draft picks like Jack Hughes, Cole Caufield, Alex Turcotte and Spencer Knight.
Farrell Stays in USHL
According to a Tweet from Chicago Steel general manager Ryan Hardy, Chicago Steel forward Sean Farrell will be returning to the team for the 2020-21 season.
Farrell had 15 goals and 56 points in 44 USHL games last season. He was one of four members of the Steel to finish in the top seven in USHL scoring. His 41 assists tied him with Ty Jackson of the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
The youngster was originally going to play for Harvard University, but with no targeted starting date in sight for the NCAA, he has decided to remain in Chicago while taking online classes. The USHL still has intentions to play a full schedule in 2020-21, however, they have yet to make an official announcement exactly when and how that will happen.
Farrell is expected to be drafted in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, likely somewhere in the late second round. Our own Matthew Zator had this to say about his future.
Farrell has the skills to become a very productive player at the NHL level. He plays a lot like Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Alex Debrincat, albeit he is a little bit bigger than him. However, Debrincat came into the league as an undersized player and despite everyone’s doubts, already has a 40-goal season under his belt. So, it’s not out of the question to see a player like Farrell succeed at the highest level. I expect him to become a top-nine winger who can play on the power play and the penalty kill.
The Steel are regarded as one of the top programs in the USHL, so he is in the right place to further is development.
Prospect of the Day – Brendan Brisson
We will stay in the USHL and take a look at one of Farrell’s teammates with the Steel. NHL Central Scouting has Brisson ranked 20th among all North American skaters. THW’s Andrew Forbes slots him at No. 40 on his final rankings before the draft.
Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2020 Edition
Brisson had 24 goals and 59 points and was a huge contributor to Chicago’s offense, which rolled to a 41-7-1 record before the USHL season was canceled. The young center is an elite playmaker with great speed and acceleration. He has the vision and hands to be a threat at even strength and on the power play. His shot is accurate and he has a quick release.
While he isn’t the biggest player on the ice with, he still very noticeable on defense. He uses his speed to help his defenders with an aggressive backcheck. Brisson will pressure the puck carrier and uses his hockey IQ to get in the right position in order to break up passes and opposing rushing.
I wrote in his draft profile about his chances to be effective in the NHL.
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.
Brisson climbed up the draft rankings throughout the season. There is a good chance he may hear his name called during the first round of the draft on Oct. 6. He is committed to play at the University of Michigan, but there has been no word on what his plans will be as of yet. As always, keep checking with the Hockey Writers for all your draft coverage needs.
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.