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The NHL Entry Draft will occur on June 28 & 29 in Nashville. If it seems like we’ve been looking towards this date since CHGO Blackhawks launched in March of 2022, it’s because we have! The Chicago Blackhawks won the right to draft future superstar Connor Bedard with the first overall pick. However, they currently own 10 picks in one of the deepest drafts in recent years, including six in the first two rounds. With that in mind, the CHGO Blackhawks crew will dive into some of the prospects the team is potentially targeting for some of those picks after changing the course of the franchise with the number one pick.
Our next profile is on University of Michigan standout forward Gavin Brindley
Gavin Brindley Measurables
Position: Center/Right Wing
“At his floor, Brindley will be a dream on a team’s checking line. He will be able to transition the puck, move the puck with control in the offensive zone, and you will never question his motor or ability to turnover pucks with his skating and never-quit mentality when he’s attacking the puck.
I see a much larger offensive ceiling than most. As he gets stronger and able to drive play to the dangerous areas of the ice with the puck on his stick, he’s going to be able to get even more dangerous shots off and use his skill to be the primary driver of scoring chances.” – Austin Garret, Smaht Scouting
“Brindley is an excellent skater with great agility, speed, and edgework that make him a dynamic puck carrier. His skating ability is a massive part of his game, and he pairs it very nicely with his ability to keep his head up and move the puck. A playmaker at heart, Brindley has quick hands in tight that he is able to change the angle of his passing lanes to deceive and beat defenders and feed pucks into scoring areas. His shot is a solid tool of his as he has a quick release on it, it is very powerful and accurate, and he likes to use it and creates rebound chances from it.” – Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“Super fast. He had the ability to play with a guy like Adam Fantilli. He can shoot the puck and play on the inside. He’s a pretty good player.” – Mike Doneghey, Blackhawks Director of Amateur Scouting
Why Gavin Brindley fits the Blackhawks
While I believe the Blackhawks will target size after adding Bedard to the mix, Brindley should still be on their radar. Except for the height, he has a lot of the other qualities Kyle Davidson and company are looking for. He doesn’t let his lack of size hinder his game in any form. He is a beast in puck battles; he thrives with physicality and has a high motor to go with compete level. Brindley’s skating is his best attribute, which the Blackhawks crave, and he has the agility to go along with good speed. Michigan had a 59% Corsi rating when Brindley was on the ice last season, so he excels at the puck possession game.
Brindley has been referred to as a “Swiss Army Knife” by some scouts. He has played center and wing and has been used in all situations. He can be effective on a top scorer line and do the dirty work. While playing for Team USA at the World Junior Championship, he played on the fourth line and was used in a shutdown role defensively. His versatility makes him a very attractive prospect to many teams. The 18-year-old is a relentless forechecker and plays with an aggression that is unmatched on most nights. He fits the mold of the player Davidson wants on his roster.
While some may debate where Brindley will play in the NHL, top or bottom six, the consensus among most scouts is that he will play in the league. Where he goes in the draft is another issue. Some boards have him near the top 10, while others have him slipping to the late first round or even into the early second round. His floor has him playing a role on an NHL checking line. But as we saw when he played with Fantilli and Mackie Samoskevich at Michigan, his ceiling is much higher than that. If he were four inches taller, we’d be talking about a potential top-10 pick.
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