Brinkman to Gophers early?

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ThatMNHockeyGuy62
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Brinkman to Gophers early?

Post by ThatMNHockeyGuy62 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:25 am

Per Nate Wells of Gopher State and a contributor to The Athletic, Ben Brinkman is leaving early to start with the Gophers this fall. Wasn’t a shoe-in for Mr. hockey, but he was certainly a front runner. This definitely opens things up.

https://twitter.com/gopherstate/status/ ... 41088?s=12

Stang5280
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Post by Stang5280 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:36 pm

Interesting, and a bit surprising. Brinkman has certainly been one of the better puck-moving defensemen of the past several years, and made a nice leap forward last season. That said, he is still more of a prospect then a finished product, and tends to be sloppy with the puck all too often. The Gophers don’t really have any two-way defensemen on their current roster, which puts them at a disadvantage in generating offense, but asking a player that young to jump right into the lineup is difficult unless they are a generational talent.

Bonin2121
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Post by Bonin2121 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:23 pm

They tried to do the same thing last year and that failed.

ThatMNHockeyGuy62
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Post by ThatMNHockeyGuy62 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:37 pm

Stang5280 wrote:Interesting, and a bit surprising. Brinkman has certainly been one of the better puck-moving defensemen of the past several years, and made a nice leap forward last season. That said, he is still more of a prospect then a finished product, and tends to be sloppy with the puck all too often. The Gophers don’t really have any two-way defensemen on their current roster, which puts them at a disadvantage in generating offense, but asking a player that young to jump right into the lineup is difficult unless they are a generational talent.
Well said.

CakeScout17
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Brinkman to LeGophaire?

Post by CakeScout17 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:08 am

Wow. This covers a lot of rumors and definitely generates opinions...so, time to chime.

The last 2 HS seasons, PRIOR to '17-'18, I felt BB progressed rapidly and truly played a physical game as he laid down major hits. Fall '17 Elite league season I was thoroughly impressed with BB as he seemed to thrive under Paul Ranheims' aggressive style while developing even more on the offensive end - capping the season with an unreal game winner versus a stout Salzbrug, Austria team - at this point I waited with baited turkey breath to the start of the '17-'18 season and, initially, BB was off to good start. Initially...

Don't get me wrong, BB is a VERY talented player with a huge upside and perhaps an untouchable 'ceiling' however, he absolutely struggled in first Tonka game and looked downright sloppy getting puck out of own zone more than a few times. Wash, rinse, repeat versus WBL, 1st Centennial game and just too many games overall w/ choppy play where BB maybe tried 'to do too much' when Hornet forwards were trapped and outmuscled against the heavier, grittier teams as season went along. I saw a very slow shot release while manning the point on PP and virtually zero existence of the ability to get off a one-timer (in fact I could remember a handful of pure fans on the puck!).
The physicality BB brought as Frosh and Soph had also all but disappeared last season...whats the deal there? The downturn may be attributed to loss of daily Giles presence at end of December through middle of January...Coincidentally, during this same time frame (early January) rumors started flying of BB doubling class schedule to accelerate to the Gophaire - this was still under the Lucia regime, however, by early February the rumor mill ended with the update that as much as the BB party wanted to accelerate the Lucia position was, "lets slow down, regroup and see where we are at..." a position I couldn't agree with more. Hopefully Motz & Co. aren't in dire need of a D-man and advise this kid to get some more seasoning.

My (cliche'd) eye test says BB needs to work on a quicker shot release, development of a one-timer (long way off from the Riley Tuff HS one-timer) and tightening up of the fundamentals (e.g., not pressing too much) - in other words - perfect scenario for BB would be to execute a 'before & after' with Waterloo and Edina for '18-'19. At the least, BB heads to Waterloo for senior year and joins Le Gophaire for '19-'20...that is digestible. But these days? Who knows - maybe he thinks w/o Walker, DK, LC, etc - Edina has no chance, maybe after a state appearance and 2 years as a team C what else is there to prove at HS level? Well, Ill tell you whats left...A TON. Lifetime memories and yet another shot at state title. Kinda the reason Anders Lee's and Sammy Walkers came back for senior year - they WILL find you and you WILL get drafted. What do I know? Not much. But...

Stop accelerating. SLOW DOWN. Be a senior. Soak it in. Maybe BB needs to call Jake Oettinger? Do the 'before & after' at minimum. BB is not ready for ND, PSU, OSU, Michigan, etc, etc. and thats just the BIG 10. BB can't accelerate draft status (2019) so stop rushing. He is NOT Mike Crowley. Nor is he Nanne, Zuhsldorf or Phillips at this point and none of those guys are exactly standing out at the next level (granted they all have minimum 2 years more to do so and God Bless those kids).

BB will have good college career...might be a decent pro. But truly? Gun to my head? If I had a GM ask me about futures? Id take Tonka's Luedtke over BB. But thats today and I couldn't agree more with Stang5280.
Tmrw? Next year? Hopefully different.

So if anybody that truly cares about this kid reads this - please remind BB that the Tortoise won the race, not the hare. Or? tell BB about two bulls sitting at the top of a hill overlooking a herd of sheep (you know the rest).

Godspeed BB.

GoBigorGoHome
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Post by GoBigorGoHome » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:46 pm

As far as BB returning to Edina.....once you have your graduation party, as BB has done, the horse has pretty much left the barn. Let the kid move on to the next stage of his life without being second-guessed. Any decision he and or his family make, will be one they believe is in his best interest. Congratulations and best wishes for the future, BB!

yesiplayedhockey
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Post by yesiplayedhockey » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:47 pm

I agree with go big.

Listen we all wish every MN kid would play out his high school career...Just like we all wish hockey was only 6 months a year, or 10 month a year. Okay 11 months a year.

But those horses have left the barn. Kids today are jumping around doing this and doing that. Many voices are now in their ears telling them what is best. Those voices were few and far 5 years ago. They didn't exist 15-20 years ago. In the end, the kid is a very good hockey player and no matter what level he plays at he will continue to make mistakes and he will continue to get better. If he has it between the ears, he will be a very good college player. Mots could have found a USHL D if he was that desperate. The fact that he's giving BB a chance tells me he likes what he sees and is confident the kid will do the job.

Good luck BB, we will be cheering for you

HockeyonFire
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Re: Brinkman to LeGophaire?

Post by HockeyonFire » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:31 pm

CakeScout17 wrote:Wow. This covers a lot of rumors and definitely generates opinions...so, time to chime.

The last 2 HS seasons, PRIOR to '17-'18, I felt BB progressed rapidly and truly played a physical game as he laid down major hits. Fall '17 Elite league season I was thoroughly impressed with BB as he seemed to thrive under Paul Ranheims' aggressive style while developing even more on the offensive end - capping the season with an unreal game winner versus a stout Salzbrug, Austria team - at this point I waited with baited turkey breath to the start of the '17-'18 season and, initially, BB was off to good start. Initially...

Don't get me wrong, BB is a VERY talented player with a huge upside and perhaps an untouchable 'ceiling' however, he absolutely struggled in first Tonka game and looked downright sloppy getting puck out of own zone more than a few times. Wash, rinse, repeat versus WBL, 1st Centennial game and just too many games overall w/ choppy play where BB maybe tried 'to do too much' when Hornet forwards were trapped and outmuscled against the heavier, grittier teams as season went along. I saw a very slow shot release while manning the point on PP and virtually zero existence of the ability to get off a one-timer (in fact I could remember a handful of pure fans on the puck!).
The physicality BB brought as Frosh and Soph had also all but disappeared last season...whats the deal there? The downturn may be attributed to loss of daily Giles presence at end of December through middle of January...Coincidentally, during this same time frame (early January) rumors started flying of BB doubling class schedule to accelerate to the Gophaire - this was still under the Lucia regime, however, by early February the rumor mill ended with the update that as much as the BB party wanted to accelerate the Lucia position was, "lets slow down, regroup and see where we are at..." a position I couldn't agree with more. Hopefully Motz & Co. aren't in dire need of a D-man and advise this kid to get some more seasoning.

My (cliche'd) eye test says BB needs to work on a quicker shot release, development of a one-timer (long way off from the Riley Tuff HS one-timer) and tightening up of the fundamentals (e.g., not pressing too much) - in other words - perfect scenario for BB would be to execute a 'before & after' with Waterloo and Edina for '18-'19. At the least, BB heads to Waterloo for senior year and joins Le Gophaire for '19-'20...that is digestible. But these days? Who knows - maybe he thinks w/o Walker, DK, LC, etc - Edina has no chance, maybe after a state appearance and 2 years as a team C what else is there to prove at HS level? Well, Ill tell you whats left...A TON. Lifetime memories and yet another shot at state title. Kinda the reason Anders Lee's and Sammy Walkers came back for senior year - they WILL find you and you WILL get drafted. What do I know? Not much. But...

Stop accelerating. SLOW DOWN. Be a senior. Soak it in. Maybe BB needs to call Jake Oettinger? Do the 'before & after' at minimum. BB is not ready for ND, PSU, OSU, Michigan, etc, etc. and thats just the BIG 10. BB can't accelerate draft status (2019) so stop rushing. He is NOT Mike Crowley. Nor is he Nanne, Zuhsldorf or Phillips at this point and none of those guys are exactly standing out at the next level (granted they all have minimum 2 years more to do so and God Bless those kids).

BB will have good college career...might be a decent pro. But truly? Gun to my head? If I had a GM ask me about futures? Id take Tonka's Luedtke over BB. But thats today and I couldn't agree more with Stang5280.
Tmrw? Next year? Hopefully different.

So if anybody that truly cares about this kid reads this - please remind BB that the Tortoise won the race, not the hare. Or? tell BB about two bulls sitting at the top of a hill overlooking a herd of sheep (you know the rest).

Godspeed BB.
Edina kids leaving early :roll: nothing new.. Minnesota is really gambling on edina defensemen these days... 17 year old Brinkman with 22 year old Tyler Nanne, Zuhlsdorf, Phillips oh and maybe Jake Boltmann leaves early too ha. good riddance. Do or die gopher fans and i'm not betting on this..

CakeScout17
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Lets spin this to get some new takes on...

Post by CakeScout17 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:51 pm

is it that BB is a true generational prospect, so gifted and without flaw that is deemed able to bypass senior year, zero USHL/junior exposure/experience and jump to big-time D1 hockey?

OR

is it that the U is depleted of even the least threat of a potential 2-way Dman?

Yeah, the Hornet pipeline will continue to flow as far as Dman are concerned with Boltmann and Nick Williams a few years out.

Heck...maybe less.

Duluthguy
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Re: Lets spin this to get some new takes on...

Post by Duluthguy » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:18 pm

CakeScout17 wrote:is it that BB is a true generational prospect, so gifted and without flaw that is deemed able to bypass senior year, zero USHL/junior exposure/experience and jump to big-time D1 hockey?

OR

is it that the U is depleted of even the least threat of a potential 2-way Dman?

Yeah, the Hornet pipeline will continue to flow as far as Dman are concerned with Boltmann and Nick Williams a few years out.

Heck...maybe less.
Just a hunch: maybe Motzko is seeing the success UMD had with young D last year. Granted, most played at least a little juniors....but Samberg had only played at Hermantown but had size and could skate and by the end of the season was able to be a force on a national championship team. Admittedly, early in the year he struggled a bit, and Brinkman is a year younger....but maybe this is part of the thought process, along with the other factors theorized above.

gopherpuck516
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Post by gopherpuck516 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:25 pm

I know it’s super uncommon for a kid to accelerate HS and play college hockey during what should be their senior year of HS. Some went on to college hockey success and beyond, maybe not all.. I can only think of a few examples off the top of my head: R Poehling, Bjugstad?, J Schroeder?, T Boyd?, Ness, and I think I remember Toby Peterson from Jefferson accelerated one year to play for CC. I might not even be right on some of those... Are there other examples?

ThatMNHockeyGuy62
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Post by ThatMNHockeyGuy62 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:04 pm

gopherpuck516 wrote:I know it’s super uncommon for a kid to accelerate HS and play college hockey during what should be their senior year of HS. Some went on to college hockey success and beyond, maybe not all.. I can only think of a few examples off the top of my head: R Poehling, Bjugstad?, J Schroeder?, T Boyd?, Ness, and I think I remember Toby Peterson from Jefferson accelerated one year to play for CC. I might not even be right on some of those... Are there other examples?
Did Bjugstad? I could have sworn he played through his senior year at Blaine. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I think Tyler Pitlick (cousins of Rem/Rhett) played a year early at MN State Mankato. Pitlick had a great freshman year and then left to the WHL, where he also found success. It's taken a while, but he perhaps has finally found his spot in Dallas.

WestMetro
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Post by WestMetro » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:24 pm

If memory serves me right, Motzko was first to break the mold in recent years by bringing Dman Borgen right from MH senior to D1, SCSU. And we all know the story how well he did.

Then Sandelin brought in Samberg last year right from HT senior year, with a decent year result. And also Peruni who played his senior year with the big boys in USHL, then frankly surprised almost everyone with spectacular Bulldog season.

Motzko must have thought BB was ready to make the move after junior year, and that he could mold him into his new U of M system. Have watched BB for 3 years and remembering Borgen at same junior age, I think BB has the physical maturity and skill attributes to step in and be an impact contributor as a Gopher freshman in the new regime system. I know others have different view

Peruni is a unique story with no good HS dman style comparison, except possibly Achan on steroids. Loved Peruni in the Elite League, which regrettably is only in person time I saw him play. I see he has now been projected as high as 35th recently, vs 105th on final CSS report.

Best of luck to all these boys!

Stang5280
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Post by Stang5280 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:14 am

ThatMNHockeyGuy62 wrote:Did Bjugstad? I could have sworn he played through his senior year at Blaine.
That is correct, as he was Mr. Hockey in 2010.

The UMD situation from last year was born out of necessity, given that they had four seniors graduate from the 2017 Frozen Four squad, and Pionk left after two years. The original plan was for Samberg to spend a year at Waterloo, but Pionk leaving forced their hand, and Sandelin brought Samberg into the fold at almost this exact same time last year. Samberg at least had a chance to get his feet wet in the USHL, appearing in 14 games at the end of the season and during the playoffs, and all of the other Bulldog youngsters on the blue line had at least a full year of junior experience.

I seriously doubt that any of us who are furrowing our brows over this news wish any ill will to BB, and I personally hope that he will go on to have a great career and college experience. But it does seem to be a curious decision by the Gopher brass, and hopefully not one done out of short-term desperation at the expense of player development. (And just to head off any nitpicking, I do believe that a player accelerating their high school graduation is different from the UMD situations.)

gopherpuck516
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Post by gopherpuck516 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:58 am

Stang5280 wrote:
ThatMNHockeyGuy62 wrote:Did Bjugstad? I could have sworn he played through his senior year at Blaine.
That is correct, as he was Mr. Hockey in 2010.

I'm 99% sure Bjugstad's deal was he competed in his "senior" high school season during what should've been his junior year at Blaine. So he then played for the Gophers during what should've been his senior year of high school - if that makes sense..

As for Brinkman, you have to think Motzko plans to play him regularly this year, otherwise he'd have him stay at Edina or, more likely, go to the USHL. No sense bringing him in early to have him watch games from the stands when he has many other options of playing and developing elsewhere.

MNHockeyFan
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Post by MNHockeyFan » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:42 am

gopherpuck516 wrote:
Stang5280 wrote: As for Brinkman, you have to think Motzko plans to play him regularly this year, otherwise he'd have him stay at Edina or, more likely, go to the USHL. No sense bringing him in early to have him watch games from the stands when he has many other options of playing and developing elsewhere.
Odds are he is a player who will go pro early (assuming continued development under Motzko) so Gophers could very well get an extra year by bringing him in a year early.

karl(east)
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Post by karl(east) » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:11 am

gopherpuck516 wrote:
Stang5280 wrote:
ThatMNHockeyGuy62 wrote:Did Bjugstad? I could have sworn he played through his senior year at Blaine.
That is correct, as he was Mr. Hockey in 2010.

I'm 99% sure Bjugstad's deal was he competed in his "senior" high school season during what should've been his junior year at Blaine. So he then played for the Gophers during what should've been his senior year of high school - if that makes sense..
This is correct. Both Ness and Bjugstad accelerated their class after their sophomore years, so in effect skipped their junior years and were listed as seniors for their final year in high school. Poehling, on the other hand, skipped from being a junior to college. In theory the Ness/Bjugstad pathway is a bit easier as it lets kids plan out the academic side of things over more time, but I'm sure those who arrange credits carefully can set themselves up to have options, and online options probably make this easier than it used to be, too.

Stang5280
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Post by Stang5280 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:15 pm

MNHockeyFan wrote:[Odds are he is a player who will go pro early (assuming continued development under Motzko) so Gophers could very well get an extra year by bringing him in a year early.
Maybe? Hopefully? It’s pretty hard to predict pro prospect status before the evaluation process really even starts. This being Brinkman’s first year of draft eligibility, it is somewhat of a sink or swim season in determining his NHL stock. The few way-too-early 2019 projections I could find have BB as around an early second round pick. Which would be great, but CSS rankings won’t be out for several months, and some high round draft picks can end up staying in college for several seasons anyway (Riley Tufte, for example).

I really do hope that this move works out well for both BB and the team, as he is a very dynamic player whose game I enjoy watching. Perhaps the change of scenery and stronger competition will help him.

Stang5280
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Post by Stang5280 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:25 pm

karl(east) wrote:This is correct. Both Ness and Bjugstad accelerated their class after their sophomore years, so in effect skipped their junior years and were listed as seniors for their final year in high school. Poehling, on the other hand, skipped from being a junior to college. In theory the Ness/Bjugstad pathway is a bit easier as it lets kids plan out the academic side of things over more time, but I'm sure those who arrange credits carefully can set themselves up to have options, and online options probably make this easier than it used to be, too.
Thanks for clarifying, Karl. Reclassification to graduate early is pretty common in basketball, so it will be interesting to see whether it becomes a trend in hockey as well. Of course, the stakes are a bit higher for the NBA, and most basketball prospects are well known multiple years in advance.

gopherpuck516
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Post by gopherpuck516 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:42 pm

Ryan Poehling didn’t exactly set the world on fire his first season at SCSU but he ended up as a late 1st round pick, 25th overall I believe. He played 35 games as a freshman, and it’s important to consider it was under Bob Motzko, as BB also will be. If BB ends up playing 35 games and puts up the 13 points Poehling did as a freshman, I can definitely see him going in the 1st round and playing a maximum of 3 years at the U.

The Exiled One
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Post by The Exiled One » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:18 pm

gopherpuck516 wrote:Ryan Poehling didn’t exactly set the world on fire his first season at SCSU but he ended up as a late 1st round pick, 25th overall I believe. He played 35 games as a freshman, and it’s important to consider it was under Bob Motzko, as BB also will be. If BB ends up playing 35 games and puts up the 13 points Poehling did as a freshman, I can definitely see him going in the 1st round and playing a maximum of 3 years at the U.
Bit of Poehling trivia: He was the youngest player in D1 his freshman season. He was still the 33rd youngest player his sophomore season and still the youngest player on his team. Poehling was three months younger than Brinkman will be when he started his freshman season.

There are similarities between the two, but there are also plenty of differences.

gopherpuck516
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Post by gopherpuck516 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:15 pm

The Exiled One wrote:
gopherpuck516 wrote:Ryan Poehling didn’t exactly set the world on fire his first season at SCSU but he ended up as a late 1st round pick, 25th overall I believe. He played 35 games as a freshman, and it’s important to consider it was under Bob Motzko, as BB also will be. If BB ends up playing 35 games and puts up the 13 points Poehling did as a freshman, I can definitely see him going in the 1st round and playing a maximum of 3 years at the U.
Bit of Poehling trivia: He was the youngest player in D1 his freshman season. He was still the 33rd youngest player his sophomore season and still the youngest player on his team. Poehling was three months younger than Brinkman will be when he started his freshman season.

There are similarities between the two, but there are also plenty of differences.
One is a forward, the other a defenseman. That’s the biggest difference between the two, and the comparison was made because Poehling was the most recent similar situation as far as playing college hockey while they should be a senior in HS. Not taking anything away from him, but RP has two brothers on the SCSU team to help him with the transition, which had to have been helpful for him. Brinkman won’t have that, but he’ll have plenty of familiar faces from Edina on the team at the U. Poehling has progressed well, and hopefully Brinkman will as well. I have no idea if Brinkman will the the youngest player in D1 hockey this season but he will undoubtedly be close. He’ll presumably be within the youngest players the following season, and likely be one of, if not the, youngest player on the Gophers as a sophomore.

GoldenBear
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Post by GoldenBear » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:22 pm

I wish BB the best. I wonder if him being down in juniors for a month and a half after the season and being a healthy scratch in crowd had any bearing on his decision to not play Juniors this year or next year. Kind of a screw you guys mentality and that escalated him to Gophers. I saw that two Wayzata kids Ness and Schmidt got playing time after the season but Brinkman didn't.

Really interesting how many Hornets will be on the Gophers, may need Green4's analysis and another thread--but other then Ander's Lee, have any Hornets had a stellar college career in the past six/seven years? Not asking to pick on any kids, just using it as a potential gage to BB's college career--which may be two, three or four years.

The Phillips situation really puzzled me last year, he was basically a high school senior that was called up mid-season for the Gophers last year and he was a healthy scratch at the end of season-many games. I actually like Phillip's game a lot and put him equal to BB; actually liked Zulhsdorf's game better than both. Regardless, playing college hockey is great for these kids and I hope they all have good experiences that aren't limited by brash decisions.

GB

WestMetro
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Post by WestMetro » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:15 am

GB

And a certain Wayzata Dman had a great season in Waterloo!!

But of course there are no biased posters on this Forum!

green4
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Post by green4 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:38 am

GoldenBear wrote:I wish BB the best. I wonder if him being down in juniors for a month and a half after the season and being a healthy scratch in crowd had any bearing on his decision to not play Juniors this year or next year. Kind of a screw you guys mentality and that escalated him to Gophers. I saw that two Wayzata kids Ness and Schmidt got playing time after the season but Brinkman didn't.

Really interesting how many Hornets will be on the Gophers, may need Green4's analysis and another thread--but other then Ander's Lee, have any Hornets had a stellar college career in the past six/seven years? Not asking to pick on any kids, just using it as a potential gage to BB's college career--which may be two, three or four years.

The Phillips situation really puzzled me last year, he was basically a high school senior that was called up mid-season for the Gophers last year and he was a healthy scratch at the end of season-many games. I actually like Phillip's game a lot and put him equal to BB; actually liked Zulhsdorf's game better than both. Regardless, playing college hockey is great for these kids and I hope they all have good experiences that aren't limited by brash decisions.

GB
I am not surprised he graduated early, the fact that he was a sophomore captain might have been an early sign, but I trust that Motzko would only bring him up if he thought he was ready.
It was earlier noted that someone thought as Brinkman grew up that he started to be less physical, but I think he was just smarter with his body. From his sophomore year to his junior year he cut his penalty minutes by almost a third.
Sometimes Brinkman would look like absolutely the best player on the ice, someone who probably looks capable of making the jump to NCAA. Other times he looks like he is trying to do too much and gets sloppy.
Maybe this jump will help him because he will be surrounded by talent and he won't have to try and take over when things aren't going well. He can just work on his game. Again, I trust Motzko and will be rooting for the gophers and Brinkman.

With that said, yes, the Hornets have struggled at the next level. None of their big stars from high school have really had major success in college. There have been many role players and players in leadership positions, but no great stars.
Budish kind of gets ripped for never living up to his potential but he captained the gophers and had two 30 point seasons.
Malmquist is putting up about a half point a game the last two seasons, so not bad.
Fogerty captained Notre Dame and had about a half point a game average.
Joe Gleason I think was an alternate captain and had an alright career, not quite sure with him though.

Those might be the best performers at the college level for Edina. I could be missing one, but some of the big names like Hurley have not had as much success.
Though, I think there are some kids who might have a chance to be pretty good coming up. Bowlby had a nice first season at Harvard, plus Dornbach and Copeland had very good seasons in the USHL this last year.

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