30-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Gilbert Brule Contract Information:
Signed with Medvescak Zagreb of the KHL in July 2015.
Brule signed a contract Monday with the KHL's Medvescak Zagreb, Murray Pam of The Hockey News reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Gilbert Brule.
Brule was originally dealt to Los Angeles in the Ryan Smyth deal, but the Kings had reservations about his past concussions and nixed the deal, sending Brule back to Edmonton. Brule has never reached the offensive potential that was expected of him. Most blame Columbus for rushing him into the NHL too soon as he has never been able to overcome a slow start. Brule will fight in training camp for a spot on the third or fourth line.
Brule finished last season with 17 goals and 37 points in 65 games. Those numbers were actually fourth on the team as far as total points and second as far as goals -- showing you why Edmonton is desperate for goal scoring. While those numbers were the best of Brule's career so far, the return of Ales Hemsky and the drafting of Taylor Hall could push Brule down to third-line status which may stunt his growth at the offensive end as his ice time may be diminished.
Brule will fight for a spot on the fourth line for the Oilers. Last season was an injury-plagued one for Brule, but he'll have a chance to stick with Edmonton for this season providing he can stay healthy. Brule has never quite lived up to his expectations and the Oilers are loaded with similar offensive players, he may be on the outside looking in when it comes time for the Oilers to set the roster.
Brule was acquired from Blue Jackets after an extremely disappointing season in Columbus. Scoring only one goal in 61 games. Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good as he does have offensive potential. The Oilers are loaded at the Center position however, so he could be in a fight for his job.
After his injury-plagued ‘05-‘06, the Blue Jackets were counting on Brule to not just step into the big league lineup but excel there, and use his skill and speed to compete for the Calder Trophy. Instead Brule struggled to fit in, ending up with a paltry 19 points in 78 games. He did get occasional stints on the team’s top line, however, and showed hints of tapping into the talent that made him the sixth overall pick in 2005. Columbus still has a void atop their depth chart at center, and a maturing Brule is still their best in-house option to fill it this year. If he can stick on a line with Nash and receive substantial power play time Brule’s ceiling has him capable of at least 20 goals and 50 points. Wait and see how he’s progressing in camp before assuming he’s ready to take that step forward, however.
Brule stuck with the team out of training camp last season as a skinny 18-year-old only to break his collarbone and then his leg. He did score four points in seven games with Columbus, before heading back to junior and leading the Vancouver Giants to the WHL title. Brule seems built for the new NHL, possessing electric speed and a mean streak that belies his size. The Blue Jackets are banking on him being able to center one of their top two lines this season. If he proves up to the challenge, and especially if he sees significant action with Rick Nash and on the power play, 70 points or more would be within reach.
The sixth overall pick in 2005, Brule will someday bring his impressive package of skill and grit to the middle of the Blue Jackets lineup. He profiles as a future team captain, of the Doug Gilmour or Mike Peca variety, and will bring another dimension to a team that already has a number of great building blocks.
Ranked third best North American in the 2005 NHL entry draft by the International Scouting Service, Brule combines great offensive touch with the grit of a power forward. At only 5'10 and 180 lbs, he's a bit undersized as an NHL power forward but the kid has the potential to be a star. Some scouts have questioned his attitude, citing selfishness as a negative trait that will need to be corrected. Then again, what teenager hasn't shown him or herself to be self-focused? The biggest hurdle for Brule will be transitioning his style to the NHL. It is doubtful he will be able to carry his aggressive style into the NHL without significant risk of injury. He will need careful coaching and mentoring to ensure he can elevate his game to a new plane to achieve long-term pro success.