After a solid four-year career at Boston University – which was capped by a national championship during his senior season of 2008-09 – Brandon Yip headed to the pro ranks in hopes of making a mark with either the Lake Erie Monsters or the Colorado Avalanche.
Although an early injury cost him a large chunk of the season, Yip didn’t exactly fall behind the eight ball. After a brief stint in Cleveland, Yip received an opportunity to play in Denver and quickly went from an injury fill-in to an everyday member of Colorado’s lineup.
The right wing finished his first NHL season with 11 goals and eight assists in 32 games and ended up leading all NHL rookies in goals-per-game (0.34).
The following is a look back at Yip’s rookie season.Professional Debut – Dec. 1, 2009
Yip’s first professional game was delayed a few months after he suffered a hand injury during a preseason game between the Avalanche and St. Louis Blues on Sept. 18.
Reassigned to the Lake Erie Monsters after recovering from his injury, the long layoff didn’t seem to affect Yip very much. The winger scored on his only shot during his first American Hockey League game, helping the Monsters earn a 6-2 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins.Avalanche Debut - Dec. 19, 2009
After skating in only six games for the Monsters (and recording two goals), Yip was recalled by the Avalanche on Dec. 18. The parent club had suffered a handful of injuries, opening up a roster spot.
Yip made his NHL debut on Dec. 19 versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, totaling 6:39 of ice time and recording two shots on goal. The Vancouver native would go on to spend the rest of the season in Denver.First Goal – Dec. 22, 2009
Yip netted his first NHL tally almost as quickly as he scored his first AHL goal. In only his third game after being recalled from Lake Erie, the rookie opened the game’s scoring against the Anaheim Ducks with a marker just 2:09 into the opening frame.
Yip first chipped a Brett Clark pass into Anaheim’s zone, where it was gathered by Matt Hendricks. Yip then skated into the right faceoff circle, where he took a return feed from Hendricks and fired a low shot past Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller. Happy New Year – Dec 31, 2009
On the final evening of the year 2009, Yip produced one of his most memorable games of the season. After notching his first career NHL assist the night before against the Ottawa Senators, Yip scored a pair of power-play goals on New Year’s Eve against the Detroit Red Wings.
“It was unbelievable. I definitely remember watching the Detroit/Colorado playoff series growing up. I couldn’t believe I was actually playing at Joe Louis Arena. The fans were wild. Unfortunately we lost, but picking up a couple of goals, I definitely won’t forget that.” Seeing Double – Feb. 2, 2010
Just two games after notching his first career multi-assist effort against the Dallas Stars, Yip came through with a pair of tallies as the Avalanche defeated Columbus, 5-1.
The rookie netted his seventh goal of the season during the second period by cutting hard to the net and depositing a Kyle Cumiskey feed to give the Avalanche a 2-1 advantage (the tally also went down as the game-winner). He would then record the eighth goal of his freshman campaign just 41 seconds into the final frame. After T.J. Galiardi missed the net with a turnaround shot from the slot, Yip swooped in and put a low backhander on goal that beat Columbus netminder Mathieu Garon.And Again… - Feb. 8, 2010
In what seemed to quickly be turning into a trend, Yip recorded his third multi-goal game of the campaign in Colorado’s 5-2 triumph over the St. Louis Blues.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound forward scored a power-play goal in the opening frame and also capped the game’s scoring in the second period – his 10th and 11th goals of the year. After going pointless in his first two NHL games, this contest ended a 20-game stretch in which Yip totaled 18 points (11g/7a).Shoulder Injury – March 1
With expectations growing by the day for Yip, the rookie suffered an unfortunate shoulder injury in March. During the Avalanche’s first game following the Olympic Break, Yip was hurt after absorbing a hit late in Colorado’s home game against the Detroit Red Wings.
The forward would go on to miss 14 games from March 3-31. He returned on April 2 against the Calgary Flames and played in each of Colorado’s final six regular season games.April 16 – Playoff Performer
In just his second NHL postseason outing, Yip recorded a goal and an assist in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks.
The winger would go on to record four points (2g/2a) in six playoff games, finishing second on the Avalanche in both playoff goals and points.