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Frederic Brunet



Scout: Nate [2023-07-29]


Boston Bruins
2022 NHL Entry Draft
5th Round Pick
132nd Overall Selection by the Boston Bruins

MAIN REPORT
Skating:

Above-Average - Brunet has an effortless skating style that you only see in a select few offensive defensemen. It’s special to watch him work his way up the ice, beating his forecheckers to create odd-man rushes and scoring opportunities. His skill is also evident in the offensive zone, seeing him stationed at the blue line and then in the corner picking up a loose puck in the next instant. He’s one of those defensemen who gives opponents fits in defensive zone coverage, as it’s nearly impossible to keep him covered in man-on-man.

Puck handling:

Above-Average - He is a skilled puck carrier, using his abilities to walk all over the offensive zone while controlling the puck while identifying a target. He has a knack for giving himself an extra couple of seconds to help a play develop and let his teammates find open ice. He is also a skilled distributor of the puck and puts all of his teammates in great positions to score as evidenced by his high point totals. A threat all over the ice when he quarterbacks the powerplay.

Shot:

Average - Doesn’t have the strongest of shots or the ability to pick his spot to score a ton of goals. He does excel at getting shots through traffic from the point to create his own scoring opportunities or rebound opportunities for his teammates.

IQ (vision, offensive and defensive anticipation, panic meter):

Average - Brunet has a tendency to hold on to the puck for too long and force plays in the offensive zone, which causes him to give up opportunities the other way. At the junior level, he can make up for these mistakes and not be affected, but he will run into trouble eventually at the pro game. For what it's worth, in his one game with Providence this year, he didn’t make too many mistakes and picked his spots a little better than in junior, but it’s too small of a sample size to tell if this will be true for his entire pro career.

Defense:

Average - Brunet needs to work on his defensive game in order to excel at the pro level, but it isn’t a huge concern for me, as he plays well enough in the defensive zone that he won’t really hurt the team. There is precedent for offensive defensemen who are a bit of a liability in the defensive zone to still have successful careers, so I can’t knock him too much for it. As outlined in the IQ section, his tendency to get caught cheating in the offensive zone and give up scoring opportunities the other way is one part of his “defensive” game that he could work on.

Best Asset:

Skating

Biggest Concern:

Offensive IQ (Forcing plays and getting caught up ice)

Top Tier Potential:

Bottom 2 pairings/PP specialist - If Brunet is going to play in Boston, he will have to play to his strengths, which is creating offense and being willing to take risks. His issue here is that there are some good PP guys in front of him on the depth chart (Mcavoy, Lindholm, Lohrei, Grzelcyk, and even Zboril) which could lower his chances of filling a Keith Yandle on Florida or Ghostisbehere on Carolina role for the Bruins.

Most Likely Tier:

Depth Defenseman - The past few seasons have seen former first-round pick Jakub Zboril play as the seventh defenseman on the Bruins roster. As defensemen move out, it is likely that guys like Zboril and Lohrei will begin to get opportunities to be a part of the 6 guys who are dressed on a nightly basis. This is where I can see Brunet filling that Zboril role in the next year or two, playing in 25-50% of the games, coming in to give the D corp a boost on offense or to fill a spot on the bottom pairing when a guy goes down. The defense depth in the system isn’t the greatest, so there is a path for Brunet to get a shot.

Stylistic Comparable:

Brunet is the classic new school offensive defenceman in the Erik Karlsson mold. When watching him on the ice in the offensive zone, you’re just as likely to see him in the corner trying to retrieve the puck than to see him at his usual spot on the blue line. When/if he eventually makes it to the NHL, it’ll be interesting to see how he plays in Boston as even their more offensive guys of the past 10 years have still stayed relatively structured in the offensive zone. Suppose there was ever a time for Brunet to get a shot in Boston, it is under their new coach as his system promotes taking chances to create offense.

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