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Jake Debrusk comes from good bloodlines, as he is the son of former NHLer, Louie Debrusk, and shows the potential to have the skill his father, known as more of an enforcer, never showed at the NHL level. Debrusk was a 7th round pick of the Swift Current Broncos in the 2011 WHL draft, but is only now in his second year with the club. He’s really broken out, more than doubling the numbers from his rookie season. Debrusk put up 42 goals and 81 points for the Broncos this season, showing a real scoring touch, and going from a draft afterthought to someone who could potentially be a first round pick in this June’s NHL Entry Draft. While Louie Debrusk spent most of his career as an NHL enforcer, his son has the potential to add some scoring punch in his possible NHL career.
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born Oct 17 1996 — Edmonton, ALTA
Height 6.00 — Weight 174 [183 cm/79 kg]
Jake Debrusk is strong on the puck, and has excellent balance on his skates. As a result he’s able to work the cycle game effectively, protecting and controlling the puck down low, fighting through checks and winning battles along the boards. He is also very good at fighting for space and establishing position in front of the net. Debrusk shows good acceleration, and the ability to make quick cuts that can help him to be elusive in the cycle. While he won’t be confused for a speedster, Debrusk does have decent top end speed. However its his first step quickness and his good acceleration that are the real assets here as they help Debrusk to win a lot of short races to loose pucks.
Jake Debrusk started his growth into a goal scorer late last season, and it has carried over to this year. He show good hands in tight, to pounce on rebounds and get deflections as well as the willingness to get to those tough areas of the ice. Debrusk has an excellent arsenal of shots with good releases on his wrist shot, snap shot, and backhand. He could use a bit more power on those shots though, and a little added muscle would help in this area. Debrusk is able to create for teammates through his work in the cycle game, and in puck protection. Debrusk has decent passing skills and vision, and has the hockey IQ to make the right play. He gets in quickly on the forecheck and loves to throw the body, pressuring defenders to move the puck quickly and creating turnovers. While he plays a physical game, he is not the fighter that his father was. He’s had a few fights, but nowhere near what we would see out of Louie Debrusk.
Jake Debrusk’s defensive game has really improved over his two years in the WHL. He used to have a tendency to float and not get involved much in his own end of the ice, but has really improved his defensive work. He now gets involved physically on the back check, and on working to help out in his own zone. He is quick on the point man and willing to put his body out there to block shots. He can still have a tendency to puck watch at times, and some further work on maintaining his defensive intensity shift in and shift out is needed, but there have been improvements.
Jake Debrusk has the potential to be a solid two-winger in the top six. His rugged game, and goal-scoring ability has been attracting the scout’s attention this season. In terms of a stylistic comparison, his game is similar to James Van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but this is not a talent level comparison, merely a stylistic one.
Below are some videos of Debrusk in action.
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