Born: October 17, 1996 Age: 18 Hometown: Edmonton, AB Height: 6’0’’ Weight: 174 Position: LW Team: Swift Current (WHL) CSS Rank: 19th among North American skaters Swift Current winger Jake DeBrusk finished sixth in the Western Hockey League in goal scoring with 42 in 72 games this season. While his father, Louie, made a career out of being an enforcer in the NHL, Jake will likely be more apt to use his hands for putting the biscuit in the basket.
“I think we’d both agree that we are different hockey players,” Jake told NHL.com.
Jake says he doesn’t hear too many comparisons to his father, who played 401 NHL games, scoring 24 goals and adding 17 assists and 1,161 penalty minutes for the Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks.
While Louie was drafted in the third round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Jake looks to be chosen higher, perhaps even in the second half of the first round.
The younger DeBrusk has earned his way into that conversation, having doubled his point production in his second WHL season from his 2013-14 rookie numbers. He jumped from 39 points (15-24-39) to 81 (42-39-81) in the same number of games. His work ethic and willingness to go to the hard areas have helped make him a top prospect in the upcoming 2015 NHL Draft.
“His work ethic is off the charts but what also helps are those 42 goals he scored. He’s a 40-goal scorer who does the dirty work in front of the net. His greatest strength is his compete level,” said NHL Central Scouting’s Peter Sullivan.
Photo by Getty Images.
DeBrusk is Central Scouting’s 19th-ranked North American skater ahead of the Draft. That aforementioned work ethic, his goal-scoring abilities and instincts got him there. Now it’s just a matter of where he will go come the end of June.
NHL.com asked DeBrusk what it would mean to him to be drafted by and play for his hometown team; the one his father once suited up for.
“It would be amazing to play for the Oilers; I grew up in Edmonton and saw my first Oilers game when I was young,” DeBrusk said. “I was there during that playoff run in 2006 so to be drafted by that team would be amazing. It’d be amazing to be drafted by any team. I can’t really control that.”
Although they may be different players, having a father, now a hockey analyst for Sportsnet, who has been through the experiences of an NHL career and who has high-level hockey knowledge, can only be seen as a positive for DeBrusk heading into the draft.
According to Mike Morreale of NHL.com, DeBrusk will meet will all 30 NHL teams. His interview with the Oilers is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
A scout, according to The Hockey News: “Jake DeBrusk has really impressed me. Tireless worker. Almost has that 200-foot game because he plays in all three zones, but he’s not a power forward. He will outhustle and outsmart you.”
Another scout: “Fearless, with a nose for the net. Really good hockey sense.”
Curtis Joe of Elite Prospects: “A two-way winger with good mobility and scoring ability. Willing to battle in the dirty areas and can always find the puck and make the smart play below the hashmarks. Shows good creativity and deception with the puck. Good individual skills and makes good use of any time and space found. DeBrusk won’t beat you up physically, but he can definitely beat you up on the scoreboard. All-in-all, a competitive two-way winger with the natural goal scorer’s instincts.”