There is no debating that the Canadian Hockey League trade deadline has brought out the best of Brett Harrison once he traded in his OHL Oshawa Generals red jersey for the Windsor Spitfires red. And even though his OHL cousins Ryan Mast of the Sarnia Sting, Jackson Edward of the London Knights and Matthew Poitras of the Guelph Storm remained with their respective teams, the trades those three teams did make have given the trio new opportunities they are running with. Even Reid Dyck of the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL has new found life.
As much as trade deadline affected them in a positive way, the impact on Defenceman Frederic Brunet is on another level. The Bruins selected Brunet in the fifth round – 132nd overall – at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and it just goes to show that when you surround a talented player with other talented players, great things can happen.
At the time of Brunet’s trade, he led the Rimouski Oceanic in scoring and his 35 points in 36 games is still good enough for second in team scoring. The move to Victoriaville Tigres – the top place team in the Western Conference has brought even more offence.
Brunet is second in scoring among QMJHL defencemen with 7 goals and 39 assists in 43 games, three points behind new teammate Pier-Olivier Roy. Brunet leads all QMJHL players in powerplay assists. He’s equaled his career high of 46 points from a season ago in 20 fewer games.
Since being acquired by Victoriaville, Brunet has points in 6 of the 7 games he has played in with 1 goal and 9 assists. That is approaching a 100-point pace in the QMJHL, last accomplished during the 2001-2002 season by Danny Groulx with 112. I don’t know if he can maintain the pace, but I can’t help but wonder what he could have done in a full season with Victoriaville. He could end up pushing 80 points this season.
The other player to touch on here is Dans Locmelis with Lulea HF in the J20 Nationell. I don’t want to get into the long-complicated set up of the J20 but just an idea of the competition this time of year. There are two divisions, North and South consisting of 10 teams in each. They play a 27-game season against the other 9 teams in their own division. The top 5 teams from each division move on to play in what they call the Top-10, which is what they are playing now. Their schedule now is against the best teams in the country.
Much like I did a season ago with Oskar Jellvik, I put more emphasis into this part of the schedule simply because of the quality of competition. And Locmelis has not disappointed so far. After finishing the regular portion of the schedule third in league scoring, he is tied for 2nd in the Top-10 despite playing fewer games. What is most impressive is his two-way game and with his plus-20 on the season, it’s obvious.
Locmelis has been playing and being developed almost exclusively in the middle. That’s a bonus for the Bruins.
Here’s a look at the Providence Bruins leaders:
Coming up this week:
|PLAYER||MON 23||TUE 24||WED 25||THU 26||FRI 27||SAT 28||SUN 29|
|MANTYKIVI||At S P||Vs TAP||Vs ASS|
|LOCMELIS||Vs HV||Vs VAX|
|MYRENBERG||At MO||Vs OST|
|JELLVIK/GASSEAU/KUNTAR||At B U||Vs B U|
|LANGENBRUNNER||Vs CGT||Vs COR|
|SPICER/OLSON||Vs StC||Vs StC|
|SCHMALTZ||At MIA||At MIA|
|DURAN/SVEDEBACK||At MNE||At MNE|
|GALLAGHER||Vs B C||At B C|
|MCFAUL||At St L||Vs St L|
|POITRAS||Vs O S||Vs SBY|
|HARRISON||At N B||At SBY||At SOO|
|MAST||At SOO||At SAG|
|EDWARD||At PBO||At OTT||At KGN|
|BRUNET||Vs CTN||At SHA|
|DYCK||At POR||At EVT|
AROUND THE GLOBE
Frederic Brunet is on another level right now. He has a 5-game point streak going with 1 goal and 9 assists and has points in 11 of his last 12 games on 3 goals and 18 assists and is a plus-12 in that time.
Dans Locmelis has a 7-game point streak on 3 goals and 10 assists in that time. In 33 games on the season, he is up to 14 goals, 28 assists and is a plus-20.
Matthew Poitras had his point streak snapped at 6 games on 1 goal and 12 assists. He may be hard pressed to match his 21 goals from a season ago, but he only needs one point to match last season’s point total in 20 fewer games.
Mason Langenbrunner ended a 16-game point streak when he scored his first NCAA career goal and point as Harvard defeated Yale 3-2 in overtime on Friday.
Ty Gallagher had a good weekend assisting on a goal Friday against Maine and in the rematch Saturday, also scored his first of the season while assisting on another.
Brett Harrison went pointless in 2 of the 3 games he played in but on Saturday he put up 3 goals and 2 assists. He’s up to 8 goals and 7 assists in 9 games since trade deadline.
Mason Lohrei is in a groove having points in 7 of his last 9 games on a goal and 8 assists in that stretch.
Trevor Kuntar was suspended for one game after a cross checking incident with 18 seconds remaining in Friday’s matchup versus Vermont. He would sit out the rematch on Saturday.
Matias Mantykivi ended a cold stretch of 9 games without a point on Saturday with an assist.
I continue to follow the undrafted prospects the Bruins had invited to Development Camp in the summer and I can’t help my desire for the Bruins to ink James Hardie to a contract. Now, it’s rare that these players turn into NHL players with success, but it does happen and in Hardie’s case, I hope the Bruins saw enough of him at development camp and have kept an eye on him with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL to sign him before someone else does.
The Steelheads were sellers at the OHL deadline but they decided to retain Hardie and name him captain and he certainly hasn’t disappointed. He is currently 5th in the OHL in goals and 9th in points. Since trade deadline he has 3 goals and 8 assists in 5 games while getting most of the prime offensive opportunities.
I think this is the type of player you take a gamble on. He will not impact the salary cap and frankly, the only thing it will cost the Bruins is a contract spot – something they have plenty of for next season.