Bonnyville native Brinson Pasichunk is among three AJHL players who were recently added to the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch list.
The 17-year-old Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs defenseman used a stellar month of October to turn heads and pop onto the Central Scouting radar.
Pasichnuk recorded seven goals and 14-assists through 12 games in October en route to the AJHL Player of the Month honours.
“There are quite a number of great players in this league, so it is a pretty special honour,” said Pasichnuk, who learned he had been named Player of the Month after receiving a congratulatory text from a classmate.
“I have to keep going everyday try not to let that get to my head. I have to keep working hard and hope more points will come along.”
Updates to the Central Scouting list, which charts the top 2016 NHL Draft eligible prospects, were made on Nov. 7. Okotoks Oilers defenseman Reece Soukoroff and Olds Grizzlys forward Riley Smith were the other two AJHL skaters added to the list.
The three also join Calgary Mustangs forward Taden Rattie and Whitecourt Wolverines Justin Young as the only AJHL players on the list.
Of the five ranked Alberta skaters, Pasichnuk leads the way offensively with eight goals and 28 points through 23 games.
“What people focus on with Brinson’s game is his offensive statistics, however it is important to recognize that he plays the game the right way and plays in all key defensive situations,” said Rick Swan, head coach and GM of the Bonnyville Pontiacs. “The honor is well deserved and we only expect him to be better as the season progresses.”
Over the course of the 12-game tear, Pasichnuk scored two game winning goals, including a goal eight seconds into overtime on Oct. 17 to defeat the Calgary Mustangs.
While those goals were memorable Pasichnuk is most proud of his accomplishment at the AJHL showcase in Camrose over a weekend in early October.
“Those two goals were pretty special, but the coolest moment was probably getting a hat-trick at showcase weekend,” said Pasichnuk. “I haven’t scored a hat-trick since atom so it was pretty sweet.”
Pasichnuk’s hat trick kicked off his impressive month, which included an AJHL Player of the Week honour for his play during Oct. 12 to 18.
He was also a key contributor to the Pontiacs nine-game winning streak that went on from Sept. 26 to Oct. 17.
Pasichnuk, who is in his second year with the Pontiacs, has committed to the University of Vermont for the 2017-2018 season.