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Guest Irishjim

Flyers interested in Minnesota-Duluth forward J.T. Brown: A quick scouting report

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For Paul Holmgren and the Philadelphia Flyers, the college free agency market has been used as both a crutch and a serious advantage. You don't want to have to rely on college free agents to stock your farm system, but at the same time, having the knowledge and exploiting that market whenever possible is a big advantage.

They've already dipped into the pool once since the college free agency season opened March 1, signing goaltender Cal Heeter at the end of Ohio State's season. Holmgren will continue to look, too, and his next move could involve Minnesota-Duluth forward J.T. Brown. Via today's Daily News:

Sources say the Flyers are in the hunt for University of Minnesota-Duluth sophomore forward J.T. Brown, one of the premier scorers on the market this year. It's looking more and more like Brown will turn pro after this season.

That's right. He's just a sophomore, but he could certainly be NHL-ready sooner than later. I chatted briefly today with Bruce Ciskie, an SBNation.com contributor who just so happens to be the play-by-play voice of the UMD Bulldogs. I asked Bruce for a quick scouting report on Brown, to which he simply replied "KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF HIM."

"I don't have a scout's eye, but I don't think it's a stretch to say he'll be in the NHL next October," Ciskie said. "Fast as hell. Great shot. Good kid. Propensity for rising to the occasion."

That last part shines through pretty strongly. As a freshman a year ago, when the Bulldogs won the National Championship, Brown was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four. As a freshman. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune called him "easily the most impressive player on the ice" in the title game. He had an assist in that 3-2 overtime win over Michigan and both a goal and an assist in the National Semifinal against Notre Dame.

UMD is the No. 2 team in the nation, so regardless of their fate in this weekend's WCHA Final Five, they'll be heading back to the NCAA tournament. Whenever the Bulldogs' season ends, though, Brown will be up for grabs, and the Flyers are sure to be at the top of the list of suitors.

If signed, he'd likely finish out the season with the Phantoms on an amateur tryout contract, assuming his college season ends before the AHL regular season. That's putting the cart before the horse, but it's something to think about over the next few weeks.

Edited by hf101
fixed formatting by hf101

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Not surprised by this. TJ Brown attended the Flyers prospect camp this summer. Then he went on to attend the Wild's camp before returning to UMD. Brown is not very big, but fast and strong. His father played football for the Vikings.

I'd like to see him come here, but I think the Wild are very interested as well.

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not sure on signing / vs cap. but homer seems to get what homer wants

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@hf101 - sounds like the same kind of story with Read (although he was hardly a sophomore). The Wild weren't willing to give Read the one-way contract he wanted, but Homer was. It was a bit of a risk, but being 25 there was less risk of dealing with immaturity.

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@Podein25

@Irishjim

Just found this:

Hartnell - who has zero connections to the Minnesota native - posted this tweet "Nice GWG for @JTBrown23 this weekend. Win another championship for UMD this. #thiskidisgonnabegood " Coincidence or wooing at it's finest?......

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Go Bulldogs.

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@Podein25

@Irishjim

Just found this:

Hartnell - who has zero connections to the Minnesota native - posted this tweet "Nice GWG for @JTBrown23 this weekend. Win another championship for UMD this. #thiskidisgonnabegood " Coincidence or wooing at it's finest?......

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Go Bulldogs.

nothing wrong with a little philly promotion. way to go hartnell

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UMD's season is done, as they lost tonight to Boston College. I wonder if Brown will be signed by Holmgren this week.

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ah, well........next.....I do have to say though his size imo was a concern.

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O well we lost out on him:

BROWN SIGNS: The Flyers did not play on Wednesday, but it marked the second time they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning this week. That's because prized University of Minnesota-Duluth prospect J.T. Brown signed with the Tampa Bay.

The Flyers had invested considerable time and resources into signing Brown, including hosting him at their prospect camp last July in Philadelphia and scouting him heavily throughout the last two seasons. They were one of the finalists to sign him, along with Boston.

Brown, 21, just wrapped up his sophomore season at Minnesota-Duluth with 47 points in 39 games, good for 12th in the nation in scoring. He was named the “Most Outstanding Player” at the 2011 Frozen Four as a freshman, when the Bulldogs won the national title.

With players signing entry-level deals, as Brown did, a decision like that rarely comes down to money. There are maximums for entry-level deals.

Turns out, the country club-bound Lightning could offer something the Flyers could not: a chance to join the NHL lineup immediately. Brown is expected to play for Tampa Bay against Winnipeg on Saturday night. By playing in the final games of this season, Brown will already burn one year off his two-year deal, allowing him to become a free agent after next season. That was another incentive.

“Definitely exciting,” Brown told the Tampa Bay Times. “It came down to having the right opportunity and the right fit.”

I’m told the Flyers have other irons in the fire with undrafted college free agents, though Brown would have been their big catch.

Read more:

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@hf101

Yeah we have enuff little guys on the wing. Need some bruisers.

On a separate note, is there any way we can get our hands on the 1st or 2nd overall pick for 2014? Seth Jones or MacKinnon would look good in O&B

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Not surprised by this. TJ Brown attended the Flyers prospect camp this summer. Then he went on to attend the Wild's camp before returning to UMD. Brown is not very big, but fast and strong. His father played football for the Vikings.

I'd like to see him come here, but I think the Wild are very interested as well.

Well easy looking back now but i think it's safe to say he is no Matt Read.

Still early though.

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lol, dragging up old threads eh?

I had to look him up, I haven't watched him, looks as if he is pegged in a defensive role. Read does have a few years on him. But then Matt Read wasn't 1 game away from playing for the Calder Cup either.

:P

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