Calgary Flames prospect Hunter Brzustewicz featured prominently in OHL’s annual Coaches Poll

Photo credit:Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
Each year, as the junior hockey season winds down, one of the great rituals is the release of the annual Ontario Hockey League Coaches Poll. The mechanics are pretty simple: the league’s coaches are asked to rank players based on different attributes and the league tabulates the results, split by conference.
Calgary Flames prospect Hunter Brzustewicz appears three times in this year’s edition of the Coaches Poll.
Among Western Conference players, Brzustewicz was listed at first spot for Smartest Player, second spot for Best Offensive Defenceman, and third spot for Best Playmaker. Ahead of him for Best Offensive Defenceman is Saginaw’s Zayne Parekh. Parekh and London’s Denver Barkley were ahead for Best Playmaker. (Parekh is considered one of the top prospects available in the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft, while Barkley was a third-round selection by the Philadelphia Flyers in last summer’s draft.)
A product of Washington Township, Michigan, Brzustewicz was a second-round selection of the Vancouver Canucks at the 2023 NHL Draft. He was traded to the Flames as part of the Elias Lindholm trade back at the end of January and signed his entry-level deal with the Flames in March. A very talented offensive blueliner, Brzustewicz enjoyed a breakout season during the past year, scoring 13 goals and 92 points over 67 games with the Kitchener Rangers.
Brzustewicz’s 79 assists led the entire OHL. His 92 points placed 10th among all skaters in that circuit. Among blueliners, only Parekh’s 96 points were more than Brzustewicz’s. While he’ll likely need to work on rounding out his game at the pro level, Brzustewicz can flat-out generate offence and was one of the best at it in his entire league. As a 2004 birthday, he’s considered a 20-year-old for the 2024-25 season and is eligible to return to major junior as an overager or try his hand at pro hockey in the American Hockey League. Based on the success he’s had in OHL, we’re willing to wager that we’ll see him donning a Wranglers sweater when the puck drops next season.
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