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Prospects Unlimited: Flyers Brink hopes to follow in footsteps of his legendary namesake

He fell out of the first round due to his size and skating ability, but the skill is there and Bobby Brink is developing into a prize prospect.
Shannon Valerio/DU Athletics

Shannon Valerio/DU Athletics

A not-so-funny thing happened to right winger Bobby Brink en route to MVP honors at the 2018 World Jr. A Challenge. With a couple games still to go in the tourney, the skilled American right winger broke his ankle – but that didn’t deter him from continuing his pursuit of gold. “I knew when I blocked the shot,” he said. “The pain was pretty bad, especially after the game when it swelled up and I couldn’t walk it off. I knew something was wrong. I didn’t know if it was broken, but I couldn’t move very well.”

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Brink ended up finishing the tournament anyway, and Team USA did indeed win gold. Do we even need to ask why he decided to play on a broken ankle? “One of the most honorable things you can do is play for your country,” Brink said. “I just wanted to battle through to win the gold medal.”

Now a freshman at the University of Denver, Brink was drafted in the second round by Philadelphia this summer. He had first-round potential, but his smaller frame (5-foot-9, 160 pounds) and less-than-elite skating ability conspired against him. Nonetheless, Brink is one of the deadliest offensive players to come out of the USHL in recent years, notching 68 points in 43 games with Sioux City last season on a loaded line with Calgary pick Martin Pospisil and Vegas prospect Marcus Kallionkieli. “We had a really good line that found chemistry early,” Brink said. “We didn’t achieve the overall goal of winning it all, but it was a successful year, and I had a lot of fun there.”

A big fan of Toronto’s Mitch Marner, Brink likes to watch the Maple Leafs winger for his hands, creativity and vision. But there’s an even bigger hockey luminary that will always be a part of his life, because Brink’s middle name is Orr. Yes, Bobby Orr Brink. “I think it’s pretty cool,” he said. “He’s one of the greatest players ever, so it’s an honor to be named after him. I always wanted to be a D-man growing up because of him, but a couple coaches along the way thought I’d be better at forward.” – Ryan Kennedy

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