St. Cloud, MN – SCSU recruit Easton Brodzinski is a goal scorer. He’s proven it at every level he’s played at. At Blaine (MN) High School he amassed 52 goals and 34 assists for 86 points in 92 games. Moving on to the British Columbia Junior Hockey League powerhouse Penticton Vees, he piled up 36 goals and 40 assists for 76 points in 65 games playing alongside NHL first-round draft choices Tyson Jost (UND) and Dante Fabbro (BU). So, after being taken in the fourth round of the USHL’s Phase 2 Draft in 2016 by Fargo he was positioned to light it up for the Force correct? Not so fast. To the surprise of many, he chugged along for eight games without a single point and was subsequently traded by the Fargo Force to the Madison Capitals on October 25. Without digging too deeply into the lack of production in Fargo or the politics of being uprooted from one team and sent to another let’s just say some times things work out for the best. After all, his brother Jonny Brodzinski had a paltry 22 points in 58 games for Fargo in 2011-12 and then exploded for 112 points over three years at SCSU.
The 6′ 1″ 191 pound right-handed forward had an immediate impact scoring twice in his first game and then netting two consecutive hat tricks and was named USHL forward of the Week on November 21st. He’s quickly taken over the scoring and points lead at Madison with 11 goals and 6 assists for 17 points in just 15 games. Certainly an incredible turnaround after such a slow start to the season. In Brodzinski’s case it’s just a positive change in environment for him. “It’s just been a whole different atmosphere and I’ve been able to play my game” Brodzinski commented. And, the transition to a new team was seamless. “The team is great. I came in and fit right in with the guys. It wasn’t a tough transition at all and I’m enjoying every minute of it”.
Brodzinski’s game can probably be compared to that of former SCSU power forward Patrick Russell. Though slightly smaller than Russell, neither are going to dazzle you with their outright speed on the ice. However, that’s not his game. He’s going to use his size and surprisingly soft hands to control the puck. But, his biggest asset much like Russell is his big-time shot – particularly, a deadly accurate wrist shot with a quick release that many times is past the goaltender before he can react. The coaching staff recognizes this according to Brodzinski and that’s a big part of his turnaround this season. “It’s always great to be able to play how l feel and need to play to be successful. My shot is one of my greatest strengths so it’s nice to add that back into my game in Madison.”
For Brodzinski, it’s just a relief to be back on track and rekindle what he does best – scoring goals.With more than half the USHL season ahead of him it should be another very productive season from an offensive standpoint and hopefully a surge in the standings for the Capitals currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and nine points out of fourth place.
Brodzinski looks to join the Huskies for the 2017-18 season following in the footsteps of his father Mike who was a prolific scorer for the Huskies from 1984 to 1987 compiling 146 points and brother Jonny, who netted 64 goals and added 48 assists for 112 points in just three seasons from 2012 to 2015. Younger brother Bryce, currently a sophomore at Blaine (MN) High School and another goal-scoring machine has indicated his intentions to join the Huskies as well.
Sometimes a change in scenery is all it takes.