Sign Daniel Brickley...I'd really like Murray to be able to pull this kid in...I'd really like to see him pull in NCAA udfa's more often, period.
Brickley came to camp with us last summer, he knows Nelson, he likes the area, and he has to know we DESPERATELY need help on defense.
If he has a good camp, he could easily make this team...he's already 22 years old, 6-3, 205, and he has as many points as most college forwards.
(Another one I'd keep an eye on is North Dakota's Tucker Poolman, who apparently doesn't want to play for Winnipeg and "could pull a Vesey.")
*EDIT: A third one is Neal Pionk, a Hobey Baker nominee...
2. Daniel Brickley, Defenseman, Minnesota State
Last year, Minnesota State’s Casey Nelson was one of the top free agent defensemen available out of the NCAA, eventually signing with the Buffalo Sabres and jumping right into their lineup. Brickley is an extremely similar, if not slightly more polished, prospect.
Brickley isn’t a lightning-fast skater, and is still developing on the defensive end, but his combination of size—listed at 6-2 205 lbs.—and tremendous offensive abilities give him a tantalizing amount of upside. He missed time this year with a fractured wrist, but his time out only increased his value as Minnesota State’s power play struggled without him running things from the point.
What he lacks in straight-line speed, he makes up for with a shiftiness laterally which is really impressive for a big defender that allows him to create his own passing and shooting lanes. He’s aggressive in looking for his shot which helps generate a lot of offense. He’s still a bit of a project, but could develop into a second pairing defenseman that is very good on the power play at the NHL level.
4. Neal Pionk, Defenseman, Minnesota Duluth
In his sophomore season, the Duluth-area native has developed into the top defenseman for the Bulldogs, who have spent much of the season as one of the top teams in the country.
Pionk is a very good two-way defenseman thanks to his excellent skating ability and agility. He moves the puck up the ice reliably thanks to an ability to spin his way out of traffic and is an excellent outlet passer. His quickness also gives him the confidence to hold the line in the offensive zone, rather than giving up ice to give himself more cushion defensively.
He’s just an okay defender one-on-one against the rush, but has an above average amount of toughness and physicality for a guy that will classify as a smaller defenseman at the next level.
(***I understand this doesn't "fix" the defense, but it helps and it's cheap.***)
Edited by Dank Dangleson, 09 March 2017 - 12:06 AM.