Montreal Canadiens: Josh Brook Heating Up For Laval Rocket

LAVAL, QC - DECEMBER 10: Josh Brook. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
LAVAL, QC - DECEMBER 10: Josh Brook. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens prospect Josh Brook looked like a steal of a pick for the Habs when he was playing Junior hockey.

He was exceptional at both ends of the ice for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. After being drafted in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft, Brook would score 16 goals and 75 points in 59 games in his final Junior season.

At 6’1″ and 192 pounds, it appeared Brook had the size, physicality, defensive awareness and offensive abilities to be a great two-way force at the NHL level in the future.

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That’s why it was such a disappointment when he struggled in his first season with the Laval Rocket. Brook scored just four goals and 13 points in 60 games for the Rocket last season and had a hard time defending against professionals. He did improve as the season went along and looked more comfortable late in the year, but overall it wasn’t a great debut.

This season didn’t start out all that well for Brook either. In his first four games he had one assist but made a few errors in the defensive zone that led to him being benched for a pair of games. Rocket head coach Joel Bouchard elected to play Junior defensemen Kaiden Guhle and Gianni Fairbrother in a couple of games and gave Brook a couple of nights off.

Sitting in the press box seems to have waken up the 21 year old right shot defender.

Since the benching, Brook has played eight games and has two goals and six points in those contests. What really stands out as being improved in Brook’s game is his decision making with the puck. There is very little hesitation and he makes smart, crisp passes more frequently than he ever did last season.

This was evident on the Rocket’s third goal on Thursday night.

Brook came out of the penalty box and made a body check in the defensive zone that caused a turnover. He then jumped into the rush, accepted a drop pass and immediately fired the puck across the ice to Jordan Weal who wasted no time putting the puck in the net.

Brook doesn’t have a highlight reel assist like that every night, but he has much improved his play with the puck and is getting better in the defensive end as well.

It’s just his second year of pro hockey, and the strides he has taken are enormous. Brook has all of the tools to be an impact player at the NHL level. It’s been fun watching him put those tools together this season.

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If he can continue in this direction, he will be making these plays for the Canadiens by next season.