“Five For…” is a Q&A feature with NHL Draft eligibles that touches on their lives and careers leading into the 2020 NHL Draft. This edition features forward Brendan Brisson of the Chicago Steel.
This was a remarkable season for the Chicago Steel.
They won the Anderson Cup as regular season champions, they had five of the top six USHL scorers, and they were the first team in USHL history to have the top overall scorer, top rookie scorer, and the top scoring defenseman.
That rookie, was the son of NHL Agent Pat Brisson, Brendan Brisson. He collected the most points by a rookie in Steel history with 59 (24 goals, 35 assists) in 45 games. This came after his final season with Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep School, where he put up 42 goals, 59 assists, and 101 points in 55 games.
Ranked 79th in Future Considerations Spring Rankings, the Manhattan Beach, California native is committed to the University of Michigan next season.
Future Considerations recently caught up with Brisson:
FC: The Steel had a great season this year, what was it about this team that was so good?
Brisson: “I really think it was our attitude. Our team looked good on paper, we knew that, but just the fact that everyone bought into our systems, everyone bought into getting better every single day. After practice, everyone would stay out on the ice. Whether it shooting, or different types of skating drills, working on their edges, working on faceoffs. Just being around that environment, it propelled my game as well. Seeing how much it helped other people’s games too, it was really cool to see. I think it really showed when we played on the ice, just seeing how we worked harder than everyone else in practice and the weight room and that really paid off.”
FC: Looking at your season, what are your thoughts on how it went?
BB: “I think it went really well. Aside from the numbers or the stats, I feel like just as a player I got a lot better, I got a lot more complete. I saw a lot more different examples with all the different coaching staff and learning opportunities that we had with the Steel, whether it was Darryl Belfry, our coaching staff with Coach Garman, our goalie coach who told us how to score, or different ways to attack the net. Just when you put all of those things together and you’re willing to learn, it helped my game a lot and helped me put the puck in the back of the net and find my teammates.”
FC: Is there one point in the season that stands out for you?
BB: “Yeah, the (World) Junior A Challenge was really special to me. Just getting the opportunity and I feel like I played really well there. Just being able to wear to USA jersey for the first time was something special to me and playing against Canada, Russia, the Czechs, it was just surreal. That was really special. And then with the Steel, there wasn’t really one moment that stood out to me, just literally every single day was a great day. We really had no yesterdays in a sense, we would just move on every single day and our coaching staff and our players would get better, even if it was just one percent better. Just having that mindset really stuck out to me the whole year. “
FC: How disappointed were you and the team with the cancellation of the season?
BB: “It was really weird. We had just played the second-best team in the league and we swept them. So we went back to practice and practiced hard all week and the day before a game we found out that the season was being paused, and we were like ‘ok, we’ll be back in two weeks, it’s not a good bye right now, it’s just see you in two weeks.” Then, we found out that the season was cancelled. Obviously, it was sad with everything we could have accomplished, but it was more disappointing that our team never really got a proper goodbye or anything with how close we were and how hard we worked all year. And then it was just over in a snap. I think we had a really good chance of winning the Clark Cup, and with all of the broken records, it was just great being part of such a special group, and how close we were.”
FC: Who was your favourite player growing up?
BB: “I was a big fan Evgeni Malkin. I wore 71 as a kid. But it was hard for me to pick one favourite player. I have this memory where Anze Kopitar asked me why I wore 71 instead of (his number) 11. And at the time, I’ll never forget this, I said ‘well seven plus one equals eight and I’m eight years old.’ I thought I would make him feel bad if he knew I was wearing 71 because of Malkin. It was hard having a favourite player because me and my family had personal relationships with players.”