For Brendan Brisson, 2023 offers opportunities. First, to wear the jersey number he’s waited a few years for, and second, to wear that jersey in the game he’s waited his entire life for.
Reilly Smith’s departure from the Golden Knights left both the #19 available and a winger position open in the Golden Knights lineup. Brisson wasted no time snapping up the first.
I have all the respect for Reilly Smith. Since the first day he got here, he’s been so meaningful not only to the organization but the city of Vegas. I’ve worn 19 my whole life, so I reached out to some of the older guys on the team just to make sure it was all good. I reached out to Reilly as well and told him if there’s a problem I won’t switch. He said, ‘Just make sure you take care of her.’ -Brendan Brisson
Brisson understands the gravity of the change, and he’s planning on using it in a positive way.
It gives me motivation too because he’s such a good player and a good person off the ice so every day I’m just going to try and fill that role of wearing #19. -Brisson
That brings us to the other role filled by #19, as an everyday starter, and scorer, in the Golden Knights’ lineup.
It’s one more spot and it’s going to be pretty competitive during camp. There are a lot of really good players here and I’m sure they’re all going to bring their best. That’s going to bring the best out of me too. -Brisson
Brisson will enter camp as one of a handful of players with aspirations of seizing that spot. His competition includes Paul Cotter, Pavel Dorofeyev, and the newest Golden Knight who recently agreed to a professional try out, Max Comtois.
To win the job, Brisson will have to prove his worth, especially in the areas he’s not as well known for.
I’ve been working on my pace, getting pucks back, wall battles, and the little details that will make every other part of my game easier to play. -Brisson
Brisson’s strongest asset is his lethal one-timer. He’s proven time and time again that he can beat any goalie put in front of him and the expectation is that it will translate at the NHL level as well. It’ll be up to him to show the rest of his game is at that level as well.
After a full season in the AHL, Brisson looked the part in Development Camp this summer. He was calm on the puck, strong in battles, and positionally sound off it.
He did it though among a group in which he was one of the elder statesmen. If he can continue proving it alongside the reigning Stanley Cup champions in Training Camp, Golden Knights fans might not have to wait long to see #19 back on the wing of William Karlsson.