The Ducks selected Andrew O’Brien in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The 6’3″-200 lb defenseman has just finished his junior career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Hamilton. Ontario native spent two seasons with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and his final and third season with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. He finishes his junior career with 190 career games played, while posting a total of 11 goals, 46 assists for 57 points and 241 PIM. He is a guy who loves to take the body and excels in the physical aspect of the game. The Ducks drafted him, hoping to develop him into a guy who clear the crease and beat guys to a pulp with his bare hands. His offensive production, albeit limited to begin with, dropped in his final season in the QMJHL. He dropped from 8 goals to 2 goals and dropped from 29 points to 18 points. However, the Ducks don’t want him to be focusing on offense in the first place. If O’Brien can sure up his play in his own zone and learn to pick his sports well, he could become a playable 5th or 6th NHL defenseman. If not, he will most likely be a career minor-leaguer.
Weight: 200 lbs.
“O’Brien is a simple defensive defenseman, and is learning to play a more responsible game while still imposing himself physically. You cannot teach size, and at 6’3 and 200 pounds, O’Brien certainly has that to his advantage. He had over 100 penalty minutes with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL this year along with plenty of fights and a plus-19 rating. He does not have the biggest upside given his limited offensive skill set, but at best O’Brien could be a fifth or sixth defenseman who clears the crease and makes opponents pay for admiring passes or not keeping their heads up. He has certainly brought that to the table thus far in his career and he will likely continue that into the AHL.”
Next up in the series will be goaltender Igor Bobkov.