Flames sign Quinnipiac Forward Bryce Van Brabant

Justin K. Aller

The Quinnipiac Bobcats forward has decided to forego his senior season to play in the NHL.

Just one day after his team was eliminated from the NCAA hockey tournament, Quinnipiac's Bryce Van Brabant has reportedly signed with the Calgary Flames.

His entry level contract is worth an annual average value of $1,350,000 for two years.

Van Brabant, a junior, attended both Calgary and Edmonton's development camps last summer. He is set to become Quinnipiac's first NHLer, as it is expected the forward will make his NHL debut next week.

He's listed as 6'3", 220 lbs., and had 15 goals, 22 points, and 113 penalty minutes in 40 games for the Bobcats this season. In his three-year collegiate career he totalled 24 goals, 42 points, and 212 penalty minutes. He was eighth on his team in scoring.

The penalty minutes are obviously what jumps out here, especially over this season. That, combined with his height and weight, puts him more in the Kevin Westgarth stat range than, say, the Johnny Gaudreau one (although it should be noted Westgarth never came close to collecting that many penalty minutes while at school... although he never scored as much, either).

The Morinville native is touted as being a highly physical, punishing player. ... Let's just go ahead and say it: he's truculent. He's truculent as hell.

The additional offence from this season is a good sign, but it should be noted 10 of his 15 goals came on the powerplay, which isn't a good indicator that the sudden burst of goal scoring will translate to the professional leagues.

What does this mean for the Flames? Probably not a lot. It's nice Calgary was able to sign a guy multiple teams were apparently looking at, but he doesn't project to be much more than a bottom six player at best. Brian McGrattan is still signed for another year, but Kevin Westgarth is an upcoming UFA. Van Brabant's signing might indicate the Flames have found their next backup tough guy.

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