Derick Brassard
Derick Brassard
32-Year-Old CenterC
New York Islanders
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The Quebec native is a perennial power-play producer who's banked 176 goals and 275 assists through 786 career contests, but his lack of continuity with a given club is a legitimate concern. Amazingly, Brassard's been associated with six teams over the last eight years, including a three-way split between the Penguins, Panthers and Avalanche in 2018-19. The left-shooting center punched his own ticket out of Colorado after an uninspiring 2019 playoff run that saw him pick up a single point -- an assist -- in addition to a curious illness in the opening series against Calgary. Brassard managed to ink a one-year deal with the Islanders in late August, but he'll need to adapt to another new system on the fly. As it stands now, a top-six role is out of the question. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the Islanders in August of 2019.
Helps spark rally
CNew York Islanders
November 16, 2019
Brassard had two assists and two shots on goal, along with a plus-2 rating, in Saturday's 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers.
The 32-year-old assisted on the Isles' first two goals as New York erased a 3-0 deficit in the third period. Brassard got off to a very slow start to the season, picking up just one assist in his first eight games. He's been incredibly productive ever since, racking up six goals and 12 points in 10 games. After bouncing between three teams in 2018-19, it appears Brassard has found a home.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Rather than seeking depth on the left wing, GM Jim Rutherford convinced Matt Cullen to return to Pittsburgh for another run at the Stanley Cup, which has Brassard slotted over to the wing to play alongside Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel in 2018-19. With that in mind, lines in today's NHL are fluid and head coach Mike Sullivan could opt to return the 30-year-old playmaker to a third-line center role periodically throughout the upcoming campaign. Acquired in a complex trade with Ottawa last February, Brassard labored through a lower-body injury and ended up notching three goals and five assists in 14 regular-season outings for the Pens, albeit with just four points in three times as many postseason games. The success of the top power-play unit likely shifts the Quebec native to the No. 2 group, however, he should still get some chances to contribute with the man advantage and thus deserves consideration in the middle rounds.
Brassard had a disappointing first season with the Senators in 2016-17, tallying just 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists) in 81 games after falling in around 60 points per season over the prior two campaigns with the Rangers. The 2006 first-round pick’s decline in production can partially be attributed to a lack of chemistry with his new teammates, but fantasy owners shouldn't bank on him returning to the 60-point threshold until he proves he can do so in the Senators’ defensive-minded system. Additionally, the 29-year-old pivot underwent shoulder surgery in early June with the expectation that he'd be fully recovered in 4-to-5 months. That means he could be in danger of missing the first month of the regular season, further damaging his draft stock. Brassard certainly has the skill to improve on his production from a season ago in 2017-18, but as the fall’s fantasy drafts approach, he should be considered a high-upside depth option in most formats.
Despite being arguably the Rangers’ most consistent scorer last season – especially on the power play, where he notched eight goals and 22 points – Brassard saw his three-plus-year tenure on Broadway come to an end over the summer with a trade to Canada’s capital for fellow center Mika Zibanejad. The sixth overall pick in 2006 will be 29 when the 2016-17 campaign arrives, and he’s in his prime, having seen his scoring spike to around 60 points in the last two seasons. Brassard will immediately assume the role of ostensibly second-line pivot behind Kyle Turris, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the new acquisition be more like No. 1A, nearly evenly splitting minutes with the supposed top dog. He’s enjoyed good health for much of his career – including 80 or more games for three straight seasons now – and thus makes for a safe, high-floor fantasy pick. However, be aware that his shooting percentage experienced an essentially never-before-seen spike last season, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see his goal total fall from 27 into the lower 20s.
The sixth overall pick in 2006, Brassard finally rose up and came into his own as an offensive force last year, easily exceeding his previous career high in points by reaching 60 in his second full season as a Ranger. He was also one of very few Blueshirts who performed well in the postseason, as the team went through stretches when Brassard seemed to be the only one scoring at all. He'll reprise his role as the second-line center this year, but New York's top two lines are more like 1 and 1A, so Brassard's minutes should again be close to first-line center Derek Stepan's. With 18 power-play points in each of the last two seasons, the slick puckhandler projects to remain a force on the man advantage. Unfortunately, while Brassard has a very good shot, he doesn't use it as often as you might expect; however, if he does manage to bring his shot totals up, his goal scoring could spike into the 20s for the first time this season.
Entering last season, Brassard was widely viewed as a player on the cusp of a breakout season. Although his 45 points could be considered rather pedestrian from a third-line perspective, Columbus' former sixth overall pick (2006) still has a boatload of promise to fulfill. With the offseason amnesty buyout of Brad Richards, Brassard is slated to move up to the team's second line this season, when he could finally make good on the long-awaited expectations.
If there is any forward on the New York Rangers roster poised to have a break out season, it's Brassard, a former first round pick (6th overall, 2006), 6'1, 200-pound center. Since being acquired with Derek Dorsett and John Moore in exchange for Marian Gaborik at the 2013 trading deadline, Brassard was a plus-4 with seven goals, 16 assists in just 25 games with the Rangers. Brassard's role will depend on how Brad Richards performs out of the gate. He could either receive ice time with top-6 forwards or center for the third line. If Richards falters as he did down the stretch last season, Brassard could clean up nicely in a top-6 slot, positioning himself to break career records. Depending on the depth of your league, this type of scenario could pay large dividends.
No longer a young prospect with upside, Brassard heads into this season as a 25-year-old former first round pick who's dangerously close to being labeled a bust; he's never recorded more than 17 goals or 47 points in a season despite multiple chances to center for an all-world talent like Rick Nash. The Blue Jackets will be counting on Brassard to emerge from Nash's shadow and become one of the new offensive leaders on the roster, but, if he keeps producing at the same mediocre level that he has so far, it's hard to see him keeping a top-six role over competition from a developing Ryan Johansen and new additions like Nick Foligno and Brandon Dubinsky. This will be a make-or-break year for Brassard in Columbus, where he either starts living up to his potential or brands himself as yet another failed Jackets draft pick who needs a fresh start elsewhere to salvage his career.
It was another disappointing season for Brassard, who couldn't stick on Rick Nash's line and even dropped out of the top-six entirely at times. 17 goals and 47 points were both career highs, however, and the slick, skilled pivot stayed (mostly) healthy for the second straight season. The acquisition of Jeff Carter takes the pressure off Brassard to be a number one center, a role for which he's not really suited anyway due to his build, and another season of maturity should allow him to break the 50-point mark while anchoring the club's second line.
Barssard managed to stay healthy last season, but that's about the only thing that went right for the youngster. He scored fewer goals in 79 games than he had in 31 contests as a rookie and generally collapsed in on himself under the pressure of being the team's #1 center. Ken Hitchcock's firing didn't seem to perk him up like it did some other Blue Jackets, and this coming season will be a crucial one for his development. At his best Brassard has the elite vision and creativity of a top-shelf playmaker, if not the size you look for in a true modern #1 center, and it's very easy to imagine him being a great fit alongside Rick Nash, but it's now up to Brassard to get back on track towards being the player the Blue Jackets need him to be. If he does, 60 points is a distinct possibility.
While Steve Mason ended up winning the Calder Trophy, through the first months of the season the award looked like Brassard's to lose, as he stormed out of the gate with 10 goals and 25 points in 31 games and appeared to be the playmaking center Rick Nash had always lacked. A shoulder injury suffered in a fight ended Brassard's rookie campaign early, but after surgery and an offseason devoted to strengthening the joint he seems poised for a breakout season. Brassard possesses the vision, skill and drive to excel on the top line, and after signing a four-year extension just before the start of training camp he and Nash figure to be giving opposition defenses fits for years to come.
Brassard got a little taste of the NHL last season, appearing in 17 games, but the 21-year-old is expected to take on a full role this season. The Blue Jackets are trying to keep the expectations around him minimal, but the fact of the matter is that Brassard is their best option (at least talent-wise) at center to be the playmaker Rick Nash so desperately needs. He picked up 36 assists and 51 points last season in 42 AHL games, and the organization would be ecstatic if he could match that production over a full NHL slate.
The sixth overall pick in 2006, Brassard could be exactly what the Blue Jackets need. A slick play-making center with speed and exceptional vision on the ice, Brassard has a skill set that Columbus desperately lacks on its roster. A shoulder injury cost him almost all of the ‘06-‘07 season, and he may need some time back in the QMJHL or in the AHL to shake off the rust. If he proves ready for the NHL in camp however, he could very quickly ascend to the top of the Blue Jackets’ depth chart at center.
The sixth overall pick in the 2006 draft, Brassard scored 44 goals and 116 points in 58 QMJHL games last season. His speed and offensive gifts will fit perfectly into the new NHL when he's ready for the physical demands of the pro game.
Brassard is probably the best pure goal scorer in the 2006 draft class. He poured in 44 goals and 116 points in only 58 games in the QMJHL in 2005-06 (a big jump from his 25-51-76 totals in 69 games the season before). He's also super-fast and gritty, with a great shot and great vision, and he is one of the best at finding seams on the ice. Don't be surprised to find this kid as a number one center some day. At worst, he'll likely be a number two man and that's pretty good from a fantasy perspective.
More Fantasy News
Three-point performance in win
CNew York Islanders
November 13, 2019
Brassard scored a goal and two assists in Wednesday's 5-4 win over the Maple Leafs.
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Back at center
CNew York Islanders
November 13, 2019
Brassard moved back to center for the game Wednesday versus Toronto, Andrew Gross of Newsday reports.
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Goals in five straight games
CNew York Islanders
November 2, 2019
Brassard scored the game's only goal in a 1-0 win over Buffalo on Saturday.
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Scores in fourth straight game
CNew York Islanders
November 1, 2019
Brassard had an empty-net goal and an assist, plus a team-leading five shots, in Friday's 5-2 win over the Lighting.
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Second straight game with a goal
CNew York Islanders
October 25, 2019
Brassard scored a goal on three shots and picked up two PIM in Friday's 4-2 win over Ottawa.
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