Sign in to follow this  
Tomato Pajamas

Matt Brassard | D

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Canuck Surfer said:

Has anyone blossomed as a 20 year old CHL overager, and been relevant?

 

It might be good for confidence.  But playing at 20 against guys mostly 17 & 18 still is not a great measuring stick.  Especially because the calling card on Brassard is physical brawn.  I'd vote AHL or even Europe.  Europe sounds a dumb idea for a Canadian kid? But he would skate & handle the puck more.  Its not conventional, but maybe not so far fetched? 

There’ve been a few CHL overagers who’ve gone on to good careers. Unfortunately, I’m drawing a blank right now and the only name coming to mind, at least when it comes to defensemen, is Dennis Wideman. But I’m sure there are several others who went on to NHL careers after playing a 20yo season in junior.

 

In Brassard’s case though, it’s more that this season really feels like his D+1 instead of his D+2. 2015-16 was actually his first OHL season and he only played 28 games as a 17yo. 2016-17, as an 18yo, he was used sparingly over the first couple dozen games, and then played more over the second half, especially after the trade. This season, at 19, he started out banged up, struggled to produce over the first couple dozen games, and then has been a dependable point per game D since (and scored at a top-5 place among OHL Ds during that stretch).

 

He’s only 14 months older than Evan Bouchard and Brassard has actually played 19 fewer career OHL games (32 fewer counting playoffs). In fact, Brassard’s OHL career, in terms of games played, is probably closer in length to several of the (currently) 17yos in the current draft class than it is to many of the guys from his draft year than are playing CHL in their D+1.

 

If Brassard already had ~200 OHL games under his belt, including a couple full seasons’ worth of prime usage and minutes, I’d agree that there wouldn’t be much left for him in junior. But that’s not really the case here.

 

If Brassard had been born 39 days later, 2017 would have been his first year of draft eligibility. And then he’d be a kid that was having a hell of a second half to his D+1. And I doubt anyone would blink an eye at the idea of him playing out his D+2. We’ll see where he’s at when the camps roll around. Obviously I’m a fan of his game and I’ll be happy if he’s signed and starts pro in 2018-19. But I also have no issue giving him another year and, depending on what happens between now camp, it may end up being the best thing for him.

Edited by SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Canuck Surfer said:

I'm not quite sure I'm convinced @SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME?  But bloody good argument!

 

 

Honestly, half the reason I’m making the argument is that I’m trying to balance my hype man side with my more conservative side. I’ve made a lot of really optimistic posts on Brassard but I also don’t want to oversell him. He still needs development time. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he’s ready to go pro by next season. I just don’t want to represent him as “fully cooked” because he’s not. But the AHL is a good development league so I’m not the least bit opposed to continuing his development there if the team decides they feel he’s ready.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ray_Cathode said:

Well, Chris Tanev was in a league even lower in Ontario as an overage and didn’t do too badly.

 

My point was I believe Brassard needs to play against guys his own age and size. 

 

If you want him to develop edge, compete, positioning, a first pass under pressure, put him in the AHL?  An underated option, rarely seen in N A merican kids, is send him to Europe. He'll have less of the physical play shift by shift. But it is still against men, and he'll still have to go to the corners. And he'll have to open up his skating, learn to handle the puck, use open space. 

 

Some items conceivably he would gain confidence doing against younger players as an overager in junior? I just like the Euro option against men better. As much as it is not a route with natural options waiting...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME said:

His skating is ok. Has a bit of the “heavy feet” problem. Gets around fine but he doesn’t look effortless while skating. Could probably benefit from some technical work. One positive is that he’s one of those players who goes the same speed whether he’s skating with or without the puck. His puckhandling (and hands in general) are underrated (although that’s changing with the goals he’s been scoring). Defensively, he can get turned around and maybe blow a tire when he’s dealing with some of the more shifty elite forwards. Doesn’t always make the right reads and sometimes loses his position. Pretty standard stuff for a developing D, and most of the times I can remember him getting beat happened when apparently he was nursing an injury (according to the report I posted earlier). Anyway, probably fair to say there's room for improvement in his own end. Like that report said though, he’s engaged and battles hard and plays a physical brand of defense, which is obviously a big plus. 

thanks for the post

Edited by Canucks Curse
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME said:

I’m still undecided. I’d like to see him signed at some point but I might prefer to have him do an overage year in the OHL. I’m certainly open to going the Utica route if he looks ready at camp. I’m just thinking that with his recent surge offensively, it might be better for him to have a year where he has a chance to dominate and play huge minutes as a 20yo in junior, just to see what kind of numbers he could put up in the role. He’s a late bloomer and I don’t think he’s quite reached the point where he can’t learn more and improve his game within the junior system. Might pay off better to let him springboard off this second half performance and hopefully take his game to even greater heights next year.

This is an option that the Canucks don't shy away from. I think McEneny ( missed an entire OHL season ) and Sautner ( greatly improved after an AHL concussion issue ) both did the overage thing. I'm guessing that Carl Neill may have been encouraged to go that route too. Like most CDCers, I've only seen snippets of his play and the 'heavy foot' label  that was attached to him seems accurate.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Canuck Surfer said:

My point was I believe Brassard needs to play against guys his own age and size. 

 

If you want him to develop edge, compete, positioning, a first pass under pressure, put him in the AHL?  An underated option, rarely seen in N A merican kids, is send him to Europe. He'll have less of the physical play shift by shift. But it is still against men, and he'll still have to go to the corners. And he'll have to open up his skating, learn to handle the puck, use open space. 

 

Some items conceivably he would gain confidence doing against younger players as an overager in junior? I just like the Euro option against men better. As much as it is not a route with natural options waiting...

Skating isn’t learned in games, it’s learned in training, power skating, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Ray_Cathode said:

Skating isn’t learned in games, it’s learned in training, power skating, etc.

Skating yes, but let me clarify;

 

Skating with the puck & making plays...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brassard with the primary assist on Oshawa’s 5-4 OT winner today. Nice execution of a set play off the opening OT faceoff to send Noel in all alone.

 

Brassard was on the ice for all 5 Generals goals for, but ends up a -1 as most of Oshawa’s scoring came on special teams.

 

He now has 42 points (14G 28A) in 57 games.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ryan Biech (Canucks Army) with a profile on Brassard as part of their midterm prospects rankings (#19):

https://canucksarmy.com/2018/02/22/canucksarmy-2018-mid-term-prospect-ranking-19-matt-brassard/

 

I’ll copy paste in a spoiler:

 



Checking in as the 19th ranked prospect in the organization is 2017 7th round pick, Matthew Brassard.

Selected after his draft plus one season, the organization mentioned him as a player that they had been tracking in his first year of draft eligibility but ultimately didn’t select him. With Brassard still available in the 7th round this past June, they decided to grab the right-handed defender with the 188th overall selection.

I’ve had the opportunity to watch Brassard quite a bit and have been impressed by his play relative to his draft position.
capture49.jpg?w=1024

Brassard has exploded offensively this season, already setting career highs in goals, assists, and points. This is in large part to be a regular on the top pairing, and if he isn’t there, he is the rock on the second pair. He plays regular powerplay time, penalty kill time, and quite a bit of 5v5 – averaging an estimated time on ice of 17:38 per game.

He is ranked 5th among OHL defencemen in goals and 8th in points.

The Barrie native is averaging 3.16 shots per game, which is tied for 4th among that same peer group.  Brassard finished last season with 6th in SH/GP among OHL defencemen. It’s clear that he likes to shoot.

capture50.jpg?w=805

If there was one criticism of his offensive game, it’s that he doesn’t get into higher danger areas enough. 174 of his 180 shots are from low danger and ideally that 96.6% of shots would be lower. Obviously, defencemen will have more low danger shots given their location, but I would like to see him move with the puck more or try to get into the home plate area when possible.

An example of this is his goal on February 8th:



 

Given space on the powerplay, he moves towards the net, adjusts the lane, and then scores.

This is being nitpicky though as he does possess a good shot and isn’t afraid to just keep firing away.

capture51.jpg?w=1024

Brassard started the season off slowly, registering only 9 points in his first 24 games of the season. But has taken off since then, picking up 33 PTS (13-20-33) in last 32 games.

On the defensive side of the game, Brassard is good at directing attackers to the outside, containing them, and forcing them to move it. There have been times where he has had issues with players who can beat him with speed, Jonathan Ang and Andrei Svechnikov for example, but those are not a regular occurrence.

Brassard uses his size (6’2″ and 195 lbs) to his advantage, leaning on opponents in his own zone or pushing them out of the high traffic areas in front. He is willing to get into the corner and make his adversaries work for the puck.

His decision making and read of the play is what helps him out in the defensive zone – he just has some issues with skating.

The best way to characterize his skating is that he is heavy on his feet. He has a good top speed but lacks acceleration and quick pivoting. When he has time and space to get his feet going, he isn’t bad, it just takes some time to get moving or adjust. It has improved since the start of this season, which is an encouraging sign.

Brassard is adept at moving the puck out of the zone efficiently.

He has also been an alternate captain for the Generals this season.

These flaws to his game are to be expected with a 7th round pick. But his ability to read the play, his shot, and offensive abilities are encouraging.

brassard-cohort-bubbles_preview.png?w=90

With an analytic look, Brassard rates very well given his size and offensive production this season. With a successful cohort of 18.9%, Brassard presents tremendous value for a player taken in the 7th round. Obviously, quite a few of the players that were successful were nothing more than depth defencemen but having such a high percentage is something to keep an eye on.

From a process standpoint, the Canucks selection of Brassard was a savvy dice roll. He didn’t put up huge offensive numbers last year, but had an extremely high shot generation rate and has an NHL frame. Add that he is a right-handed shot and it makes sense why the Canucks targetted him after tracking him for the better part of two seasons.

Brassard is benefitting from a strong Oshawa team but is a key contributor to a team that is full of 2018 draft-eligible players.

If, and that’s the big if, Brassard can carve out an NHL career, it will be as a depth defender. He will need to improve his skating and ensure that his getting beat by quick skaters is minimized.

Brassard will turn 20 in August, which means that if the organization feels he is ready then he would able to go to Utica. If he continues to build on his hot streak and has a good playoff run, I could see the Canucks signing him to an entry level contract and make the leap to the pro ranks next season. Alternatively, he could go unsigned and head back to the OHL for his overage season.

No matter what, I liked the selection of Brassard at the time and it’s good to see that he has taken that next step. All 7th round picks are long shots but there is a lot to like about the thought process behind the selection, Brassard as a player, and how he could project in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sure seems like he is on the score sheet every night and a lot of multi point games surprised to see he ain’t closer to a point per game guy, did he have a slow start this year? Very excited to see a 7th rounder playing this well 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, LegionOfDoom said:

It sure seems like he is on the score sheet every night and a lot of multi point games surprised to see he ain’t closer to a point per game guy, did he have a slow start this year? Very excited to see a 7th rounder playing this well 

Yeah, only 8 assists (and no goals despite a tonne of shots) in his first 24 games. And then around a point per game (and one of the OHL’s top goalscoring Ds) since his slow start. Reportedly was nursing an injury to start the year and it took a while before he felt right and really got going.

Edited by SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME
Fixed
  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME said:

Yeah, only 8 assists (and no goals despite a tonne of shots) in his first 24 games. And then around a point per game (and one of the OHL’s top goalscoring Ds) since his slow start. Repeatedly was nursing an injury to start the year and it took a while before he felt right and really got going.

Repeatedly?..Sid, do you mean he was getting drunk every night to deal with the injury?..Or did you mean *reportedly* ? :^)

  • Hydration 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

Repeatedly?..Sid, do you mean he was getting drunk every night to deal with the injury?..Or did you mean *reportedly* ? :^)

Lol, my damn phone has been changing words all day! Worse than normal

on the autocorrects. Not sure if it’s the new update or the thing’s just being extra annoying.

  • Haha 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonder what the chances are we sign Brassard. Do we see the Canucks signing him or letting him go the way of Olson and Neill? Would be eligible for Utica next season if management saw fit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brassard sure doesn’t like Nic Hague and the feeling seems to be mutual. Those two have been going at it all game.

 

Rivalry goes back at least to last year when Hague cheap shotted Brassard with a spear to the nuts. Tonight lots of pushing and shoving and gloved punches. Hague threw a flying elbow on one of the Gens and Brassard grabbed Hague and gave him the speedbag treatment. They’ve both been off for unsportsmanlike conduct.

 

Nice to see though. Nic Hague is a big boy (6’6”, 220) and Matt seems more than willing to engage with him. 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2018-02-17 at 6:48 AM, Canuck Surfer said:

My point was I believe Brassard needs to play against guys his own age and size. 

 

If you want him to develop edge, compete, positioning, a first pass under pressure, put him in the AHL?  An underated option, rarely seen in N A merican kids, is send him to Europe. He'll have less of the physical play shift by shift. But it is still against men, and he'll still have to go to the corners. And he'll have to open up his skating, learn to handle the puck, use open space. 

 

Some items conceivably he would gain confidence doing against younger players as an overager in junior? I just like the Euro option against men better. As much as it is not a route with natural options waiting...

The AHL is a good league but many don’t realize that there is a fair amount of talent that stays in Europe that is equal to the AHL talent pool. 

 

The bigger ice and added room for skilled players to work makes it a tougher league for defence men IMO. It’s not a bad option and it should be looked at more closely by NHL clubs and NA prospects as a solid development path, a better pay cheque and a cool experience. It worked for Mathews, so why not others! ;)  

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brassard with the sweet outlet pass to send Krastenbergs in all alone. 5-4 Gens. 

 

Brassard with one primary assist.

 

EDIT: And that holds up as the game winner. Brassard with 1A and 3 SOG tonight. He now has 44 points (14G 30A) in 60 games.

Edited by SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME said:

Brassard sure doesn’t like Nic Hague and the feeling seems to be mutual. Those two have been going at it all game.

 

Rivalry goes back at least to last year when Hague cheap shotted Brassard with a spear to the nuts. Tonight lots of pushing and shoving and gloved punches. Hague threw a flying elbow on one of the Gens and Brassard grabbed Hague and gave him the speedbag treatment. They’ve both been off for unsportsmanlike conduct.

 

Nice to see though. Nic Hague is a big boy (6’6”, 220) and Matt seems more than willing to engage with him. 

Brassy, Brass Knuckes Brassard could be the next Bieska!  Late rounder that took a while to get there, but turned out good enjoy the that the CDC gets exicited about any defence man drafted in the 5th round.  

 

He sounds like a guy that could have done better taking the college route with a longer time for training and development.  Always positive to have any serious talk about any lower round pick. 

 

EmW

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.