We’ve spent a lot of time this summer speculating about which prospects might make the Blue Jacket roster. But for this week’s Friday Feature, we’ll take a look at five CBJ prospects you should watch outside of the NHL.
These are players that, realistically, we don’t think have any shot at making this team. Barring any surprises, each player mentioned in this article will be developing elsewhere as they continue their path towards stardom. Best of all, I think all five of these guys could be just that: future NHL stars.
We’ll start our list off with one of the newest Blue Jacket prospects: forward Gavin Brindley. Brindley stepped into the system as the 5th ranked prospect on our list, and he’ll be returning to the University of Michigan this fall for another season of NCAA hockey. He won’t have Adam Fantilli around to help carry the offensive load, but the Wolverines are still a stacked, highly talented roster – and Gavin will be expected to help lead the way offensively.
Though undersized (listed at 5’9″, around 170 pounds), Brindley goes into the difficult areas of the ice and works tirelessly to win puck battles and create offense. He’s the kind of player that makes something happen each and every time he’s on the ice because of his overall competitive nature and wide breadth of capabilities.
I fully expect him to take a step forward and improve upon his freshman season – which was solid enough. He scored 12 goals and 38 points in 41 games for the Wolverines last season; and if he can continue his upward trajectory, I think there’s little doubt that he could be one of the most dynamic players in college hockey this season as a sophomore. I also expect him to star for team USA at the World Junior Championships – he’ll be a standout player there.
Maybe the best thing about following Brindley is that you can go out and watch him play live. The Wolverines will play against the Buckeyes in Columbus at some point (schedule yet to be released), which will give you a chance to gaze into an exciting future Blue Jacket. If you have the means to catch his games on TV or in person, do it. He’s a fun player to watch.