Top 25 Under 25
#8 - Jake DeBrusk - F
Where Did He Come From?: 2015 Draft, 1st Round, 14th Overall
Has he played in the NHL?: No
One of the three players from the 2015 draft to fall under scrutiny, fair or otherwise, Jake DeBrusk spent his year tearing the AHL apart with the Providence Bruins, bringing a careful, opportunistic, yet tenacious effort to the Baby B’s; able to muscle players off of the puck, capitalize on mistakes, and of course, score goals. Scoring even when players were in front of him, scoring while down on a knee, scoring with the puck in the crease, and his efforts were rewarded by being the 2nd highest point-getter on the team. By volume you’d expect this, as he finished his year 2nd on the team in averaged shots-per-game.
And this year, he was willing to spread the wealth of scoring, ending up 2nd on the team in assists.
So, in short, he did pretty well in the regular season. But if you go, it’s the playoffs where you gotta shine. And shine he did, benefitting greatly from having Jordan Szwarz and Danton Heinen as linemates and helping the team absolutely pound Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the first round, with the Baby Pens seemingly having no answer for the one-two punch of Debrusk-Heinen, both often finding themselves assisting each other’s goals. Heck, before Heinen took off, both players were tied for the lead in AHL playoff scoring.
What Does The Future Look Like for DeBrusk?:
His play this year certainly has earned him a lot of brownie points, so he’ll likely be trying to make the team competing for a spot on the wing, where he’ll be competing against a host of quality players like Czarnik, Cehlarik, and Anders Bjork. Given the team’s sordid history with his draft year, I certainly hope he has a quality performance during preseason. His projection seeks him as a middle six kind of forward that has a lot of offensive upside, and he might be able to crack this spot sooner than you might think.