Bobby Brink is an intriguing option at right wing in this coming draft. In the eyes of many scouts, he has the tools and potential to be a very good NHL prospect. He has top qualities that make him an excellent pick somewhere in the middle of the first round.
He was by far one of the best player in the USHL this season. He was a driving force and a play-driver on whichever line his coach put him on; the spark that made the line go into overdrive.
Though Brink has an incredible hockey sense, one of best at visualizing the ice and how to develop plays, his 5’8” height and slight build even for that size makes him a very small winger.
Birthplace: Excelsior, Minnesota, USA
Date of birth: July 8, 2001
Position: Right Wing
Weight: 159 lbs.
Team: Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
His high ranking, therefore, is based solely on how he plays the game. He is a gifted player when it comes to reading the play and creating scoring chances. He brings a balanced offensive presence to any line. He has a great scoring touch, illustrated by his 35 goals on the year, and about an equal number of assists, 33, thanks to his complete offensive game.
Brink is committed to the University of Denver in the NCAA, though not until 2020-21. There is still another season in the USHL to play before his collegiate career begins. That’s bad news for his opponents, because he was named the USHL Forward of the Year, as well as a First Team All-Star as a 17-year-old. He feasted on the opposition this year and will only get better for the next.
You’ll see Brink driving the play in most sequences. He’s always smartly positioned on the ice and seems to have a great understanding of how to manipulate defenders to open lanes for passes or to take shots. He isn’t scared of driving to the net and can score in different manners.
His shot is accurate and heavy and he knows how to find the soft spaces on the ice. His weapon of choice is his wrist shot, which is incredibly good. It is quick, accurate, and can fool most goaltenders.
Brink’s hand-eye coordination helps him get rebounds and deflections. He forces the opposition to play in a hurry due to how well he processes plays developing in front of him. He’s an excellent playmaker as well as a finisher, which makes it hard to defend against him.
His World Under-18 Championship was also an excellent showing. It was a small sample, but it’s a testament to his abilities that he was able to seamlessly join what was essentially the USNTDP team that had played together all season. He went ahead and scored three goals and had three assists in five games, demonstrate his awareness and nifty hands.
Brink’s skating is his biggest flaw, and a major one. He has an awkward stride that doesn’t seem to produce much power. He isn’t slow, but he isn’t fast enough to beat opposing players outright to open up his offensive game, either. He’s agile on his skates but lacks an extra gear to allow him really take over games.
He can keep up with most plays at the USHL level, but improving that aspect would go a long way into making him reach the NHL and have a serious impact. His remarkable vision is high-end and helps alleviate some of the concerns about his skating.
Defence-wise, Brink does a decent job. He works hard in his own zone, backchecking hard and supporting his defence down low. His awareness comes in handy as he is able to read the plays extremely well, taking efficient routes to areas that he would struggle to get to if he had to scramble, effectively cutting off passing lanes and creating turnovers.
Dobber Prospects: #25
Elite Prospects: #15
Future Considerations: #37
Hockey Prospect: #15
NHL Central Scouting: #19 (European skaters)
Pronman/The Athletic: #23
All in all, Bobby Brink has elite awareness, a great set of hands, and a decent defensive game, but lacks the skating ability to truly break open games. With more development regarding his skating, Brink could become a truly impactful player in the big leagues if he reaches his ceiling.