Weight: 174 lbs.
Current Team: Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
Central Scouting Ranking: 19 (North America)
ISS Ranking: 27
DeBrusk took leaps forward this season from his first year in Swift Current, more than doubling his goal and point totals. His play this season likely boosted his stock from a second or third round pick to a late first rounder.
DeBrusk led the Broncos in scoring, a team that finished in the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The talent around him wasn't outstanding, but he still found ways to shine. He is second in scoring among draft eligible players from the WHL.
He's certainly garnering much attention, which isn't surprising based on his stat line. He met with all 30 teams at the combine in Buffalo.
His father, Louie, was a bit of a scapper. Jake doesn't have the size to drop the gloves constantly, but he is still hard-nosed. He's possesses a strong work ethic with a goal scoring touch, two things that don't always go together. He's been described as creative, smart, hard-working and tireless.
Watching his highlights, it stands out how many of his goals were thanks to him simply being around the net. He is constantly in positions with high goal frequency, allowing him many easy tips. It reminds me of the type of game Thomas Vanek played when he was at his best in Buffalo.
He'll need to add a little weight to play at the NHL level, and some may be worried about his size holding him back at the NHL level. But he's a kid who has hands and has shown he knows how to score. He may take a few years to mature, but he could be a top-six winger on a successful playoff team.
DeBrusk would fit a need for the Sabres at left wing, a position that the team doesn't have enormous depth on the current roster or with prospects.
What They're Saying
"A two-way winger with good mobility and scoring ability. Willing to battle in the dirty areas and can always find the puck and make the smart play below the hashmarks. Shows good creativity and deception with the puck. Good individual skills and makes good use of any time and space found. DeBrusk won't beat you up physically, but he can definitely beat you up on the scoreboard. All-in-all, a competitive two-way winger with the natural goal scorer's instincts."
-Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
"Jake is smart and reads the play well. He gets chances for himself but also creates them for others. You can describe him as an ‘after it, on it’-type player who finds ways to be productive and gets invested in the hard areas of the game. Has continued to grow, both literally and figuratively, and this along with his versatility makes his potential very high."
-Craig Button, TSN
"His work ethic is off the charts but what also helps are those 42 goals he scored. He's a 40-goal scorer who does the dirty work in front of the net. His greatest strength is his compete level."
-Peter Sullivan, NHL Central Scouting
"His skating style has been described as almost awkward, but he's still quick. The Broncos used him in all situations and the youngster makes good decisions on the power play, while also working hard defensively. 'Jake DeBrust has really impressed me,' said another scout. 'Tireless worker. Almost has the 200-foot game, because he played in all three zones, but he's not a power forward. He will outhustle and outsmart you.'"
-The Hockey News