Gilbert Brule

This is Gilbert Brule. He is wearing Eric Carmen’s haircut, in fact all of the Raspberries had haircuts similar to this one.

In all the fuss and excitement of the day we never got a chance to discuss the newest Oiler prospect. I always like to go back to the start, which for me is their draft year and the scouting reports.

ISS had Brule very high, #4 in 2005. As a comparison, Andrew Cogliano was ranked 21st and Brule was ahead of Anze Kopitar (#6), Marc Staal (#7), Ryan O’Marra (#8) and Carey Price (#10) on their list.

International Scouting Services suggested his style was comparable to Theo Fleury, and said “Highly touted prospect easily lived up to the hype with consistent play and a desire that truly allows him to stand alone. His dedication to both ends of the rink is second to none and his poise around the net makes him one of the most exciting prospects in the game. Strengths: on-ice vision, quick release, ability to read the play and physical presence. At 5-10, 175 he competes against anyone regardless of stature. He has dropped the gloves on several occasions. World class scoring skill, the kind of character guy who wins championships.” He scored 87 points (39-48) in 70 games with the Vancouver Giants in 04-05.

We can get into why he failed as an NHL player in Columbus and there are probably many things the kid could have done better. Having said that, he did some memorable things in the WHL and looked for a time to be an impact prospect.

  • 05-06 WHL 27gp, 23-15-38
  • 05-06 NHL 7gp, 2-2-4, -2
  • 06-07 NHL 78gp, 9-10-19, -21
  • 07-08 NHL 61gp, 1-8-9, -4

Among the things he’s done in his career that may be of interest:

  • Named 2004-05 WHL First All-Star Team
  • Named 2004-05 Canadian Hockey League Scholastic Player of the Year
  • Named 2003-04 WHL Rookie of the Year

From what I can tell he had some injury troubles (strange ones) which I think is predictable based on his size and style of play and it’s also very important to remember the Columbus organization is not a well run outfit. It’s a big deal really, at some point in time a good organization would have sent him back to junior. Probably before he played an NHL game.

Anyway, he reminds me of Daniel Cleary when he got here from Chicago. Cleary was thought of as a pretty big disappointment when he came under the Oilers umbrella and it took some hard work on his part and some time in the minors before he found his way.

I think that’s how it’ll go for Gilbert Brule.

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14 Responses to "Gilbert Brule"

  1. James L. says:

    Will Brule be able to “Go All The Way”?

  2. Lowetide says:

    With that mug? In Canada? He’s been all the way.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I swear, Kevin Lowe has some kind of thing for guys who were either scholastic players or NCAA educated. I guess, all things being equal, it’s nice to sign the bright guys.

  4. Master Lok says:

    Interesting – I thought of Cleary as well when thinking of Brule before I read your post LT. Also, like Jonathan, I noticed the scholastic award – the Oilers are putting a premium at getting SMART guys. Is that thinking outside the hockey box?

  5. Knamely Lacked says:

    CHL Scholastic Player of the Year
    2004-05 Gilbert Brule, Vancouver
    2003-04 Devan Dubnyk, Kamloops

    OHL All Academic Team
    2006-07 Sam Gagner London Knights

    WHL Scholastic Player of the Year
    2007-08 Jordan Eberle, Regina

    Think Lowe’s trying to collect all the smart ones?
    Now if only he could somehow sneak Dustin Brown out of LA.

    Oh, here’s another one too:
    1995–96 Boyd Devereaux, Kitchener Rangers

    As for Brule? Well I think MacT has way with these type of players, and I am sure if Hitch had him for another year with the Blue Jackets he’d probably turn him into a player too.

    Not sure if he has a spot, but if he works his tail off he might just turn into a player with guidance.

  6. Knamely Lacked says:

    You all beat me to it, but at least I have an excuse researching Google.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Don’t forget about Zack Stortini (scholastic player of the year for his junior team) and Shawn Horcoff (2-time member of the CCHA Academic Team).

  8. Bruce says:

    Stortini was honoured twice by his team for his scholastic achievements. I believe Marc Pouliot also was a good student, Louise mentioned him on her “smart list” though I can’t find a specific reference to scholastic honours. Both guys were also two-year team captains in junior, which doesn’t happen all that often. Smart guys with character, all over the roster.

  9. spOILer says:

    Horcoff’s Window…

    With the plays the Oil have made and attempted this weekend — Lubo, Cole, Hossa — I think the braintrust has come to the conclusion that this is about Horcoff’s window, not Hemsky’s. They may feel they have another shot with Hemmer later. One piece though was moved from Hemmer’s window to Gagner’s — Torres for Brule.

    Goaltending has thus far been ignored, and if not attended to, will be the cap thorn in their side if Hossa is signed. They’re more likely to spend any future cap bump on Horc than Garon.

    And if Hossa is coming here, it’s almost certain that it’s Roli’s contract that’s moved next. Why hasn’t it been already? Does it say something that Raffi’s salary was dumped first? And to a certain degree, Joni’s future salary.

    Lowe validated LT’s line instincts in the Morley interview, saying that Cole could see time on the third line.

    Lowe also said Brule was taken because he’ll be ready before a draft pick.

    Cole was taken because “he was the best top 6 forward available”. Since Vermette was likely offered too, also indicates Lowe made the moves for now, not later.

    So, Jagr at 6.5-7 for shorter term or Hossa at 9 over really long term? Jagr’s had 71, 96, and 123 points going back, is +68 and has perfect attendance. Hossa’s had 66, 100, 92, is +21 missing 12 games over the three years. Pretty close, but Jagr has the edge (on a better team).

    I invest in the cheaper shorter term deal here, if possible. Hossa however may be more likely to come, as it seems he has more connections to the Oil. But nine by nine is nuts.

    I know he has an exciting job, but considering the last 3 days… Lowe has worked his frickin bag off.

  10. spOILer says:

    Lowe et alii must really feel that part of the UFA market remains closed to the Oilers to continue to throw money at the signing issue.

    Course Katz needs to make a statement too.

    I think I’ve under-estimated how seriously they take the Edmonton perception problem.

  11. Ingmar "W" Bergman says:

    So, I just woke up. I’ve been sleeping through the whole Frenzy.

    Did I miss anything?

    Man I hope this is the year that GM’s show some financial restraint.

  12. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    I took a break from the ‘Al Gore’ yesterday, so I’m spending today trying to catch up.

    knamely lacked: Think Lowe’s trying to collect all the smart ones?

    Hmmm… That sounds vaguely familiar.

    MacTavish has had more say in the makeup of his roster over the last few years. Coincidence? 😉

    Yes, Bruce. Pouliot has a very high IQ. I thought he was a scholastic player for Rimouski Oceanic, too, but can’t seem to find any info on it.

    As I mentioned to you earlier… Gagner wasn’t even the London Knights’ SP, tho he has elite IQ and was already in university during his final year of highschool/rookie OHL year.

    The Oilers collective IQ jumped a few points over the last few days. I’d hazard a guess that the collective intelligence of Pitkanen, Stoll, Greene & Torres would be ‘above average’… which may be a bit ‘below average’ for high end athletes, who tend to be quite intelligent.

    The three players coming in, Visnovsky, Cole & Brule, are all really smart.

    Works for me.


  13. GSC says:

    Pleeeeeease go all the wayyyy…

  14. CrazyCoach says:

    Hey LT,

    Not sure if it is worth anything to add here, but back when Brule went through the BC Best Ever Program (U-16, U-17, Team Pacific), he was listed way ahead of Carey Price.

    Part of the myth about guys like Brule and Colton Gilles is that they play in the lower mainland of BC which means your longest road trip for league games is under 2 hours one way. This is much different for a kid like Price who had to fly to practices in Williams Lake from Akalai Lake reserve.

    Living and playing in Northern BC trains players for those grueling road trips.

    However, having said that, I think Brule will do well in Edmonton under a guy like MacT.

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