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Fantasy Summary

A mobile and intelligent defender who moves the puck efficiently. He excels at transitioning the puck and finding open teammates for long passes. However, consistency is a concern.


Observations

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February 2024 – As part of the package that the Flames received for Elias Lindholm, Brzustewicz was traded from Vancouver to Calgary. The Kitchener Rangers defenseman has an outstanding season, ranking second in points by a blueliner with 78 in 55 OHL contests. He instantly becomes one of Calgary’s best prospects on the back-end. Curtis Rines

October 2023 – Despite finishing eighth in points among all defensemen in the OHL last year (57 points), Brzustewicz was initially projected to be a second-round pick. However, he ultimately fell to the 75th pick in the draft. Past injuries and inconsistent performance were the primary factors contributing to this drop in the draft. In the first five games of this season, Brzustewicz has been on fire, recording two goals and five assists. He has a real opportunity to become an outstanding offensive defenseman in the NHL if he can improve his consistency. Cedrick Blais-Turcotte

June 2023 – Brzustewicz was selected 75th overall by the Canucks. Pat Quinn

 

October 2022 – Brzustewicz is the exact type of player a contending team will rush to the podium to draft in the back end of the first round in the 2023 draft. He is a smooth-skating, intelligent right-shot defenseman who is calm under pressure and should be able to play an NHL role sooner than most other defensemen in the class. While he lacks high-end puck skills, a threatening shot, and aggressive transition defensive habits – such as a tight gap – he does a lot of things very well and simplifies the game, which makes him a valuable diffuser of play under forechecking pressure. His skating ability is what enables him to play this style so effectively. Brzustewicz’s edgework is borderline elite, and his stride mechanics are very good – he moves with real fluidity and purpose – which facilitates evading opposing players. Offensive transition is where he shines brightest. Despite keeping his simple style and rarely going for the hail mary stretch pass or taking the puck end-to-end on his own, he finds the best simple plays to gain zone entries, and he does so extremely effectively and subtly. Brzustewicz also has untapped offensive potential, which is starting to make itself clear with seven assists through six games on a struggling Kitchener Rangers team. He will likely never become a first-pairing NHLer, but a ceiling as a dependable second-pairing guy who progresses play very effectively in transition and has some playmaking flashes at even strength is certainly there. Sebastian High

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 8.5
Country USA
Position D
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth November 29, 2004
Height 6‘0”
Weight 190 lbs
Drafted 2023 Round 1; Overall: 75

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2013-2014 Detroit Red Wings Brick Invitational6 0 44 0|Playoffs1 0 11
 2015-2016 Draftday Hockey Selects U12WSI U129 1 34 8|        
 2016-2017 Detroit Honeybaked QC Int PW5 0 11 2|        
 2017-2018 Honeybaked 13U AAAHPHL 13U17 0 66 0|        
  Draftday Hockey Selects U14 2WSI U149 0 11 -|        
 2018-2019 Honeybaked 14U AAAHPHL 14U20 8 2735 8|        
  Draftday Selects U15 WSI U159 1 23 0|        
 2019-2020 Team Navy USA-S154 2 35 4|        
  Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 15U AAAHPHL 15U10 3 69 2|        
  Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 15U AAA15U AAA66 15 96111 -|        
  USA U16 YOG4 0 33 2|        
 2020-2021 U.S. National U17 TeamNTDP3 0 22 0|        
 2021-2022 Team White USA-S171 0 00 2|        
  U.S. National U18 TeamNTDP55 2 1820 10|        
  USNTDP JuniorsUSHL25 0 99 0|        
  USA U18Hlinka Gretzky Cup4 0 33 0|        
  USA U18WJC-185 0 22 2|        
 2022-2023 Kitchener RangersOHL68 6 5157 12|Playoffs9 0 44
 2023-2024 Kitchener RangersOHL55 11 6778 18|        

Highlights