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Top 25 San Jose Sharks under 25: No. 24 Michael Brodzinski

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The defender has plenty of offensive firepower.

Sweden v United States - 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp

The Sharks drafted Michael Brodzinski in the fifth round of the 2013 draft and since then the defender played with the University of Minnesota. Brodzinski led the Gophers defense in goals and points during his junior season and decided to forgo his senior campaign to sign an entry level deal with San Jose.

So that puts Brodzinski on a path to the Barracuda next season where the offensively minded defender will get to work on the defensive side of his game. He is gifted offensively; he’s proven it at every level he’s played at and Brodzinski was an offensive threat with the Gophers, but he takes risks.

That could get him in trouble with both Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer and opposing forwards who are more likely to burn Brodzinski for his mistakes. Still, the Sharks have plenty of stay at home defenders so adding an offensive prospect to the mix is something worth getting excited about.

Here’s what Hockey’s Future said about the defender prior to the most recent season.

Brodzinski is an offensive-defenseman who is a good skater and has the athletic build to compensate for his smaller size. He has all the offensive tools to become a world class blueliner and has worked to make better decisions after entering college hockey as a bit of a freewheeler. Brodzinski has an excellent shot, which commands plus strength and is accurate. His passing skills have shown steady improvement. Often criticized for his defensive play due to his willingness to take risks, he often remedies those mistakes with Ryan McDonagh-like recovery ability. Brodzinski continues to work on his hockey sense.

Brodzinski is currently one of six players listed as defenders on the Barracuda roster and is one of the youngest. Only Julius Bergman is younger than the just-turned 21 year old. The ‘Cuda have a pretty entertaining roster shaping up and Brodzinski is another piece to that puzzle.

Name: Michael Brodzinski

Age (as of 10/12/16): 21

Position: Defense

2015-16 Team: University of Minnesota

Where he’ll (probably) be next year: San Jose Barracuda

What we like: Willingness to take risks and overall acumen for the offensive side of the game.

What to improve on: Knowing when to take risks and when it’s better to back off on a play in the offensive zone.

Highlight: Brodzinski became the first Big Ten defender to score a hat trick. You can see that at the end of this highlight reel.