- Buffalo Sabres
||06-20-2011 11:26 PM
Brayden McNabb and TJ Brennan
Hey guys i was wondering if you can tell more information about these two defensive prospects. Can Brennan be a powerplay quaterback and can McNabb be a a potential partner for Myers. What are their celings and style of play? Who do they compare to? Thankyou.
||06-21-2011 04:27 AM
T.J. Brennan, LHD, Portland Pirates (AHL), 2007 2nd round (31st overall)
The mission for Brennan since entering the Sabres system has been to become a dependable, consistent defensive player. Packing a well-rounded set of tools highlighted by his mobility and ripping shot, Brennan made progress on that end all the while continuing his offensive bloom.
After posting nine points in the 2010 portion of the schedule (.32 p/g), the athletic rearguard doubled his production after the new year with 30 in his final 44 games (.68 p/g) to finish in the top-20 in scoring among all AHL defenders (19th) and edge closer to becoming a big league contributor.
Standing 6'0, 205 pounds, added strength and leverage to his lower center of gravity have increased his effectiveness, but it seems that a brief mid-season stint at forward simplified the game and perhaps offered a different perspective regarding the responsibilities of a blueliner. Brennan was especially sharp in March with back-to-back game winning goals early, and a five-game point streak a couple of weeks later.
There's still some mistakes to eliminate, but with currency built up with the Pirates coaching staff in the form of offense, all signs point to an expanded veteran role on the farm in 2011-12, and a competitive battle with McNabb and Schiestel for first call-up position.
Brayden McNabb, LHD, Kootenay ICE (WHL), 2009 3rd round (66th overall)
A 2009 third rounder who has performed like a player befitting a higher pick, McNabb has logged major minutes with the Ice over the past two seasons, playing as physical as his 6'4, 218-pound frame suggests while finishing among WHL blue line scoring leaders (6th in 2009-10, 3rd in 2010-11).
After getting preseason NHL exposure this past fall, the ICE captain returned to set single-season and all-time franchise marks in goals, assists, and points for a defenseman while earning a spot on the WHL's Eastern Conference First All-Star Team. He took his game to a different level in the playoffs, shutting down the likes of Brayden Schenn, Curtis Hamilton, Linden Vey, and Emerson Etem while setting even more franchise offensive marks including a solid 11-game point streak to lead the Ice to the league finals. His 24 points in the 2011 postseason were the most for a Sabres prospect since Paul Byron ripped off 21-11-32 in 19 games back in 2007-08.
A bona fide point machine at the junior level, the economy-minded McNabb provides offense by making good pinches, finding sticks with slap-passes, and most importantly by getting lots of shots to the net. He's best when keeping it simple and limiting the chance for a turnover. Not possessing a quick first step, he may see spots to lug the puck up ice here and there as a pro (by comparison though, Mike Weber is probably the better skater at this stage), but his impact will be that of a point-contributor who block shots and plays tough in front of his goalie.
Expect McNabb to be signed and off to Portland next season where he can ease his way in. If his feet adjust quickly to the AHL pace, it's fair to think he could position himself for a stop-gap call-up by Christmas. Until that happens, becoming a stronger skater should remain the focal point of his development.
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