For anyone catching up, a menu of previous player (and also coaching and GM) report cards can be found at the bottom of the article.
Patrick Brown’s starting point for the 2016-17 season
After being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College before the 2014-15 and quickly getting a run of 7 games at the NHL level, Brown settled back into a more normal AHL development path. His 2015-16 season saw him settle into a checking type of role at the NHL and have a solid though offensively light season with only 29 points in 70 games. In a short NHL stint during a shuttle bus run of auditions in March of 2016, Brown collected 2 points in 7 games while looking capable of transitioning his checking line abilities from the AHL to the NHL.
Patrick Brown’s 2016-17 season with the Carolina Hurricanes
Brown started the 2016-17 season at the AHL level. Haven risen up the leadership ranks, Brown started the 2016-17 season as an alternate captain and ultimately was given the “C” when Derek Ryan departed for the NHL. During a season that saw a regularly shifting roster, Brown provided leadership and a stabilizing force in the middle of the lineup. He posted a similar 28 points in 66 games and was rewarded with a stint in the NHL for most of March.
At the NHL level, Brown played a similar physical, checking line brand of hockey, but in 14 games he failed to register a single point. And despite being a defensively-oriented forward, he had also managed an occasional lapse positionally. He ultimately returned to Charlotte for their final push and helped the Checkers reach the playoffs.
Grading Patrick Brown
Graded as: Depth forward.
Grade: C. Though serviceable in a depth role, Brown did not really do anything that made him stand out as an NHLer. When you couple that with a complete absence of scoring, he gets a passing grade as AHL-level injury fill in but does not grade well as an NHL regular.
Looking forward to 2017-18
With even more talented youth on the way up into the AHL/NHL range, Brown becomes an even longer shot to crack the NHL roster to start the 2017-18 season. But I despite that commentary on his chances of cracking the NHL lineup and my somewhat harsh grade for him, I actually think he is a valuable player in a deep depth role at the AHL level. The decision to name him as the captain says a lot about what people in the Hurricanes organization think about his character, leadership and approach to the game. And now with 28 games of NHL experience, he is the type of AHL player that a team wants to have ready in the AHL essentially filling a #14-16 role in the event of injuries that require NHL depth from below.
What say you Canes fans?
The Thursday Coffee Shop has a broader discussion on building a fourth line for the start of the 2017-18 season, but feel free also to discuss Patrick Brown below.
What are others’ impression of Patrick Brown? Is anyone more optimistic about his chances to play his way into a regular NHL checking line role?
With some decisions to be made in terms of veteran forwards at the AHL level, do you think Patrick Brown’s leadership will assure him a new contract?
Previous report card articles