2021-22 Team: Owen Sound Attack (#13)
Date of Birth: July 24, 2004
Place of Birth: Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 190 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 179th (NA Skaters)
From day one this kid has been a leader no matter where he’s gone. From the Brantford 99ers of the Alliance Hockey League in Southwestern Ontario to the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL, a locker room presence follows Gavin Bryant around. Even having missed out on his rookie season in the OHL thanks to COVID, he embraced the opportunity to play in a tournament full of junior vets when he joined up with former teammate Andrew Perrott at the PBHH Invitational Showcase.
This is a kid who loves the game of hockey. Even though his offensive numbers might not be up to snuff for some looking at straight statistics, the energy he brings to the lineup is unmatched. Even then, in limited playing time for the Attack this season, Bryant nine goals and 38 points in 63 regular season games, adding another two points in five playoffs games. While playmaking is clearly one of his strong suits, his shot might also be a strength, we just don’t see enough of it.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Bryant has a strong will to make the players around him better, sometimes to a fault. His shot, while not overpowering, is accurate and sneaky upon release. As most scouts will tell you, he simply has to shoot the puck more when given good shooting lanes in the offensive zone.
Still, his blue-collar game is extremely appealing. He engages physically and might have one of the best two-way games amongst the second half of the draft-eligible prospects. His 200-foot game is something that teams should take a close look at. His play in his own end is reminiscent of a young Bo Horvat in that he can gain control of the puck and turn it up ice quickly in transition.
The offensive game will come. Talk to anyone close to him and they’ll tell you how hard Bryant works on all aspects of his game. Let’s take the size argument out of it right now as he’s six feet tall and just shy of 200 pounds with more time to grow.
His low Central Scouting ranking might steer some away from taking him in 2022, but don’t fool yourself, Bryant has the potential to be a solid middle-six forward with the right development.
Other THW Profiles
Gavin Bryant – NHL Draft Projection
As of right now, being ranked by Central Scouting as the 179th North American skater isn’t proving favourable for the young Ingersoll native. His defensive skills should speak volumes for teams looking for that late-round gem. While he could possibly be passed over this time around, there are teams that will have him on their radar and he could slide in as a waiver pick near the end of the draft.
“Bryant is a very strong playmaker who possesses incredible vision. He can recognize where his teammates and opposing defenders are moving on the ice and can capitalize on defensive breakdowns. He consistently delivers tape-to-tape passes and hits his teammates in motion. He doesn’t panic under pressure and uses his IQ to recognize the time and space he has with the puck. His wide skating stance and strong edges/balance also help him with his puck control and ability to not get moved off the puck.” — Sebastian Death, FC Hockey
“A strength of Bryant’s is his defensive game, as he understands where to be on the ice an how to get the puck out of the zone quickly. One reason he is so effective is that he never stops moving around. He is always tracking the puck and looking to get to a position where a play can be made. A very smart player, he should entice teams when the draft commences in July.” — Adam Kierszenblat, The Hockey Writers
- Two-way game
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Focus on shooting more
- Face-off reliability
The offensive development can come. He has the vision and the playmaking ability. While his shot is a strength, Bryant should be encouraged to use it more, which is one of the few downfalls when it comes to his game. Defensively, he’s strong and it’s his 200-foot game that makes him a legitimate possibility when you’re talking about potential bottom-six penalty killers. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him in that kind of role down the road in a few years from now.
Risk – 3/5, Reward 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 6/10, Defense – 7/10
While on the ice he hasn’t raked in the awards, off the ice, Bryant has been a stand up member of the Attack since arriving. He was awarded the Dan Snyder Memorial Award as the player that maintains a positive outlook at all times in the room. He also was named co-winner of the Pat McReavy alongside Nick Chenard as unsung heroes of the team, but this trophy case could fill up if he continues to progress.
Ruslan Gazizov’s Statistics
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.