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‘I got my wish’: Ex-Canucks Prospect Signs With Flames After Lindholm Trade

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Hunter Brzustewicz

Former Vancouver Canucks defense prospect Hunter Brzustewicz, acquired in the Elias Lindholm trade, agreed to terms with the Calgary Flames on Thursday, signing a three-year, entry-level contract with his new club.

“I see a lot of potential in myself getting in there, either AHL or NHL,” the former Canucks prospect told Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg on “Flames Talk“. “I see more potential here than I did in Vancouver, so it’s great. I can’t wait to see myself in a Flames jersey one day.”

Brzustewicz, 19, was drafted 75th overall by the Canucks in the 2023 NHL Draft back in July, but the team reportedly had difficulty in getting the American defenseman to sign an entry-level contract in Vancouver. Unsigned, Brzustewicz was dealt, alongside Andrei Kuzmenko and Joni Jurmo, to the Flames in exchange for Lindholm.

“Knowing that the Canucks were going to make a big move, I was just thinking to myself and telling a couple of my buddies that it would be pretty cool to be a part of a trade,” Brzustewicz said. “I got my wish, but when I first found out, I didn’t really know how to react because it was just kind of crazy.”

In his second season with the Kitchener Rangers, Brzustewicz is 10th in the OHL scoring and second to only 2024 draft-eligible Zayne Parekh in points from defensemen. The Canucks‘ former third-round pick has scored 12 goals, 73 assists, and 85 points in 62 games so far this season. Brzustewicz’s teammate and Seattle Kraken prospect, Carson Rehkopf, leads the Rangers in scoring with 50 goals, 39 assists, and 89 points in only 55 games.

Rehkopf is 6th in the OHL in scoring. Brzustewicz’s Rangers are currently second in the OHL’s Midwest Division, trailing the London Knights, and have the fourth-most points in the OHL overall.

With Brzustewicz no longer in the Canucks’ prospect pool, the defensive side of things looks a bit thin. The Canucks still have Tom Willander, though everyone else behind him is largely question marks. Kirill Kudryavtsev, Elias Pettersson, Sawyer Minio, and Cole McWard figure to be the Canucks’ next-best options going forward, though McWard is the closest to the NHL.

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