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Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25: Brendan Brisson excelling in the NCAA

The 2020 first-round pick had a good freshman season with the University of Michigan.

Russia v United States: Preliminary Round Group B - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship
Brendan Brisson of the United States skates against Russia during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship
Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Knights On Ice’s 2020-21 preseason Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the top 25 players under the age of 25 currently in Vegas’ system. The KOI staff members created their own Top 25 Under 25 ballots. Each individual writer’s ballot was then used to generate a composite score that formed the final rankings

Brendan Brisson makes his first appearance on our Vegas Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 list at No. 11. Brisson was drafted in the first round (No. 29 overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft. Brisson — the son of Pat Brisson, a prominent NHL agent with clients including Jonathan Marchessault and Nicolas Roy — ranked as high as No. 18 (by Craig Button) in prospect rankings before the draft.

Brisson finishing just outside the top 10 on this list shows how packed the Knights’ prospect line truly is. Brisson was ranked between ninth and 15th on the ballots.

No. 11: Brendan Brisson

  • Age: 19
  • Position: C
  • Currently playing: University of Michigan
  • Nationality: American

Brisson finished his freshman season in the NCAA with 21 points (including 10 goals) in 24 games with the University of Michigan Wolverines. While Michigan was unable to compete in the Frozen Four bracket, Brisson finished the season with two goals against Ohio State in the Wolverines’ penultimate game.

Brisson finished his last season in the USHL with 59 points (24 goals) in 45 games, the second-best total in the league and fourth-best points-per-game pace. Brisson is a capable goal scorer but truly excels as a passer. Elite Prospects described him in their 2020 NHL Draft Guide as the second-best “problem-solving forward” after Alexis Lafreniere, who was drafted first overall.

Brisson is able to operate both in space and when close to opposing defenders and is a good, agile skater. He can work on the defensive side of the puck but is already an impressive player on the offensive side.

Brisson excels at getting to the high-danger parts of the ice and finishing chances. He’s somebody who can get the puck off quickly on one-timers and on rebound opportunities, and with a large frame (despite his somewhat smaller 6-foot height) can be someone dangerous as a net-front presence.

Brisson will likely be in the NCAA for at least the next season as he looks to get a full season with Michigan. The Golden Knights have other top prospects who will need to transition to the NHL before Brisson. But Brisson looks like he’ll be an NHL contributor in the near future, someone who could debut in a third-line role before earning more ice time.


Previously in the Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 2020-21 Series:

Honorable mention: Layton Ahac
No. 25: Jonas Rondbjerg
No. 24: Jake Leschyshyn
No. 23: Paul Cotter
No. 22: Keegan Kolesar
No. 21: Ben Jones
No. 20: Marcus Kallionkieli
No. 19: Lukas Cormier
No. 18: Pavel Dorofeyev
No. 17: Brandon Kruse
No. 16: Peter DeLiberatore
No. 15: Connor Corcoran
No. 14: Ivan Morozov
No. 13: Isaiah Saville
No. 12: Jiri Patera