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The 16th overall pick in the 2017 USHL Draft, forward Bobby Brink has become a superstar in the league. After putting up 35 goals and 33 assists for 68 points in 43 games this season, he was named the USHL Forward of the Year, as well as being part of the league’s first all-star team. The strong year has earned him the attention of hockey scouts and Brink has been a consistent riser in draft rankings. His performance also earned the Sioux City Musketeers forward a call-up to join the members of the US National Team Development Program for the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. So far, in three tournament games, Brink has put up two goals and three assists for five points. He also played for Team USA at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge. In six tournament games, Brink put up two goals and six assists for eight points. He ended the tournament tied for the scoring lead.
An Excelsior, Minnesota native, Brink has opted to go the college hockey route. He is committed to playing for the University of Denver next season. Should he change his mind and opt to play in the CHL, his rights are owned by the Portland Winterhawks.
Bobby Brink Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born July 8th, 2001 — Excelsior, Minnesota
Height 5’10” — Weight 163 lbs [178 cm/74 kg]
Brink’s skating is good but there is still room for improvement in a number of key areas. His speed is slightly above average but he is by no means a speedster. While he can keep up with the play, there is little to set him apart from his peers at top speed. However, Brink has excellent acceleration. His first few steps are explosive and he can use those to get away from a defender or to win short races for loose pucks. He also changes speeds on the rush, which can be used to fool a defender.
Brink has good footwork and agility, allowing him to weave in and out of traffic and around defenders. He can make a cut on a dime. Brink has a low centre of gravity. This gives him good balance and allows him to be strong on the puck. He gets to the dirty areas of the ice and is able to fight through tight checking. However, Brink will need to continue to improve his core strength in order to win battles on the boards and in front of the net as he moves to the college level and eventually the pros.
Brink is a sniper. He has a fantastic wrist shot and a lightning quick release. It is amongst the best shots in this draft class. It is also deadly accurate. Brink has the soft hands to score in tight to the goal as well, with the hand-eye coordination to get deflections and pounce on rebounds. He is not afraid to battle for his position in front of the net. His slap shot and one-timer are also very good but he does not use them often, preferring to make use of his wrist shot. Brink shows a knack for getting himself open without the puck in order to take a pass and get that shot off.
While he is known for his goal scoring, Brink also shows the ability to make plays. His stickhandling is good and he generates clean zone entries by carrying the puck through the neutral zone. He also can make plays in the cycle game. Brink has good vision and passing skills. He can set up teammates for quality scoring chances on both the rush and cycle.
Brink works hard in the defensive end. He provides effective back pressure and supports his defence down low. He is good at reading the play and anticipates plays. Brink has strong positioning, cutting off passing lanes and creating turnovers. Once those turnovers are created, Brink is able to transition them into offence quickly. He is willing to get his nose dirty in the defensive zone and will battle for loose pucks. He also is willing to take a hit to make a play.
Projection and Comparison
Brink could develop into a top-six forward at the NHL level if he can reach his ceiling. It will take some time and given his lack of size, he will need to continue to add strength over the next couple of years. With Brink headed to the NCAA, the lighter weekend-based schedule will give him the time to do so. Brink’s game is reminiscent of T.J. Oshie, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Bobby Brink that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
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