T.J. Brennan

Edric Joseph

2017-05-26

 

TJ Brennan, D

Shoots: L

Height: 6-0

Weight: 205

Born: 1989-4-3

Hometown: Willingboro, NJ

Drafted: 2007 by Buffalo Sabres, 31st Overall

 

 

 

 

 

Observations:

May 2017 – Brennan has continued his dominance of the AHL with 60 points in 76 games. He has made the AHL All-Star Game lineup four consecutive years now and has won their top defensive honours twice. Keep him in mind should the Flyers need to fill out their roster due to injuries if you are in need of PIMs. His consistency with offensive contributions at the NHL level remain to be seen though. Edric Joseph

July 2017 – After flooding the Ricoh Coliseum with red lights in the regular season, Brennan ran out of steam in the playoffs compiling nine points in 15 games with a negative-4 rating (4 of his 5 goals were on the powerplay). But alas, he has found new career life in the off season, as expected he left the Toronto organization and was signed to the cheapest expected option on the Philadelphia blueline. This story is about the contract and opportunity more than his play quality or lack thereof. He took less money on a two-way, two-year deal after a trio of guaranteed money contracts so he is taking a risk of financial drop off, but is hedging his bets by his placement in the organization. The outlook is that he will battle to be the 7th man on a backline craving an offensive punch, which give him an upper hand on Brandon Manning, and experience to keep Travis Sandhiem and Ivan Provorov at bay for a little while. With injury prone higher-pairing players like Mike Del Zotto, and Andrew MacDonald he should get an opportunity in the coming year. While the following year should feature the departure of Mark Streit, Nick Schultz and maybe Del Zotto opening room for the major prospects while keeping Brennan somewhat notable. He is worth a late round (pardon the pun) “flyer” if you need offence and don’t care about his defensive deficiencies, but don’t fall in love as he unlikely to be a player that keeps his role outside of the contract. Jason Banks

April 2016 – For the second time in the past three seasons, Brennan will take home the Eddie Shore award for best defenseman in the AHL. While his defensive play was very (very) mildly improved, he is a one track weapon, and posted his best statistical season in pro yet. Once again he had a cup of coffee in the NHL but could not contribute positively to his cause, compiling only a single assist yet showing his dysfunctions as a negative-6 player in seven games (he was actually minus-7 in his final three appearances). It is unlikely Brennan will be back in the Leafs’ organization next season as he is once again UFA for the fourth straight season. His options are to go to camp with a team that has no defensive depth, accept another lucrative minor pro contract or look for bigger money in Europe. Either way his prospects are dwindling and we can’t track him much longer. Jason Banks

February 2016 – Once again Brennen has set ablaze the AHL from the blueline, currently ranked third in the scoring race with just under a point per game through 53 games. His play is much similar as before, but now carries a huge positive rating or 25 which is a product of the lethal team he is large part of. The Leafs have showed no interest in recalling him, instead activating Stuart Percy, Petter Granberg and Scott Harrington as expected and even now Viktor Loov but his waiver status might be the main factor now as the organization does not want to subtract him from a strong AHL championship run. His availability and stats drive poolies crazy on what numbers he could post for their fantasy squad. Still too irresponsible to be utilized in the NHL in regular minutes, but could be used in a specialized offensive role. Someone has to show an interest in him at some point as he has nothing left to prove in Minor Pro. Might be better suited to try the KHL and make some money on his skill set.  Jason Banks

September 2015 – Brennan once again comes to an NHL camp in a dog fight for a job as an extra defender. Brennan has his best opportunity at a roster spot since his last season in Buffalo in 2012-13 as the Leafs may need to carry an offensive blueline option. He will battle with Stuart Percy, Martin Marincin, Petter Granberg and newly acquired Scott Harrington, most of these options are so called ‘two-way’ or ‘defensive’ defenseman. As constantly pointed out, major drawback is his defending deficiencies, in six games for the Leafs last year he was a negative-7 rating and on a powerhouse, offensive, AHL, Marlie team, he was only a positive-5 in 19 games despite compiling 16 points. The pain was even furthered in the AHL playoffs when he scored seven points in only five games, yet was rated even. Offensively, he is the best blueline prospect in the world that can’t make the NHL fulltime, but there is almost no growth curve in rounding out his game, therefore it is unlikely he ever becomes a meaningful full-timer. Jason Banks

February 2015 – TJ Brennan is on the move again and he's headed back to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he will be assigned to the AHL Marlies. Traded for forward Spencer Abbott, Brennan rejoins a Marlies squad where he posted 72 points in 76 games during the 2013-14 season. With the Leafs in the mix of lots of trade deadline chatter, Brennan might see a few games with the big club if a defender is moved off of the Leafs blue line. In 54 games with the Rockford IceHogs, Brennan scored nine goals and 36 points. Brendan Ross

January 2015 – Just when Brennan thought he was finally in a position to get regular playing time in the NHL, he was traded to the Blackhawks, where the defensive depth chart is a little more crowded than it was in New York. This has resulted in another season in the AHL, and another season filling the stat sheet. With eight goals and 23 assists in only 42 games, Brennan is leading the IceHogs in scoring. Perhaps most impressive in 2014-15 is his +16 rating, which is good for 10th in the entire AHL. After two seasons of being a minus player, it appears he is finally showing a commitment to playing on both sides of the puck and he has been rewarded by being named a starter for the AHL All-Star game. To this point, the Blackhawks have overlooked Brennan as a call-up and that could remain the case for the remainder of the season. Expect Brennan to move on to a team where he has a clearer path to NHL playing time when his contract expires this summer. Let’s just hope he isn’t traded on the eve of the season again. Matt Donohue

October 2014 –  Brennan has been traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in a package that brought Nick Leddy to New York. Brennan is expected to report to the AHL if he clears waivers. Brad Wilson

July 2014 – At only 25 years of age, Brennan is becoming quite the journeyman, joining his forth NHL franchise in a trio of seasons. His opportunity is not too different for the Islanders, and might be a bit more challenging as he is the cheapest of several ‘tweener’, depth defensemen on a team that will battle to make the cap floor. His signing seems more like an AHL vet to help prospects that will play in the system to accumulate themselves and learn a few tricks from. That said, Garth Snow’s franchise has a history of giving opportunities to several lower class rearguards, with a few finding space to break out. Should he get opportunity with the big club, playing on a powerplay with the likes of John Tavares & Ryan Strome could be very lucrative. Jason Banks

April 2014 – After posting 67 points in 72 games, Brennan was given the Eddie Shore award for the AHL’s most outstanding defenseman. Personally I do not feel his play merited this award, offensively he has been nothing short of spectacular, but in his own zone, he has been atrocious! He is the worst defenseman on the Marlies with a negative-10 rating and only 28 of his current 72 points have been at even strength. His play without the puck and high risk antics are extremely un-nerving. His career is starting to compare to Marc-Andre Bergeron. If a team is willing to regularly dress seven defense and utilize him in a strictly offensive role and as a power play weapon, I’d be all for it as he has shown an ability to produce in the NHL with Florida. Jason Banks

October 2013 – Brennen has been named AHL player of the week after posting four goals and added a pair of assists in only two games. His production was not because he was dominate player, but more opportunistic and lucky. In fantasy hockey we don’t care how production is compiled for the most part, just the fact they count. For those that do care, his first goal was an excellent point blast beating Jared Coreau, the 2nd was another blast on a rebound that popped into the slot on a power play, number three was on a shot 10 feet wide of the net that hit a defender and re-directed in, and his final goal of the weekend was an empty netter. His production is a statement that he wants an opportunity, but he will need a series of events to unfold before he gets that chance. Until then, enjoy watching his AHL numbers swell with regularity. Jason Banks

September 2013 – Just when we thought Brennan was getting his break, organizational changes seem to erode his value. Florida had a regular spot for him (still would) but they decided take a chance on Bobby Butler as a bottom line depth player, than a single dimensional defenseman. Nashville used him as a chip to drop Butler’s rights and make a friend in Panthers management without intent to use him. Two weeks later the Leafs decided to sign him to a one way contract for a season, but the outlook is still rather bleak. It would not be surprising for Dave Nonis to shed a defenseman from the equation early in the year, but currently Brennan sits ninth or tenth on the depth chart and the organization already contains similar yet more versatile blueliners in Jake Gardiner, Carl Gunnasson, John-Micheal Liles and Morgan Rielly. It would be expected that Brennan will be assigned to the AHL with the Marlies where he will be a leader and main offensive threat from the blueline and continue to try and become more responsible in his own zone. His overall fantasy outlook does not change, but his season to season value will change with opportunity or in this case, lack thereof. Jason Banks

June 2013 – Brennan was dealt from the Florida Panthers to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Bobby Butler.  Brennan seemed to have finally worked his way into an NHL lineup permanently, posting a respectable two goals and nine points in 19 games for Florida, while seeing regular power play time. The move to Nashville however once again raises questions as to Brennan's NHL future. It remains to be seen how and if the offensive minded defenseman fits into Barry Trotz system. Complicating matters further is the presence of similar players such as Ryan Ellis and potentially Jonathan Blum, who will provide stiff competition to Brennan for playing time. Brennan possesses a cannon of a shot and solid offensive tools so if given an opportunity he can be a quality fantasy player. Keep a close eye on the camp battle on defense. Donesh Mozloum

 March 2013 – Brennan was traded to Florida for a fifth-round draft pick. He is not seeing regular minutes with the Panthers and has two points in five games (and minus-1). Upside just got a lot more promising. Dobber

February 2013 – He made the team out of camp but has seen limited action thus far mostly being a healthy scratch. It is most likely that Buffalo will send him back to the AHL if they cannot get him out of the press box more often. Brennan was expected to help inject offence from Buffalo’s back end, but the blue liners have posted nine goals in 15 games thus far and Brennan has not added to the offence. Jason Banks

January 2013 – Brennan was named the AHL Player of the Week for the week of December 30. The skilled defenseman had a goal and six points in six games for the Amerks. Rich Dillon

December 2012 – Brennan kicked off the AHL campaign with an astounding 18 points in 19 games. That's seven points ahead of fellow prospect defenseman and teammate Brayden McNabb, whom many thought was the more advanced of the two. He's tied for second in the league in points. Making great strides to make the Sabres when the season starts. Dobber

October 2012 – On the cusp of being an NHL regular, Brennan signed a one season contract and was assigned to Rochester. To open the season Brennan was named an assistant captain of the Amerks, and has started the season with a bang, compiling four goals and four assists in six games. His negative five rating is disturbing at this point, his real value is based on production, but he will need to round out his full game to earn minutes at the next level. Jason Banks

 February 2012 – Brennan played three seasons in the QMJHL with consistent production from the blue line. A late starter to the game after being a stud lacrosse player until 2006, when concentration to the game of hockey became real. Produced a respectable rookie season in 2009-10 with Portland in the AHL with increased point production last season. Got a taste of the NHL earlier this year with Sabres and hopes to use his big shot, smooth skating, and contributions on the power play to become a regular. Russ Bitely

 

Fantasy Outlook: C-

 

Has tremendous physical abilities including above average skating and a fearsome shot, however it is disconcerting that a prospect of his pedigree is on his sixth NHL team. At 27 years of age he is running out of opportunities to prove himself.

 

Footage:

 

Joining the rush in OT:

 

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One-time blast from way out:

 

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Trailing on the rush:

 

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Wristshot goal from the point:

 

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T.J. Brennan netting his 1st career NHL goal vs. Bruins on 11/23/2011:

 

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Buy the latest Fantasy Prospects Report here.

 

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