#19 / Center
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 202 | Born: September 22, 1987
Birthplace: Hull, QC, CAN | Acquired: Traded to Pittsburgh by Ottawa, February 23, 2018.
Assets: Skates well and possesses plenty of scoring instincts. Can excel at both ends of the ice, and is a determined athlete. Also owns some leadership qualities.
Flaws: Does not always shoot the puck when he should (though he is getting better at it). Injuries were a big issue for him earlier in his career. Lacks a little consistency.
Career Potential: Quality center.
(Via The Hockey News)
Why You Should Know Who He Is: Brassard is Pittsburgh’s newest third line center who gets to play against weaker competition that he should. Acquired from the Ottawa Senators in a three-way trade that included the Vegas Golden Knights Brassard has tallied 3 goals and 5 assists (including a six game point streak in March) through 14 regular season games with the Penguins. He missed Pittsburgh’s final five games of the regular season after suffering a lower body injury against the Detroit Red Wings. Brassard returned to the lineup for all six first-round games against the Philadelphia Flyers and registered 1 goal and 2 assists. Despite the limited offensive production against Philadelphia Brassard remains a proven playoff performer. Through 84 career postseason games the thirty year old pivot has a stat line of 23 goals, 35 assists, and 58 points (0.69 PPG).
How the Caps Can Stop Him: Washington will need their bottom two forward lines and last pair of defensemen to prevent Brassard from having time or space in the offensive zone. With the top defense pairing of John Carlson and Michal Kempny set to square off against the Penguins’ first line and Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen the second, Washington will need Brooks Orpik and Christian Djoos at their best against Pittsburgh third line. With Evgeni Malkin still sidelined from an injury sustained against the Flyers Brassard may start the series on the second line. Regardless of his position the Capitals’ bottom four defensemen will need to control the puck when Brassard is on the ice to prevent the playmaking center from doing damage with his linemates.