St. Cloud, MN – It was announced by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings on March 23 that former SCSU Husky forward Jonny Brodzinski would be called up to the team. With the Kings playoff hopes hanging by a string it was undoubtedly a reward to Brodzinski for an outstanding season with the Kings AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign. Brodzinski piled up 25 goals and 22 assists for 47 points in 56 games for the Reign thus far in the 2016-17 season. Blessed with an incredibly deadly wrist shot, a trademark of all the Brodzinski players, it was only a matter of time before his offensive abilities would propel him to some time with the NHL club. Projected to be with the club in 2017-18 it’s a good move by the Kings to give him a taste of the NHL at season’s end.
Brodzinski joins a fraternity of SCSU players on the Kings roster including former teammates, Nic Dowd and Kevin Gravel. Both Gravel and Dowd were teammates of Brodzinski at SCSU in 2013-15 and with the Ontario Reign for portions of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Dowd had his NHL debut in March of 2016 while Gravel made his debut in November of 2016. Brodzinski was a prolific goal scorer at SCSU racking up 64 goals and 48 assists for 112 points in 120 games. Despite playing only three seasons, Brodzinski positioned himself 24th in all-time points for the Huskies just 9 points behind former Hobey Baker Top Three Finalist, Dowd, a four-year player who finished his career in 17th place.
Coincidentally, it was 30 years ago this week that Jonny’s father, Mike was finishing up his career at SCSU having played two and a half years with the Huskies after transferring from the University of Minnesota to join a coaching staff that included Herb Brooks, Craig Dahl and current SCSU coach Bob Motzko. The 1986-87 squad culminated their season by taking third place in the NCAA Division III tournament with a 6-4 win over in-state rival Bemidji State University in Plattsburgh, NY. In that final game, the elder Brodzinski scored his 38th goal of the season becoming SCSU’s all-time leading scorer with 146 points, again, in just two and a half seasons. Incredible numbers.
The hockey bloodlines run strong and deep in the Brodzinski family with brother Steve also a member of the 1986-87 team and sons Michael, Easton and Bryce further carrying on the tradition of this talented hockey family. Michael, the only non-forward of the group was drafted 141st in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks seven positions ahead of Jonny who was drafted by the Kings.Michael has split time between the Allen Americans of the ECHL and the San Jose Barracuda and is currently with the Barracuda. Next in line is Easton Brodzinski, currently a forward with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League and a SCSU recruit who will be the NCHC team in 2017-18. Easton, another strong offensive player, produced 32 goals and 34 assists for 66 points in 54 games for Penticton of the BCHL in 2015-16. Currently he has 21 goals and 13 assists for 34 points in 40 games in the USHL. He too, possesses a deadly wrist shot and good hands which will serve him well as he moves on to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Finally, youngest brother Bryce, another commit to the SCSU Huskies just finished hs sophomore season for the Blaine (MN) Bengals High School team. Already being touted as possibly the most prolific scorer of all the Brodzinski brothers, he produced 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points in 25 games, he led the squad in scoring as a 10th grader. At 6′ 0″ and 180 pounds and still growing he also possesses the trademark heavy wrist shot of the Brodzinski brothers scoring 10 power play goals mostly via his strong shot.
Jonny will be rostered as number 76 in the Kings lineup – the first player ever to carry that number. If he is inserted into the lineup tonite he could be joining SCSU teammates Nic Dowd and Kevin Gravel as the first SCSU three-some to play for the same team in an NHL game. A special day for the Brodzinski family and a special week as we look back at the success of his father Mike 30 years ago.