TSN’s Darren Dreger reported this morning that the rumors of NHL veteran Brandon Prust accepting a deal overseas are indeed true. The veteran agitator is heading to Germany to pursue an opportunity to extend his playing career. While it is currently unknown exactly which team he will sign with, it will more than likely be a team in the country’s premiere league, the DEL. Prust will leave for Germany tomorrow and an announcement is expected in the coming days.
Right up until this decision was made, many expected that Prust could sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 32-year-old forward accepted a PTO deal with the Leafs, but was unable to secure a roster spot in training camp. However, he has continued to practice with the team over the past few months. When Auston Matthews and Tyler Bozak missed time with the flu a few weeks back, Prust went as far as to join line rushes and many speculated that a contract offer was imminent. Just a couple of days ago, Prust’s agent, and a former gritty NHLer himself, Claude Lemieux was reportedly waiting to accept any offer from outside of North America while anticipating a deal with Toronto. However, that opportunity did not arise and Prust has moved on to a new adventure overseas.
A journeyman enforcer, Prust’s days in the NHL appeared numbered when he was demoted to the AHL by the Vancouver Canucks last season. Although never an offensive force, Prust showed an ability to chip in an occasional goal throughout his career. After being traded from the Montreal Canadiens to Vancouver for Zack Kassian last summer, that ability seemingly evaporated and led to Prust playing in just 35 games last season and was part of the reason he was unable to find a guaranteed contract in the off-season. In nine seasons split between the Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers, Canadiens, and Canucks, Prust recorded 40 goals and 75 assists for 115 points in 486 games. More memorable will be the 1036 penalty minutes he sat for in his career as well. With the league trending away from enforcers, especially those who are on the wrong side of 30, Prust has likely played his last NHL game, but will continue his career by bringing his tough, physical brand of hockey to Germany.