A player who will almost certainly be available when the Calgary Flames pick 12th overall on July 23rd is left wing Brennan Othmann. Ranked 17th on TWC’s consolidated draft rankings, Othmann was ranked seventh among North American Skaters by NHL central scouting meaning he should be around when the Flames pick.
Who is Brennan Othmann?
Othmann is a native of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, born on January 5th, 2003. He spent his minor hockey years playing in the GTHL, before being picked second overall in the 2019 OHL draft by the Flint Firebirds in 2019. He was on loan this year playing in the Swiss League due to the cancellation of the OHL season.
Othmann is a left shot who has played on the wing his whole career, mainly on the left side. He stands at 6’0″ and weighs 174 pounds.
Brennan Othmann’s on-ice production
Othmann has worked his way up the Ontario hockey system until this season where he went over to Switzerland to play in the Swiss League due to the OHL season being cancelled.
|2018–19||D-2||GTHL U16||Don Mills Flyers||72||66||80||146||N/A|
Othmann spent the 2018–19 season playing in the GTHL U16 for the Don Mills Flyers. He dominated that year posting a league-leading 146 points and 66 goals in just 72 games on a stacked team that included fellow top 2021 prospect Brandt Clarke, and future 2022 first-overall pick Shane Wright. His 146 points were 32 better than any other player in the league as he led his team to an undefeated season.
The following season Othmann made the jump to the OHL after being picked second overall by the Flint Firebirds in the OHL draft. Othmann had a decent first year in the OHL, posting 33 points over 55 games, which was first on his team for rookies, and 10th among rookies league wide. His 17 goals ranked 6th among rookies. His shooting percentage of 21.54% was second league-wide for D-1 players. His play earned him a place on the OHL’s First All-Rookie team in 2019–20.
This following season Othmann was forced to play overseas as the OHL season was cancelled due to the pandemic. Othmann landed in the Swiss League 2nd division playing for EHC Olten where he posted 16 points over 34 games, which ranked sixth on the team. Othmann played alongside fellow top prospect Mason McTavish.
Finally, Othmann has competed internationally for Canada twice. He posted six points in five games at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2020, which tied for second on the team. Most recently he put up six points in seven games on a stacked Canadian team at the U18 World Championships back in May.
Brennan Othmann’s strengths
Similar to Chaz Lucius who we recently profiled, Othmann’s game is built all around his elite shot and ability to score goals at will. Othmann is without question one the best pure goal scorers in the draft this year.
His wrist shot and snapshot are both very accurate and come with a ton of velocity. He possesses one of the best releases in the draft as he is able to get his shots off very quickly and in tight spaces. His slap shot is also very strong, and he’s a lethal threat on the one-timer. Here’s a great example of how good his shot is as he roofs an absolute rocket of a shot into a very tight opening during the U18 World Championships.
Another reason he is such a lethal scorer is his high-end IQ, which allows him to find open areas and gaps in the defence in the offensive zone. He’s regularly able to find open space to leave himself open for a pass and a quick shot in high danger areas. Case in point, his first goal in the OHL looked exactly like that as he found himself wide open for a backdoor one timer displaying his ability to get to open areas behind the defence.
Othmann also possesses a very high-end work ethic. He’s very aggressive on the forecheck and constantly pressuring defenders which leads to turnovers. This is certainly a quality that NHL coaches will love about him and one that will lead to many opportunities at the next level.
Brennan Othmann’s areas of improvement
One of Othmann’s weaknesses is his overall stick handling and puck skills. His lack of puck skills can lead to him bobbling passes and losing possession of the puck at times. He can sometimes struggle to beat defenders one-on-one as he isn’t very deceptive with the puck, which can make his offensive attempts easy to shut down against strong defenders.
Another big area for improvement is his skating. Othmann doesn’t possess top-end speed or acceleration due to his clunky stride. He tends to lose speed when he goes to change direction or make a quick turn or pivot. Due to these limitations, he is rarely a threat to blow by a defender off the rush or in open ice, and relies more on his high-end IQ to find open space.
His below-average skating can also lead to some issues in the defensive zone as he can struggle to keep up with and contain shiftier players and he can be easily beaten at times if a player makes a quick move into open ice.
The good news is he possesses a very strong lower body, which makes him hard to knock off the puck even with his weak skating. Still though, Othmann will really need to work on his skating in the coming years if he wants to be an impact player in the NHL.
Fit with the Flames
Given the position he played and his handedness, Othmann really isn’t a fit with the Flames. The team is absolutely stacked on the left side with Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Andrew Mangiapane. That said, adding some goal scoring talent to the organization is never a bad thing.
The Flames lack high-end goal scoring ability in their organization and Othmann definitely brings that to the table. If the team is looking to add some goal scoring with their first pick this year, Othmann certainly wouldn’t be a bad pick considering his skillset. As a potential future top-six goal scoring winger, you can definitely do worse than Othmann with your first pick.
As one of the better goal scorers in the draft this year, Othmann is certainly an enticing pick for a team like the Flames that struggled to score this year.
He comes with a relatively high ceiling, given his goal scoring ability that few players in the draft possess along with a high-end IQ. If he can continue to work on his skating and puck skills going forward, he very well could develop into a top line winger with 25+ goal potential in the NHL.
The good news is Othmann also comes with very little risk, and a high floor. Even if he doesn’t hit his ceiling and his skating prevents him from being a top line player, he should still be able to find a role as a very capable middle-six forward and complementary piece due to his high end work ethic and IQ. He’ll also be a great addition to any power play unit because of his lethal shot.
Othmann isn’t the best fit for the Flames positionally, however his ability to put the puck in the net makes him a possible option as a best available player for the Flames at 12th overall if some of their other options are already picked.
Projection: Second line goal-scoring winger
Featured image created with Venngage.