MSHSHT: Scouting Blaine

ST. PAUL, Minn. — When Blaine faced off against Edina in the State Hockey Tournament, it was a clash of AA powerhouses with loads of talent on each squad. A sibling duo for the Bengals represented two of the top players at the tournament. Jonny and Michael Brodzinski each scored in the contest but were unable to top the Hornets of Edina, falling by a score of 3-2.

Jonny Brodzinski has played well all season long, tallying 29 goals and 29 assists on his way to becoming a Mr. Hockey finalist. Blaine's game against Edina showcased some of the talent the elder Brodzinski possesses.

The first thing an observer might notice about Jonny Brodzinski is his incredible offensive abilities. When he gets the puck he instantly turns up the speed to burn by slower defenders. His quick first step with the puck helps create space.

Jonny Brodzinski is also an impressive stickhandler. He can handle through traffic and get his shot off in very little space. This combination of speed and stickhandling was shown in the first period with the score knotted at one apiece, Jonny streaked down the boards, cut across the Edina zone, creating enough space to get a clean shot away which found the back of the net. Jonny's jump to the next level might be difficult due to his size (5-foot-10) but he could turn out to be a solid college player.

One of the most impressive young players in this game was sophomore defenseman, Michael Brodzinski. The younger Brodzinski brother displayed a vast skill set for such a young player. One of the first things to notice about Michael Brodzinski is his ability to step up in the play and become an offensive-oriented defenseman.

He has little problem bringing the puck up the ice and can make forecheckers miss with ease. He did make one mistake in the neutral zone, losing the puck causing an Edina breakaway. Despite the mishap, Michael Brodzinski stayed poised and was back on his game the next shift.

His offensive abilities extended beyond skating with the puck. Brodzinski routinely runs the Blaine powerplay with the calmness of seasoned star. He is able to handle the puck at the blue line or find an open man. Brodzinski also has a nice shot from the point, which he showed with a blast the hit an opposing stick to find the back of the net to score Blaine's first goal of the game. He has a total of 14 goals and 17 assists on the year for 31 points.

Brodzinski also has a solid defensive game with the ability to shut down defenders. At times he was out of position against Edina but with two more years left of high school he should develop into a very good defensive player. Look for big things from Michael Brodzinski in the coming years as he continues to develop into a possible impact player for the Bengals.

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