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Getting to know Montreal Canadiens 56th-overall selection Josh Brook

The Canadiens added a defenceman with their first pick in the second round.

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The Montreal Canadiens made their second pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, choosing Josh Brook with the #56 pick.

Brook is a 6’1”, 182-pound defenceman who played in the WHL for the Moose Jaw Warriors this season. He helped the team earn a playoff berth as one of the top blue-liners, used in all situations, and was named to Team Canada for the Under-18 World Championship.

EliteProspects

He recorded 40 points in the regular season with Moose Jaw, with 32 assists, adding seven points in the seven playoff games the team played.

Brook plays an aggressive style of defence, opting to attack the puck-carrier rather than hang back in a defensive position, and that sometimes gets him out of position. He’s not overly quick, and therefore unable to recover when a forward gets the advantage. When the offence is set up in his zone, he uses his strength to keep forwards to the outside.

That assertive approach carries over to the offensive end as well, where he likes to pinch in to keep the puck in, and isn’t afraid to carry the puck down low himself to set up the offence. It hasn’t resulted in many goals in his lifetime, but it does keep the defence on its toes and helps him to rack up the assists.

Scouting

Future Considerations

Brook is a defence-first defender with two-way upside. He isn’t the flashiest defender from shift to shift, but he shows the ability to stabilize the game and up the tempo.

Hockey Prospect Black Book

Brook plays an aggressive offensive game and is not afraid to jump into the play. In recent viewings at the U18s, he showed no lack of confidence in pinching at the offensive blue line. This risky play tends to pay-off for him in regards to production because he is comfortable playing below the dots in the offensive zone. He has shown the ability to be creative with the puck and can find his teammates in open space, although he has not done this consistently. He had some tremendous set ups and individual dekes in the offensive zone, but he is not consistent with these plays.

Rankings

DraftBuzz Hockey: 33
Future Considerations: 57
Hockey Prospect: 50
ISS Hockey: 66
McKeen’s: 45
Craig Button: 106
Bob McKenzie: 47

Brook is a player who has the potential to develop into an NHL player, with several promising skills. It’s not a guarantee that that development will occur, however, making this pick more of a risk than the Habs’ first-round selection of Ryan Poehling. On the flipside, there is the potential for more reward with Brook, who could turn into a key member of the defence corps if he can improve his skating and find some more stability in his defensive game.