Courtesy of Russ Alman, Alman Media Group

Fantasy Summary

Smart two-way defenceman with solid mobility, polished habits and flashes of a growing offensive game. Production is unimpressive, but the tools scream second-pair, do-it-all blue-liner.


Observations

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February 2024 – One look at Brunicke’s stat line — only 19 points in 43 games — will have you wondering why he is our 39th-ranked prospect at this stage in the draft cycle. Very rarely does a CHL defender worth a top-40 pick not even cross the 0.5-point-per-game threshold in their draft year.  However, Brunicke’s lack of points hide a particularly alluring set of tools, and an even more impressive foundation of habits and decisions.

The size-mobility combo with Brunicke is already a big plus — at 6 foot 3 and willing to engage physically, and with the edgework and lateral agility he displays, Brunicke covers a lot of ice both offensively and defensively. He closes gaps early, is especially proficient when it comes to boxing players out of the slot, and matches footwork in transition to maintain a steady distance between him and the puck-carrier. Very solid decision-making, aided by constant scanning and set-up fakes, makes him reliable on retrievals and pass receptions. On top of that, Brunicke shows flashes of greatness on the puck and already has the confidence to keep trying things. If he continues to try and take opponents by surprise with inside-out dekes and high slot drives while adding some more offensive-zone activation to his game, we could be looking at a true do-it-all two-way blue-liner whose analytical impact consistently outranks his peers. Hadi Kalakeche

February rankings: 39th

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 7.5
Country CAN
Position D
Roster Type Draft Eligible
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth May 8, 2006
Height 6‘3”
Weight 187 lbs
Drafted No

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2019-2020 CRAA White U15 AAHCAA U1530 6 1824 22|        
  Calgary Royals U15 AAAAEHL U151 0 00 0|        
 2020-2021 Calgary Royals U15 AAAAEHL U155 0 44 4|        
 2021-2022 Calgary Royals U18 AAAAEHL U1829 6 1117 20|Playoffs3 0 00
  Team Alberta WHL Cup5 0 22 4|        
  Brooks BanditsAJHL1 0 00 0|        
  Kamloops BlazersWHL2 0 00 0|        
  Calgary Royals U18 AAAMacs Tournament4 2 02 6|        
 2022-2023 Kamloops BlazersWHL59 4 48 26|Playoffs14 0 22
  Kamloops BlazersMemorial Cup4 1 01 0|        
 2023-2024 Kamloops BlazersWHL49 10 1121 47|        

Highlights