A few thoughts on Bryce Brodzinski and the NHL draft. Interesting and somewhat puzzling to see the recipient of the 2018-19 Mr. Hockey Award, given to the best HS hockey player in the State of Minnesota, selected by the Flyers in the 7th and final round @ 196. He just barely qualified for the 2018 Draft based upon his birth date (Aug. 9, 2000) and was subsequently passed over last season, so this was his second shot at the draft.
Sammy Walker, 2017-18 Mr. Hockey was also selected in the 7th round @ 200 in the 2017 draft, but that was before his senior HS season (2017-18) after which he won the award. So Brodzinski's low draft pick did raise some eyebrows.
There's certainly no question about Brodzinski's dominating performance in MN HS hockey last season (32-44-76 in 23 games) as a captain at Blaine HS. But judging a player based solely on a career best HS season was apparently a tough call for NHL teams.
It’s noteworthy that Brodzinski was a bit older and perhaps a more physically solid player (6'0" @ 196-200lbs) than most HS players. However, his short stint in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers proved he can compete at a higher level (7-10-17 in 19 games), a team that struggled scoring goals last season and ranked 15th/17 teams in GF.
Nevertheless, some GMs may have speculated that his performance was enhanced by beating up on the smaller high school competition. I suspect NHL teams were not keen on taking a risk with Bryce thinking his performance against lower level competition might be a false positive and not translate to a more advanced level of play.
It should be interesting to see how Brodzinski fits into the lineup for the Gophers this season. Seems to me he has something to prove to himself and others, and especially NHL teams who waited too long and passed him over again. IMO the Flyers snatched up on a bargain with Brodzinski with his obvious innate ability to find open space and the back of the net as a natural goal scorer. Based upon the Flyers current rebuilding strategy from top to bottom, if Brodzinski excels they may come calling in two seasons.