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.