Josh Brook: Indirect promotion and big year

Published August 24, 2021 at 9:41

A 2nd round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 2017, defenseman Josh Brook moved up the team's defensemen pecking order following the selection of Cale Fleury by the Seattle Kraken.

Brook, 22, was labeled an offensive defenseman in junior, scoring 75 points in 59 games in his final season with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL. Since his professional debut, the right-handed defenseman has been trying to adapt his game to that of the AHL, to eventually prove that he belongs in the NHL one day.

On the other hand, Brook is proving to be a long-term project for the CH and will have to take his game up a notch this season, as he will be in the last year of his contract before becoming a restricted free agent. In two "full" seasons with the Laval Rocket, he has 28 points. In the 2019-20 season, he played the majority of the season on the third pair of defense and saw more time on the second pair last season. While there has been some improvement in his play from season to season, he has yet to prove that he has what it takes to break into the NHL.

However, with a smaller pool of prospects on the right side of the defense, Josh Brook will have the opportunity to climb even higher in the club's hierarchy at that position if he is able to have a good training camp and/or a good start to the season in Laval. In order to do so, he will need to build an identity on the ice, as his role is somewhat uncertain (he was even used on offense for a few games last season).

In the event that Chris Wideman, signed as a free agent this summer, doesn't get the job done (or simply in case of injury), Brook could be among the first defensemen recalled following the departures of Cale Fleury (Seattle) and Otto Leskinen (KHL). Besides Xavier Ouellet, who is likely to be the first one recalled, those two defensemen would probably have been ahead of him on the recall list.

In short, without saying that this is his last chance, this season will definitely be crucial for Josh Brook's future in the Montreal Canadiens organization. He may see his workload increase again this season, it remains to be seen how he will adapt.

To be continued...
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