The big thing that disrupted every single life on this planet — you know what I’m talking about — certainly had its effect on professional sports and most significantly on the prospect that aren’t quite professional yet.
Young teenage hockey players were either left with no league to play in, a delayed season, or a season that was full of pauses due to quarantines and outbreaks — not the best experiences for players trying to impress NHL scouts enough to be selected this July. And one of the leagues that just straight up didn’t resume was the Ontario Hockey League, one of the prime destinations for scouts to check out the top available talents in any season.
Brennan Othmann was one of the forwards lucky enough to keep playing, finding an opportunity overseas in Switzerland to keep his name in the minds of scouts in terms of their 2021 rankings. Instead of playing on a terrible Flint Firebirds team, Othmann was in the second tier of the Switzerland professional divisions, playing for EHC Olten with fellow top prospect Mason McTavish.
In Switzerland, Othmann was able to refine his high-pace offense and ability to stickhandle pucks close to himself, but there will be time to develop further before he ever steps on NHL ice.
BSH 2021 Community Draft Board, No. 20: Brennan Othmann
Team: EHC Olten (SL)
Stats: 7 G, 9 A, in 34 GP
No. 8 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
No. 21 by Elite Prospects
No. 25 by TSN
No. 23 by Scott Wheeler/The Athletic
No. 21 by Dobber Prospects
What’s there to like?
Othmann is a deceptively talented offensive player. Whether it’s his soft touch with the puck or being able to protect it from any unwelcome defenders, he produces well in the offensive zone and creates the limited space he needs to get his shot off. He simply knows how to take advantage of half-committed defensemen and is able to keep possession of the puck extremely well.
Watch Brennan Othmann track down this dump in and do a terrific job of using his body to gain inside leverage on the defender. This helps secure possession and eventually leads to a scoring chance. His work along the wall is consistently impressive. pic.twitter.com/KRoMCSpkEl— OHL Prospects (@BrockOtten) December 10, 2020
In terms of his shot, Othmann, like I’ve said, doesn’t need a lot of room to unleash it on an opposing goaltender. He can utilize any space given to him, and if it a significant amount of space, he can make a tidy attempt on goal.
While it occurred a little too late for me to include in my article and videos for @mckeenshockey, here's Brennan Othmann's first goal in Switzerland. Beats the goaltender clean coming down the wing on the PP. pic.twitter.com/udVEz0250e— OHL Prospects (@BrockOtten) December 13, 2020
The potential of a very good NHL power forward is there, but it just matters if Othmann can adapt on both ends of the ice and think more east-west than north-south at times.
What’s not to like?
For Othmann, like many physical wingers that play a punishing game with a lethal shot, his skating needs work. For all the hands and handling he has, the agility and ability to separate himself from defenders isn’t there. He can certainly utilize his body and physical presence to keep his opponent away from possession, but he is unable to glide by any defender with ease, making the transition into the more physical professional leagues projected to be tricky.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
The entire fan base would snatch on to Othmann and never let him go. He’s able to play a physical game and has a wicked shot that will make those who love goalscoring, his biggest fans. There have been other Flyers prospects criticized for their skating ability and they have developed into some of their best forwards at the NHL level, so there is plenty of potential for him to carve his way into a prominent role in Philadelphia if he follows the same path and trajectory.
With some wingers and forwards in general aging out of their contention window, injecting some youth through the pipeline that is able to lay dudes out, is certainly welcome.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
Othmann would no doubt be a massive reach at the 13th pick that the Flyers currently possess. While he is projected to not be a bad selection, there is set to be at least someone with a higher ceiling and more of a skill set that Philadelphia needs desperately in their prospect pool.
Now, if he happens to dip into the mid-second (albeit unlikely) then he would certainly be a reasonable selection with the Flyers’ own second-rounder and can be praised as building a steady force of punishing wingers that were seemingly born to play in Philadelphia, joining Zayde Wisdom from last year’s crop.
We’ll also make one addition to the poll:
Scott Morrow — D, Shattuck St. Mary’s 18U Prep
This season, Morrow dominated the prep school circuit more than just about any player I’ve watched and tracked in recent years. He’s an excellent transition defender who transports pucks confidently, plays boldly inside the offensive zone, and possesses impressive handling skill for a defenceman. At Shattuck, he was an exit/entry machine who carved teams up through the neutral zone with head fakes, side-steps and cuts (his skating really impresses on its edges, even if he’s not explosive). When he’s on the ice, he wants to take over and direct play in possession and does so by guiding opposing players out of his way. I didn’t think he looked quite like himself in his six games with the USHL’s Fargo Force but he was jumping into a new team (which already had three established top defenders) and a new league during the playoffs. With some fine-tuning defensively, where he can be a little wayward at times (though some of that has to do with some bad habits creeping in at a level that was beneath him, I think), there’s serious upside to Morrow’s game. — Scott Wheeler, The Athletic
Who should be 22nd on the draft board?
This poll is closed
2021 BSH Community Draft Board
- Owen Power — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Matthew Beniers — C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Brandt Clarke — D, Nove Zamky (Slovakia)
- Dylan Guenther — LW/RW, Edmonton (WHL)
- William Eklund — C/LW, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
- Luke Hughes — D, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Simon Edvinsson — D, Frölunda HC J20 / J20 Nationell - 21/22
- Kent Johnson — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Aatu Räty — C, Kärpät U20 and Kärpät (Liiga)
- Jesper Wallstedt — G, Luleå (SHL)
- Mason McTavish — C, EHC Olten (SL)
- Cole Sillinger — C/LW, Sioux (USHL)
- Chaz Lucius — C, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Fabian Lysell — LW/RW, Luleå HF (SHL)
- Carson Lambos — D, JYP U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
- Matthew Coronato — F, Chicago Steel (USHL)
- Nikita Chibrikov — LW/RW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL), SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL), SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)
- Sasha Pastujov — LW, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Corson Ceulemans — D, Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
- Oskar Olausson — LW/RW, HV71 (SHL)
- Brennan Othmann — LW, EHC Olten (SL)