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Brook : A promising prospect on the blueline

A second-round selection of the Canadiens in 2017, defenseman Josh Brook continues to impress game after game

by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, translated by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

LAVAL - Defenseman Josh Brook has already surpassed his single-season high in goals from last year.

The Roblin, MB native has six goals in 15 games since the start of the 2018-19 campaign, after scoring three times in 45 games last season. Nevertheless, Brook still finished the 2017-18 season with 32 points and an impressive plus-47 differential.

On Tuesday night, the captain of the WHL's Moose Jaw Warriors scored a highlight-reel goal against the Tri-City Americans.

Tweet from @TheWHL: 🎥 WHL Highlight of the Night 🎥November 13, 2018@CanadiensMTL prospect @jbrooksy99 of @MJWARRIORS #WHLHoN

Brook admitted that it wasn't the first time he'd tried the maneuver.

"It's a good thing that the puck crossed the goal line because I try that move a lot during practices and it never works," said Brook with a laugh.

In addition to his six markers, Brook also has 15 assists for a total of 21 points in 15 games. That translates to an average of 1.40 points per game.

The 19-year-old, who ranks sixth among WHL defensemen in points, believes there's one key reason behind his success.

"I think a big thing is that I'm healthy this year. I had some injuries last season," explained Brook. "I think my level of confidence is also higher this year and I feel good."

Tweet from @MJWARRIORS: Last night, @CanadiensMTL prospect Josh Brook (@jbrooksy99) had 1-2-3pts against Tri City & now has 101 career points in 159 games.Congratulations Captain on reaching this milestone(photo @MarcSmith18)

One word : Passionate

Laval Rocket head coach Joël Bouchard has been around Brook since he was 16 years old as a result of his involvement with Hockey Canada. 

Bouchard, who coached Brook during September's rookie tournament, insists that the young rearguard really loves the games.

"He's a passionate kid. He wants to be a difference-maker in a game. He wants to be on the ice. I think those are all important qualities in a player if you want to play hockey for a living," explained Bouchard. "In Josh's case, he wants to play hockey."

Bouchard also believes that Brook is a perfect example of the type of defenseman teams are looking for in hockey today.

"He has an interesting offensive side to his game. He's so dynamic. His game is perfect for hockey in 2018. He's capable of joining the rush and leading the power play," noted Bouchard. "I think that his engagement, his passion and his desire to be on the ice and to make a difference really makes him fun to work with."

Decisions on the horizon

Brook, who agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with the Canadiens on September 21st, will be trying to secure a spot on the Canadian roster for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Les Canadiens s'entendent sur les modalit��s d'un contrat d'entr��e de trois ans avec le d��fenseur Josh Brook.D��TAILS -> #GoHabsGo

The annual tournament runs from December 26 through January 5 in Vancouver and Victoria.

The 56th overall selection in 2017 isn't too pre-occupied with the selection process, though.

"I need to focus on my game and not think about it too much. If I play well, everything should be fine. I'm not too worried about it," explained Brook. 

Bouchard believes Brook will surely be given an opportunity with the squad.

"A guy like that definitely has to be on the list. He's someone who was in the Hockey Canada program with us," said the former NHL defenseman. "He's been doing what he has to do since the start of the season to be ready. Now, it's up to him to continue the process."

Interestingly enough, Team Canada will be helmed by Brook's head coach in Moose Jaw, Tim Hunter.

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