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Gavin Brindley



Skating:

One of the best skaters in the NCAA, not only in terms of top speed but mechanically as well. His edges are impressive which allows him to move around all zones with ease without wasting energy. His skating is one of the main reasons why he is so reliable defensively as well, it’s an absolute weapon.


Passing/Handling:

Above average handler at top speed, we see sometimes where he juggles the puck in tight spaces but has improved in that regard. We now see how confident he is handling the puck in almost all situations. Always a good passer, especially cross seam in the offensive zone and out of transition. The give and go will be an important move for him in the NHL as he is excellent at feeding off a cycle.


Shooting:

Not his most elite tool but has improved his release and most important, the decision making behind his shots are now calculated. He doubled his goal totals from his freshman year and has started scoring in different ways then just off the rush. His shot is still his weakest asset but as he develops, it should be a focus at the pro level.


IQ (Vision, Anticipation, Panic/Poise):

His IQ is what makes him so dangerous, his head is on a constant swivel and he anticipates the play at such an efficient rate which means he is always involved. He has developed more poise with the puck which allows lanes to open up before exploiting it with his speed or a precise pass. Also, he is doing a better job at finding space to receive passes in the offensive zone. Brindley is smart and as an undersized player, it is a necessity for him to continue growing in this area.


Forechecking:

Brindley is often F1 on the forecheck and does not shy away from physical contact. He tried to establish body position before engaging in puck battles which is key for someone his size. He is tenacious and this part of his game was apparent in D-0 and now in his D+1.


Defense:

One of the best defensive forwards in his draft class and continues to excel in this area. His ability to backcheck and catch players who have had almost half a zone advantage is wild and his exceptional skating is to thank. He has the IQ and defensive ability to be one of the better defensive wingers in the NHL in his prime.


Best Asset:

Skating and defensive acumen


Biggest Concern:

Size/Physicality


Top Tier/Role Potential:

Middle-6 versatile winger


Justification for Top Tier Assessment:

 Amazing skating ability mixed in with really solid transition decisions with an ability to make plays at top speed. His defensive game and attention to detail will ensure that even if he doesn’t hit offensively, he has a fall back game in which he can still be very valuable.


50th Percentile Tier/Role:

Top-9 energy winger who can provide depth scoring


Justification for 50th Percentile Tier Assessment:

If his size/physicality limits him in the NHL, his skating and smarts will allow him to mold into a defensive responsible, energy winger who can also kill penalties.


Stylistic Comparable:

 Oliver Moore or a “Pass-first” Dylan Larkin


Scouts Final Thoughts and Additional Stats/Info:

 These types of players falling to the 2nd round is criminal and teams often regret it almost instantly that they passed on these small, super smart and dynamic forwards. When properly insulated (much like at MICH playing with Rutger Mcgroarty), he will excel in his role.


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