Photo credit:MATT TIDCOMBE / CHL
Canucks prospect Hunter Brzustewicz closes out World Junior Summer Showcase with a quiet game
By Faber6 months ago
The final game of the World Junior Summer Showcase took place on Friday afternoon with Finland facing off against USA White.
We saw one Vancouver Canucks prospect in action for the final game of the showcase as right-shot defenceman Hunter Brzustewicz was in the lineup for USA as the right-shot defenceman on the third pairing. Brzustewicz was paired up with the 2023 sixth-round pick of the New York Islanders, Zach Schulz.
USA White was rolling through their fourth defence pairings in the first period, and that meant not a ton of ice time for Hunter Brzustewicz. He had a couple of nice plays where he moved the puck well through the neutral zone but was mostly pretty quiet in the opening 20 minutes of play.
Brzustewicz did draw a penalty late in the period as he had his stick slacked out of his hands after retrieving the puck in his own zone.
It was a quiet first half of the second period for Brzustewicz, it’s just tough to get much ice time when your team is rolling four defence pairings. Brzustewicz saw some time on the penalty kill for USA and that’s something we want to see him do more of next season in the OHL when he returns to the Kitchener Rangers. Brzustewicz had a 110 seconds shorthanded shift where he had to defend against a good Finland power play. He was able to finally gain possession late in the power play and he cleared the puck down the ice to clinch the kill.
We were all tied up after 40 minutes as the Finns and Americans were tied up 2-2.
Brzustewicz saw early shifts in the third period and had a couple of good defensive plays to keep the puck away from the high-danger scoring areas. The more we watch Brzustewicz, the more we see how good a cerebral defender he is. Brzustewicz does a great job of taking away the main passing lane while closing in on opponents and forcing them to take the second or third-best play. He has all the offensive tools that you want to see from a defence prospect but he is now beginning to show us his strengths in the defensive zone and we like what we’ve seen in this showcase so far.
Finland pushed hard and earned a 4-3 lead late into the third period. Their offensive MVP Lenni Hämeenaho was electric throughout the game. Hämeenaho was a player who we spotlighted prior to the 2023 NHL Entry Draft and he ultimately went 58th overall to the New Jersey Devils. Hämeenaho finished the tournament as the points leader and shower extremely well for Finland.
Ultimately, it just wasn’t a great game for Brzustewics but he also wasn’t bad. It was just a bit difficult for him to get into a flow at five-on-five with the four defence pairings but team USA clearly liked Brzustewicz on the penalty kill — that’s where he got a bulk of his ice time in the game.
Team USA pulled their goalie with a few minutes left in the third period and Brzustewicz did not receive any ice time late when USA was trying to tie the game up.
It was too bad we didn’t see Brzustewicz get a chance late but something just seemed off throughout the game as he was not playing much at even strength.
We will go back and watch both of his games that we were on vacation for but today’s game wasn’t even close to how good D-Petey played. I recommend going to check out at article because this one is just not very exciting. We will get to work watching the games I was on vacation for last week and will get some highlights up from those games soon.
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