2020-21 Team: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Date of Birth: Sep. 9, 2002
Place of Birth: Windsor, Ontario
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 161 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 second-year eligible
Brett Brochu will be an intriguing prospect for NHL teams at the upcoming draft. Many were surprised that his name was not called last year due to the fact that he posted such great numbers in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He became the winningest rookie goaltender in OHL history, posting 32 wins in 2019-20 with the London Knights.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
What may have kept NHL teams from calling his name is his size. Standing at 5-foot-11, Brochu is undersized for a goalie in today’s game. While undersized goalies have found success, as witnessed with Nashville Predators’ netminder Juuse Saros, goalies with bigger frames are highly sought-after. With that being said, Brochu has great tools that a team would want in a goaltending prospect.
Brochu has great lateral quickness in net and can make highlight-reel saves look routine. He is great at tracking pucks through traffic and has good rebound control. He plays his angles well and handles the puck with confidence when under pressure.
With the OHL season having never gotten underway this past season, Brochu practiced with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL) and managed to get into a game. While he did struggle in his first pro action, it will be interesting to see how he plays in his second season with the Knights.
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Brett Brochu – 2021 NHL Draft Projection
Brochu was ranked a C-level prospect by NHL Central Scouting and I do think that is a fair evaluation. Brochu is a player who I see going later on in the draft, somewhere in the fifth to seventh round. He will definitely need a few years to develop but could be a great pick when this draft is looked back upon in a few years.
“Brochu is a netminder that possesses superb agility and movement in the crease. He gets out to the top of the blue paint in a flash to challenge shooters. He also gets into position quickly to make second and even third-chance stops. He tracks the puck extremely well and never gives up on a play. Brochu is as technically sound as any netminder available in the draft class. He plays the butterfly style to perfection and is able to get on his knees quickly and recovers just as fast. He rarely overplays a situation, trusts his positioning, and allows the puck to hit him. His quickness and athleticism allow him to pounce on loose pucks in front of the paint.” – Dominic Tiano/OHL Writers
“Brochu’s story is quite an interesting one. He made the jump up to the OHL for his draft year after spending a year in Junior C of all places, so it’s safe to say Brochu wasn’t on the NHL Draft – or Hockey Canada’s radar – heading into 2019-20. He had a stellar OHL rookie campaign, going 32-6-0 with a .919 save percentage and a league-leading 2.40 GAA with the always spectacular London Knights. For a goalie to jump up three leagues to become an OHL star is nearly unheard of, but Brochu’s numbers rivalled that of the league’s most experienced veterans and forced Hockey Canada to take notice, giving him a shot at the World Junior Championship roster back in the winter. Brochu ultimately missed out on the team and hasn’t played a game since, instead sitting and learning from the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre Scranton this year. It’s hard for a goalie to not get into any meaningful game action, but scouts took notice of what he did during the streamed Hockey Canada camp games and could – and should – take a chance on him.” – Steven Ellis/The Hockey News
- Tracking the puck
- Lateral quickness
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Would like to see him add more weight
There is no tougher position in hockey to predict than goalies. You just never know how a goalie will develop. Brochu has solid tools to work with and definitely has some promise to his game. I think if he continues to develop, he could turn into a solid backup one day.
Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 3/5
In 2018-19, while playing for the Dresden Jr. Kings of the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJCHL), he was named PJCHL (Stobbs) Rookie of the Year and had the most wins in the league with 27. In 2019-20, while playing with the London Knights, he had the OHL’s best goals-against average (GAA) at 2.40, won the Dinty Moore Trophy (OHL Best Rookie GAA), and was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.
My name is Mathieu Sheridan. I am a writer here at THW who covers the OHL and prospects in general.