by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of The Hockey News.
The 2023 NHL Draft will be here before you know it, and Draft 412 will preview some of the prospects who will be probable first round picks. Draft 412 will go over the strengths and weaknesses of each prospect and where they should land in the NHL Draft.
Name- Gavin Brindley
Team- Michigan Wolverines (NCAA)
HT/WT- 5’9” 165 lbs.
Home – Estero, FL
Having Adam Fantilli as a teammate has put Gavin Brindley on the back burner at times when scouts talk about prospects for the 2023 NHL Draft. Draft 412 warns you not to sleep on the 5’9” Brindley. He brings his own brand of hockey that will succeed in today’s NHL.
Brindley had an excellent freshman season at Michigan, putting up 38 points in 41 games. Michigan moved Brindley up and down in the lineup, using him in every scenario possible. He’s a pest shorthanded and was able to produce on the bottom two lines as well as the top-6.
As a player, Brindley plays urgency on every shift and at a compete level that is rarely seen. He fights for every loose puck and does not let his size diminish the fact that he will play “in your face” hockey from the opening faceoff. He’s been a source of energy for his team, providing a spark from the bench and will forecheck relentlessly. He’s the kind of player that always seems to be around the puck.
Brindley has elite speed and when you combine that with his tenacity, he is not a player you want to play against. He’s agile on his skates and seems to be in a state of constant motion. For a man his size, he’s not afraid to go to the net or to do what is needed to score or help his team.
From a scouting perspective, his size is definitely the “elephant” in the room. At 5’9” and 165 lbs., injury concerns have to be on the minds of the general managers. Brindley does not have an above average NHL-level shot and will need to improve his wrist shot to be a factor in the goal scoring department. Though he never stops skating, his defensive play is still lacking at times. He tends to shift up towards the point, leaving the high slot available for opponents. This can and should be fixed before he makes it to the NHL.
Draft 412 sees a lot of Daniel Briere in Gavin Brindley. Small, feisty and a guy you will not have fun playing against. If Brindley improves his shot, he may be more like Jonathan Marchessault.
Brindley will be a player who does not have to be a top-6 player to succeed. With an improved shot and better defensive awareness, Brindley should stick around a long time.
Round 1-/#19 on Draft 412 big board.