Vancouver Canucks prospects ranking Top 20: #14 Guillaume Brisebois

GATINEAU, CANADA - NOVEMBER 25: Reilly Pickard /

If the Vancouver Canucks want to get this rebuild done the right way, they have to start with a strong pool of prospects.

The Vancouver Canucks need to draft well to be successful in their rebuild. Thanks to the scout-turned-general manager Jim Benning, drafting is no longer Vancouver’s Achilles tendon. That’s good news for the Canucks because they finally have a prospects pool that is worth ranking.

Drafting isn’t the end of the story, however. It is quite literally just the beginning for the majority of these prospects. If the Canucks want to get this rebuild done right, they need to develop their precious prospects well.

In the recent months following the Canucks’ full-hearted shift to a full-blown rebuild, fans saw that commitment in action. The two big trade deadline deals and the 2017 NHL Entry Draft gave this city a taste of the new Jim Benning, a new organizational mindset that put skill and speed before size and heart.

The Canucks have adopted a new mentality with their prospects so we are going to take a closer look at these young prospects. We present to you Week 2 of The Canuck Way 2017 Canucks Prospects Ranking.

The Canuck Way 2017 Canucks Prospects Ranking

Our TCW staff ranked all Canucks prospects. The criteria: whatever each writer thinks is important. Current position in the organization, talent, potential, and chance of NHL success. All prospects under 24 years of age were considered as long as they did not spend significant time in the NHL.

After looking at blueliner Evan McEneny yesterday, here is No. 14 Guillaume Brisebois!

vancouver canucks
GATINEAU, CANADA – NOVEMBER 25: Reilly Pickard /

No. 14 D Guillaume Brisebois

Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 186 lbs
DOB: 1997-07-21 (Age 20)
Drafted: 66th Overall, 2015 Entry Draft

2016-17 Stats: 61GP – 10G – 47PTS – 34PIM (QMJHL, Charlottetown Islanders)

Drafted with the pick that cost the Canucks an Eddie Lack, defenceman Guillaume Brisebois was not really welcomed to the city as a great pick in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Many questioned why he was being called upon by Team Canada in the World Juniors to be in camp. What did Benning and the folks at Team Canada see in Brisebois? Let’s look for ourselves.

 Strengths: Mobility, Hockey IQ & Leadership

Brisebois is a smart two-way defenseman who skates well and moves the puck effectively. His skating is smooth and agile, allowing him to control gaps easily and stay in position defensively to disrupt passing lanes. He also uses his foot speed to carry the puck up the ice with authority when the pass is not available.

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Whatever the case might be, Brisebois makes the smart decision that would not cost his team a turnover and a scoring chance against. Although effective offensively as a transition player, his focus is on the defensive side of things.

It should be noted that Brisebois nearly doubled his point production this season, after being traded from a depleted Acadie-Bathurst team to a strong Charlottetown squad.

Though his goal total (10) stayed the same, his assists more than doubled by increasing from 16 to 37. This is a testament to how great of a passer Brisebois has always been; he was always putting his teammates in good scoring chances and the forwards in Charlottetown simply converted on what those in Acadie-Bathurst could not.

Another difference that shows in Brisebois’s stat lines as a result of the trade to Charlottetown is that he led his team in the plus-minus department last year.

Frown at me all you want for using plus-minus as a measure to gauge performance, but being a leader for a certain statistic should be recognized as a positive indicator. His +35 rating as a defenceman was bested by only two others this past season.

In many ways, Brisebois’s game reflects Vancouver’s Chris Tanev.

Lastly, Brisebois is an impressive leader by the looks of it. After being dubbed the captain for his team in Acadie-Bathurst as a 17-year-old, Brisebois led the team as an 18-year-old until he was traded to Charlottetown, where he was named the captain only a couple of months after.

When Brisebois played in the Summer Prospects Showdown, he did not seem afraid to get involved physically. The other time he played in a Canucks uniform, Brisebois scored this nice goal in preseason action last year. The goal shows his ability to read the play developing, capped off by his underrated wrist shot that scouts say Brisebois should use more often.

Weaknesses: Lack of Aggressiveness

Brisebois’s positives mirror Tanev’s game and so do his weaknesses. Though both possess the height and the reach, Brisebois has always struggled to be a dominating physical force. Not that he got run over every night, no, but that he never took advantage of his size against smaller players.

At 6-foot-2 and just 186 pounds, the lanky Brisebois needs to add some muscle to his frame in order to be effective in the pro ranks.

Physical aggressiveness is not the only type of aggressiveness that Brisebois lacks. Brisebois was criticized before for not having enough urgency and needing more desperation in his play. That was last year. Is a call-up to Canada’s World Juniors squad an indication that Brisebois has added these traits to his game? We shall see.

Projection: Top-5 Defenseman

The intangibles are there, the frame is there, the two-way game is there and the history of a promising development is there. There isn’t much to dislike about Brisebois’s game and likewise, there is not much about Brisebois to say he won’t be a solid NHL defender one day. We project him to be a “fifth defenseman” who would play on the second pairing for a weak blueline but on the third pairing for a strong back end.

When he plays for the Utica Comets next season, let’s hope that Trent Cull, the new Utica bench boss, can develop Brisebois the same way he developed many Tampa Bay Lightning defenders with the Syracuse Crunch.

Next: Prospects Ranking Top 20 - #15 Evan McEneny

– 2017 TheCanuckWay Prospects Ranking Top 20 –

#15 – Evan McEneny
#16 – F Petrus Palmu

#17 – D Jack Rathbone

#18 – D Jalen Chatfield
#19 – F Cole Cassels

#20 – D Kristoffer Gunnarsson
The Honourable Mentions

If Brisebois shows that he can play against the toughest of competitions, there is nothing stopping him from becoming a bonafide top-4 defenceman. However, if Brisebois struggles to mature physically in the AHL, he won’t become much more than a depth player for the Vancouver Canucks.