Brett Leason was drafted by the Capitals in the second round (#56 overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Level Draft back in June, and signed a three-year entry-level contract for $750,000 average annual value (AAV) following Capitals Development cap on July 11th. The 20-year-old right winger from Calgary just may be the Capitals best prospect selected in this year’s draft, as some scouts have likened his game to current NHL player Alex Tuch.
Looking at Leason’s stats, a few years back some may have labeled Leason average or even below average based on his production as a forward. In 2016-2017 Leason recorded just 8 goals and 10 assists for 18 points while playing for the Tri-City Americans.
After 12 games in the 2017-2018 season, Leason was traded to the Prince Albert Raiders. The trade saw his point production increase and almost double his 2016-2017 total in fewer games.
Leason’s 2018-2019 season saw a massive jump in his scoring production. In 55 games for the Raiders, Leason posted 36 goals and 53 assists for a combined 89 points while also having a +/- of 55. When the playoffs came around, Leason continued to shine. In 22 playoff games, Leason had 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points and helped lead the team to the championship that season.
There are several reasons why fans should be excited about the arrival of Brett Leason into the Capitals organization. Leason’s large frame, strength and size allow a physical style of play that gives him a huge advantage in puck battles. This was demonstrated during the Capitals recent development camp scrimmage (recap here.)
Leason has also been praised for a brilliant IQ for the game. Leason’s ability to get deflections and tips in front of the net is what gets him a lot of goals and creates many of his scoring opportunities.
The most exciting aspect of his play is his strong wrist shot. Leason’s wrist shot is lethal and already deemed an NHL quality attribute of his game. This gives him the tools to score in many ways with both deflections and deadly wrist shots.
A few scouts have deemed Leason to have reached his full developmental potential. An area that needs improvement for him is his skating and those first initial steps. His skating did improve drastically before his recent WHL campaign but does still need improvement, the biggest aspect being the first few explosive strides. And while Leason has proven to be very talented with the puck, his attention to detail without it is something that needs work.
Leason is currently slated to play in Herhsey this season. Hopefully while in Hershey Leason will be able to continue to develop his game and focus on the small things while not handling the puck. His strong offensive skill should be able to help the Bears add some scoring as the season progresses.
By Zac Herr