Hunter Brzustewicz shines in the offensive and defensive zones while Jackson Dorrington fits right in at World Junior Summer Showcase
Photo credit:MATT TIDCOMBE / CHL
By Faber1 month ago
Two Canucks prospects were in action for the second game of the day at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan.
There was some movement between the rosters and that brought Hunter Brzustewicz and Jackson Dorrington together on USA’s Team White.
Brzustewicz was slated to play on the top-pairing while Dorrington was set as the extra defenceman. The lineup didn’t really matter as Dorrington just rotated in with the other left-shot defencemen and the pairings were mixed up throughout the game. You’ll see Brzustewicz and Dorrington together at times throughout the game.
We saw a nice little retrieval and pinch from Brzustewicz early in the game. He made a nice play to lose the forechecker after a dump-in and then followed that up with a nice jump-around at the offensive blue line before having his shot blocked into the mesh behind the net. Dorrington was the partner for Brzustewicz in this play.
Team White went to the penalty kill seven minutes into the game and both Dorrington and Brzustewicz were killing penalties for White. Dorrington was the first defenceman over the bench as penalty killing is a big part of his profile.
Dorrington had a nice offensive sequence later in the period when he stepped up for a loose puck and made a great cutback to set up a point shot.
Team White went to the power play with eight minutes remaining in the period and neither Brzustewicz nor Dorrington were on the power play units. We didn’t expect to see Dorrington there but thought there could be a chance that Brzustewicz got some time with the man advantage. He’s got a lot of good offensive skills, including how well he works the blue line and can see passing lanes from the power play quarterback position.
There were a couple of late power plays for Team White and that meant not much ice time for the Canucks prospects late in the period. We went into the first intermission with White leading Blue by a score of 2-1 — neither of the Canucks prospects factored into the opening-period scoring.
Brzustewicz had a nice offensive play early in the second period, setting up a quality scoring chance for Will Smith.
Brzustewicz continued to impress us with his good positional defence. Here’s an example of him locking down his man in the defensive zone.
We knew he was going to bring some offence but the solid defence has been a nice surprise in this star-studded game.
More good stuff from Brzustewicz later in the period as he looked poised with and without the puck. The kid was great positionally in his own end and sacrificed the body on this next clip.
The game began to get out of reach in the third period as White took a 5-1 lead over Blue.
Dorrington got his weight behind a slap slot with 13 minutes left in the third period. He looked like he was fitting in nicely for Team White and was able to get good power on his shot from the left point.
The highlight of the game came from 2024 NHL draft top prospect Cole Eiserman. He made a great move on a defenceman and buried a backhand to make it 6-2 for Team White. You can expect Eiserman to be a top-five pick in next year’s draft.
Brzustewicz got another shot on net later in the third period. We also have really liked what we’ve seen from 2024 NHL Draft prospect Zeev Buium. He’s looking like a first-round pick for next year’s draft, which has a lot of defencemen projected to go in the top-32.
The game finished with a 7-3 final and neither of the Canucks prospects factored into the scoring.
Dorrington played a quiet game but looked like a capable defender throughout the affair. He was used a lot on the penalty kill and played the stay-at-home defender position well. He didn’t make any big kerfuffles in the game and though he didn’t really impress — he certainly fit in the lineup.
Brzustewicz really impressed us in this game. He consistently showed his offensive intelligence by how he was jumping in to help the offence and defensively, he was very smart with how he used angles and body positioning to defend. We saw a couple of scoring chances off the stick of Brzustewicz and he moved extremely well. There’s an argument that he was the best defenceman in the game but we also really like the game from Zeev Buium, who will be a first-rounder in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft.
We will be back on Friday when USA Blue plays Sweden and USA White plays Finland.
It sure is nice to have some hockey to watch again.
I’ll try to spell Brzustewicz’s name correctly in my tweets on Friday… Yikes.
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