After racking up 146 points in 72 games during his final season of minor midget and scoring the championship overtime winning goal at the OHL Cup, Brennan Othmann went second overall in the OHL Priority Selection to the Flint Firebirds one year ago.
Though Othmann didn’t have the offensive production that was expected of him (and that many of his 2003-born peers had), he was still plenty productive in a third line role for the Firebirds. Othmann finished tenth in OHL scoring among rookies, three of his 17 goals were scored on the powerplay, and two were game-winners. Othmann set new records for goals and points by a Firebirds rookie in 11 and seven fewer games, respectively.
For a player whose shot is lauded as the best part of his game, Othmann really didn’t unleash it enough this season. He wrapped the season having fired 87 shots on goal, way below several OHL rookies, including his minor midget teammates Shane Wright and Brandt Clarke (a defenseman), who had 198 and 122, respectively.
When he does take the opportunity to unleash the puck, Othmann’s shot is deadly. The release on his snapshot is deceptively quick and powerful, and Othmann can get one-timed shots off instantaneously with pin-point accuracy. Combined with his excellent offensive zone positioning, Othmann knows where to go to open himself up for passes, and can get the puck off before goalies have the chance to set up for the shot.
Othmann also has all the tools to be an excellent playmaker, as well. Othmann is a shifty puck carrier, and his vision and creative hands allow him to find his teammates after weaving his way through the offensive zone. As a player who was passing more than he was shooting this season, Othmann’s playmaking abilities really stood out with the Firebirds this year.
As far as his skating goes, Othmann’s elusive edgework and agility gives him an edge on cycles down low, and it isn’t necessarily a weakness of his game. However, he could benefit from added lower body strength, especially when rushing pucks up the ice. Othmann’s acceleration isn’t as powerful as other skaters in his draft class and adding that power would allow him to break free of defenders and provide him with more scoring opportunities.
Heading into next season, the Firebirds are poised to bring back the majority of their forward group. Depending on how many overage players the team brings back next year, Othmann, who spent the majority of this season at right wing despite being a natural left winger, may find himself in a similar third line role heading into next season with Flint still remarkably deep on both wings.
Strengths: Shot, Vision, Positioning
To Improve: Strength, Defense
In addition to scoring goals, Brennan also displays really good vision and playmaking skills using his linemates and making them better. His hard shot and excellent release to get it off at his top speed is what separates him from others. Brennan also showcases a willingness to be physical in tough contests, which compliments his game well and demonstrates his compete level. [2019 Black Book]
The dynamic forward has an ability to beat you with his quick-hands, saucer a pass to a teammate in traffic, or beat you to the net with his hockey-IQ. Othmann’s scouting reports coming into the OHL remain accurate. With continued strength and enhancement to an already accurate shot, his goal totals will only increase projecting to be a high pick at the 2021 NHL entry draft. [OHL Network]
Othmann is a player to watch each time he takes the ice. He is dangerous is multiple ways, whether that be via a slick saucer pass across the width of the ice, or a classic snipe off of the half wall, Othmann presents consistent scoring chances shift in, shift out. An intelligent prospect, Othmann’s ability to read and react to developing plays instantaneously may be overlooked at times, but make no mistake, he can burn his opponents with an array of abilities. [Prospect Pipeline]
2nd overall pick in the #OHLDraft, Brennan Othmann, got his 1st OHL goal earlier tonight in his 2nd game vs Saginaw. The rookie has been a dangerous goal scoring threat from the first preseason game this year.— TPEHockey (@TPEHockey) September 22, 2019
Brennan Othmann is top 15 talent for the #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/T2NfISbIGO
Maybe not talked about enough but Brennan Othmann is having a pretty good rookie season.— Tate Harris (@tateharris9) February 29, 2020
The OHL's second overall pick potted two tonight and is on pace for about 39 points. #OHL pic.twitter.com/xHoZl7kS6Z
Statistics from Elite Prospects and the Ontario Hockey League.