The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Drummondville Voltigeurs center Derick Brassard
(pronounced bruh-SAHRD) with the sixth overall pick in the 2006 National Hockey League Entry Draft, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced Saturday. Brassard was the Blue Jackets’ first pick in their seventh NHL draft, held at General Motors Place in Vancouver. A complete draft recap will be released at the conclusion of the draft.
"Derick Brassard is a very gifted player who has been on our radar all year and we are pleased and proud to welcome him to the Blue Jackets organization," said MacLean. "He has great speed, excellent vision and quick hands. We think he has tremendous upside and the potential to be a top line center in the National Hockey League."
Brassard tallied 44 goals and 72 assists for 116 points with 92 penalty minutes in 58 games with Drummondville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, leading the team in scoring. He added 5-4-9 with 10 penalty minutes in seven playoff games. He was named First Team All-Star and received the Michael Bossy Trophy as the QMJHL’s best professional prospect.
The 6-0, 172-pound native of Hull, Quebec, was selected to play in the 2006 Top Prospects Game in Ottawa, selected to the Quebec All-Star team for the Canada-Russia Challenge and was a member of the 2004-05 Team Canada Under-18 Team. He entered this year's draft as the fourth-rated North American Skater in Central Scouting's final player rankings. In 137 career QMJHL games, Brassard has scored 69-124-193 with 117 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +12.
"We think our organization has a group of forwards in Rick Nash, Nikolai Zherdev, Alexandre Picard and Gilbert Brule who are among the most exciting, young players in the game,” added MacLean. “Derick is a great addition and will be a terrific compliment to that mix."
Central Scouting Report: Is a very good skater with speed and mobility who is strong on his feet with good acceleration ... changes direction quickly in tight quarters and can carry the puck end-to-end ... playing at very high skill level he is a great playmaker that can score as well ... sees the ice and reads the play smartly with very good decision making in all areas of the ice ... can beat defenders one-on-one and has very accurate wrist and slap shots ... plays center and the point on power-plays ... can strip the puck away with his quick and aggressive forecheck ... works very hard killing penalties where he is a always a threat to score ... he just loves to play hockey and competes every game, making many good plays deep in his own end to help get puck out when his defensemen get in trouble ... while he is not a physical player, he takes the body when necessary and shows good anticipation to break up plays ... is quick to loose pucks – does not hesitate to take the puck directly through traffic to the net ... Drummondville ‘s second pick in the 2003-04 QMJHL draft, 18th overall ... selected to play in 2006 Top Prospects Game in Ottawa ... selected to the Quebec All-Star team for Canada- Russia Challenge – member of Canada’s 2004-05 Under 18 team ... a member of Team Quebec in the 2004 Under-17 world hockey challenge.