“The rules have changed,” said Vegas Golden Knights prospect Brendan Brisson, who posed for rookie card photos at the Upper Deck Rookie Showcase in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday.
“I remember when I was younger, I had all the booklets, and I would collect them. So it is kind of funny thinking that kids can be opening a pack, and I’ll be in there,” said Brisson.
The 20-year-old first-round pick of the Golden Knights was one of many NHL prospects at the event.
Matty Beniers and Owen Power, whom Brisson played with at the University of Michigan, were there. They posed for their rookie card pictures and spoke with the media.
“I’m here with 25 other guys that are kind of going through the same thing as me, staring down the barrel of an 82-game season for a rookie year. It’s cool being here and sharing experiences and seeing how guys are getting ready for the season,” said Brisson.
With the NHL opting out of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Brisson and many other prospects got the call for Team USA. In his four-game Olympic debut tournament, Brisson had two goals. Despite not medaling, Brisson said his Olympic experience was key to his development as he learned from former NHL’ers like Justin Abdelkader.
“The off-ice portion of it was really good for us. Being around guys like Justin Abdelkader, who have played in the NHL and are coming to the end of their careers. I can remember on the bus to the rinks Abdelkader would talk to me about when he signed going into his rookie year,” said Brisson.
The Golden Knights parted ways with Max Pacioretty, Evgenii Dadonov, and Mattias Janmark this offseason. This has left them with a bit less depth at wing, with guys like Phil Kessel being brought in to patch those holes. Brisson, who can play both center and wing, could have a shot at making the team out of training camp.
“I had a really good offseasons, and I am feeling good going into camp so. I am just trying to be ready for camp and making them make a hard decision,” said Brisson.
Brisson mentioned he worked hard on improving his skating in the offseason. He stated wanted to boost his overall speed given that there is a big shift between NCAA, AHL, and NHL hockey. When asked which position he would anticipate playing, Brisson projected that he would continue to play wing.
“I would think wing, just because I have been playing it the last two years. I had a good summer, I’m confident heading into camp and I can’t wait for it,” Brisson added.
Perhaps the most shocking thing that Brisson stated was that he actually liked the second-worst ranked Golden Knights jerseys.
“I love em. They just changed. These (point to his jersey) are the home ones this year. I really like it and think it’s perfect for Vegas. Some people could say it is a little bit too flashy, but I feel like they are good and I like them,” said Brisson, who wore a gold Golden Knights jersey that sported a Circa Sports patch on it.
Brisson has signed his entry-level contract and has a good shot of at least making his NHL debut in 2022-23 with the Golden Knights. He was ranked as our top prospect for the VGK in our Golden Knights prospect pyramid.