Blue Jackets Prospect Report: Gavin Brindley Named Big Ten Player of the Year

Gregory Fisher | Icon Sportswire

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect and forward for the University of Michigan Gavin Brindley has recently been named the Big Ten hockey player of the year. He has also made the Big Ten “first team” and was named Scoring Champion. The young forward had a successful sophomore year and is about to play in the Big Ten finals against Michigan State University on Saturday, March 23, at 8:00 PM EST. In 36 games played Brindley has scored 24 goals and 27 assists for 51 points. He’s accrued 22 penalty minutes and has a plus/minus of 19.

Drafted in the second round and 34th overall in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, Brindley was the second pick by the Blue Jackets after they had drafted Adam Fantilli 3rd overall in the first round. The two had been teammates at the University of Michigan and Fantilli had Gavin Brindley be a witness when he signed his NHL contract. The Blue Jackets are no strangers to drafting Michigan Wolverines. In addition to Brindley and Fantilli, they signed former UMich captain Nick Blankenburg in April 2022 and drafted defenseman Zach Werenski (2015), and forward Kent Johnson (2021).

Where Will He Fit?

Currently, the Blue Jackets have a lot of young prospects in different stages of their development. Some are in the NCAA like Brindley, there are others in junior, major junior, minor leagues, and the KHL. The Blue Jackets should have plenty of depth forwards develop over the next few seasons. This could mean there may not be a rush to get Gavin Brindley to the NHL, but if he develops quickly he could jump to the front of the line.

At 5’9″ and 168lbs, 19-year-old Brindley is not as big as some, but his size and skill have been compared to players such as Conor Sheary and Brad Marchand. His defensive skills have received praise in addition to his puck handling. Brindley is a fast skater, and not afraid to make hits. Another thing to note is that he never stops moving when he’s on the ice. From end-to-end Gavin Brindley always seems to be where the action is.

Brindley is a high-motor player who excels on the defensive side of the puck. He’s a tenacious forechecker and reliable in defensive zone coverage. He’s always in motion, always attacking lanes, bouncing around defenders to find them, especially on the power play. He anticipates plays ahead of time and moves to support them.

EliteProspects 2023 NHL Draft Guide

Whether he is in the NHL next year or later, in my projection I see Gavin Brindley eventually fitting somewhere in the Blue Jackets top six. He could be flexible as he has some experience playing center and wing. Adam Fantilli is projected to be the Blue Jacket’s number-one center one day. If the two former teammates can develop some chemistry, Brindley could join Fantilli on the top line. Having played defense growing up, he is also able to transition well. Combine that with his puck-handling skills and it could be a recipe to help support other high-scoring forwards and lock in a top 6 spot.

The ingredients for success are present in Gavin Brindley. If his development goes well he may not need a long time to cook before he’s ready for the NHL. Even though he may be a little undersized his speed, play-making, puck-handling, and defensive abilities may be what the Blue Jackets need in the future.

218. Two Thorns, No Rose CBJectively Speaking

Jeremy welcomes Kyle to the show as we talk about the news and notes for all things Columbus Blue Jackets this week. Did we get some GM news? Gavin Brindley back to Ann Arbor? You won't want to miss it!Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Thread, and Twitter: @CBJectivelyPodCheck us out on Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube: CBJectively SpeakingGive Kyle a follow on Twitter: @KylesArtilleryRate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen!Check out our website: www.cbjectivelyspeaking.comCheck out our merchandise: www.cbjectivelymerch.comJeremy's Stories: https://insidetherink.com/author/jpaul/Laura's Stories: https://insidetherink.com/author/lnorman/
  1. 218. Two Thorns, No Rose
  2. 217. Jeff Rimer, The G.O.A.T.
  3. 216. Future Reality TV Stars?
  4. 215. Blue Jackets Breakdown
  5. 214. Deadline Delusion

Lance Schrock

Credentialed Writer covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. Host of the BrewJackets Podcast.

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