Welcome to the 2021 Edition of the Vancouver Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings. The list includes all players born after January 1st, 1997. Seven staff writers (Beggsy, Westy, Kent Basky, CanucksAbbyFan2, Markus Meyer, Noah Strang, Harsunder Singh H) and two outside writers (Daniel Gee & Cam Robinson) cast votes for the project.
Guillaume BREEZE-BAH is easily the most polarizing player on this list. Who would have thought?
The third-rounder from 2015 had a messy season — like many — after being named to the Vancouver Canucks taxi squad to start the 2020-21 campaign. Due to a lack of playing time, he was loaned to the Laval Rocket (Montreal’s AHL affiliate) where he played nine quiet games.
Quiet hockey...very on-brand for the Canucks most polarizing player under the age of 25.
Brisebois ended up playing one more game for the Canucks in April before wrapping up his season with five contests in Utica.
By now, it should be pretty clear what Brisebois’ ceiling is. He’s a serviceable AHL defenceman who plays a safe, smart, albeit dull brand of hockey. At the NHL level, he’s been outmatched against relatively easy competition throughout 10 career games.
Among our voters, there was far more drama with Brisebois’ ranking. CanucksAbbyFan2 and I both had him outside of the Top 25, which is indicative of the fact that he has an extremely limited NHL future. You don’t hear Jim Benning talk about BREEZE-BAH among the prospects on defence anymore, something he shoved down the media’s throats for years. Daniel Gee was in the same boat as us, ranking him 22nd.
However, Brisebois did get four top-15 votes. Two of those were in the top 10, and one of them was jimmi...ranking Brisebois THIRD overall in our Top 25 Under 25 rankings...
So, is jimmi secretly a burner for Jim Benning? Or, does he see something else that none of us are seeing? Jimmi, we need answers, dammit.
Vancouver #Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has re-signed defenceman Guillaume Brisebois to a one-year, two-way contract.— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) August 12, 2021
DETAILS ➡️ https://t.co/87GEgojaVP pic.twitter.com/vOn3JPQynt
What’s Next for BREEZE-BAH?
Brisebois’ chances of ever making the NHL full-time are basically zilch after the influx of depth that the Canucks have established over the last 12 months. Vancouver might have a weak defence, but they have a dearth of third-pairing/replacement-level players who are higher on the depth chart than Brisebois.
Brad Hunt, Jack Rathbone and Olli Juolevi are all competing for a spot on the left side of the Canucks third pair. Assuming one player snags the job, one ends up as a healthy scratch and one ends up in the minors, which leaves Brisebois battling with newcomer DeVante Stephens for a spot on Abbotsford’s second-pairing.
One thing that does bode well for Brisebois is that many of the defencemen that the Canucks signed in the offseason shoot right. Luke Schenn, Kyle Burroughs, Brady Keeper, and returning players Jett Woo and Madison Bowey all fall into that category.
That’s a tiny glimmer of hope for Brisebois, who is seeing his stock — and his place on the depth chart, slide heading into the 2020-21 season.