Nashville Predators Prospect Profile: Bobby Brink

BUFFALO, NY - MAY 30: Bobby Brink poses for a portrait at the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine on May 30, 2019 at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - MAY 30: Bobby Brink poses for a portrait at the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine on May 30, 2019 at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Bobby Orr Brink has been mocked to the Nashville Predators in some mock drafts. If he’s available, should the Predators use the 24th pick to grab the Sioux City Musketeers prospect?

Bobby Brink is a name that has shown up in mock drafts around the Nashville Predators’ pick range. He’s a right-winger from the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL, a league that has been growing and building it’s reputation as a developer of high-end hockey talent. ESPN’s Chris Peters dubbed Brink as having the best vision of any prospect in the 2019 draft, noting that “…Brink consistently made plays that you couldn’t even see were available to him. He operates in the offensive zone as well as anyone in the class.”

The NHL draft is not as simple to mock as, say the NFL or NBA drafts. Prospects come from a number of different leagues, countries, and skill-levels. Professional hockey scouts have the monumental task of sorting through the hundreds of players and determining who is going to be the next key player for their team. For a fan to suggest they have extensive knowledge of many of these players would be a stretch. According to mock drafts and player rankings available, though, Brink looks like he might be there when it comes time for the Nashville Predators to make their selection.  Here’s a rundown of Brink as a prospect and why he deserves consideration when the Predators pick at #24.

Meet Brink

Bobby Orr Brink (yes, he was named after that Bobby Orr) stands 5’8′ and weighs 165 pounds. He plays on the right-winger and is a right-handed shot. Hailing from Excelsior, MN, Brink turns 18 in July, so while his size is a concern in some regard, he still has some room to grow physically.

The aforementioned Chris Peters recently ranked Brink as the #32 overall prospect in the 2019 NHL Draft, while a quick look at eliteprospects.com shows a number of sites slotting him anywhere from #15 to #37.

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In 2017-18, Brink was named to the USHS All-USA Hockey Third Team, and followed that accomplishment up in 2018-19 by being named to the USHL First All-Star Team and USHL Forward of the Year. In addition, Bobby Brink was added to the U18 World Championship, scoring three goals and nabbing three assists in five games.

Brink accumulated 35 goals, including a league-leading 9 game-winning goals, and 33 assists in 43 games with Sioux City in the 2018-19 season, despite missing 12 games due to a broken ankle. His scoring rate in the USHL was bested by only Thomas Vanek among under-18 full-time USHL players over the past 20 years.

Brink plans to attend the University of Denver in the fall.

Consistently noted as Brink’s strengths are his elite vision, an excellent shot, creativity, and hockey IQ.  Brink’s ability to find spots in the offensive zone to set himself up for shots or create space for teammates is invaluable and with experience, should only improve. For a Predators team that struggled with the man-advantage, those are all skills with which they should be looking to bolster their system.

Obviously, his size is pointed to as a weakness, but the success of a number of smaller players in today’s NHL should ease those concerns, somewhat. His foot-speed is the bigger concern, however, since he’ll need to create space for his special skill-set to shine.

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Picking in the first round for the first time in a while, the Nashville Predators will want to make this one count. A player like Bobby Brink would bring an elite toolbox of offensive skills – not to mention the excellent name – to the Preds’ player pool. Some players Brink has been compared to include T.J. Oshie, Mark Recchi, and David Pastrnak. If Brink ends up producing similar to any of those players, the Predators will have found themselves a gem.