Nothing would have made the Mark Stone trade feel like it was “worth” it, but we were told there is one piece that could ease the pain. That piece was coveted Swedish defenceman, Erik Brännström. Not only was he supposed to be the prize we deserve for the Stone fiasco, but he was also meant to replace the loss of Erik Karlsson. In November, NKB discussed whether he should be getting more ice time and he was right as DJ Smith was not giving him a fair shot to prove himself.
Since then Brännström has been sent down to Belleville where he scored 6 points in 5 games and looked to be a much better fit. With injuries piling up, the Sens were forced to recall him back to Ottawa in hopes to see flashes of improvement. I must admit there was a bit of an extra step in his game his first game back and has even earned significantly more ice time. He cracked the 21 minute mark twice and averaging around 18 minutes overall. Again, while he didn’t make any major mistakes, he only had 2 assists and nothing overly flashy.
Brännström was sent back to Belleville for more development and nobody can argue that this is the right move. I think the biggest issue is that Brännström was most probably rushed in Ottawa to justify that the Stone trade was worth it and whether he turns out to be the next Karlsson or not is yet to be seen.
So the lingering question is, is this the best we've seen out of Brännström or can he truly elevate his play to an elite level?
Is Brännström the Real Deal?
|Yes, he just needs more development||280|
|He will be better but not close to an elite defenceman||239|
|He will probably be a solid defenceman with limited offensive capabilities||43|
|Will probably never be a top defenceman on the team||33|