Brandon Raymond James Prust (born March 16, 1984) is a retired Canadian NHL ice hockey left winger who is currently a coach for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Prust was drafted in the third round, 70th overall, by the Calgary Flames in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, and has played in the NHL for the Flames, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks.
Prust with the Montreal Canadiens in January 2015
March 16, 1984|
London, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
New York Rangers
Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers
70th overall, 2004|
Prust played three seasons of major junior hockey with his home town London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). During his junior career, he won an OHL and Memorial Cup Championship. A Thorndale, Ontario, native, Prust was a walk-on during the Knights' open tryouts, having been bypassed in the OHL Priority Draft.
Prust was drafted by the Calgary Flames in third round, 70th overall, at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, where he was sent back down to London to play his final OHL season. After spending the following season with the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, Prust made his NHL debut on November 1, 2006, against the Detroit Red Wings.
Prust suffered an injury during the 2008–09 season when he broke his jaw after being elbowed by Cam Janssen of the St. Louis Blues. On March 4, 2009, Prust was traded, along with Matthew Lombardi and a 2009 first-round draft pick, to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Olli Jokinen, and was then traded back to Calgary in exchange for Jim Vandermeer on June 27.
On February 1, 2010, Prust, along with Olli Jokinen, were traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for Aleš Kotalík and Chris Higgins. The Rangers re-signed Prust to a two-year, $1.6 million contract after the end of that season, 2009–10, on July 3.
In the 2010–11 season, Prust, a fourth-line utility player and occasional enforcer, was one of only seven NHL players to score at least ten goals as well as engage in at least ten fights. He was awarded the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award at the end of the season, given to the Rangers player who "goes above and beyond the call of duty" as voted on by the fans.
Prust also played as the Rangers faced the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, which took place at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, on January 2, 2012. Prust posted two assists in a 3–2 Rangers win. Prust proved to be a valuable member of the Rangers' penalty kill during his tenure there.
Prust became a free agent at the end of the season and signed a four-year, $10 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens on July 1, 2012, lasting until 2016.
After the start of the lock-out-shortened 2012–13 season, Prust scored his first goal as a Canadien against Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils on January 27, 2013. Prust was awarded the Jacques-Beauchamp Trophy at the end of the regular season, an award voted on by the members of the media in Montreal to honour the team's unsung hero.
During the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals against his former team, the New York Rangers, Prust was suspended for two games following a hit on Rangers forward Derek Stepan during the first period of Game 3. Stepan suffered a broken jaw on the play and subsequently missed Game 4.
On July 1, 2015, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Zack Kassian and Vancouver's 5th round draft pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Prust struggled with the Canucks, putting up the fewest points since his rookie 2008–09 season. On February 2, 2016, he was sent down to the Canucks' AHL affiliate the Utica Comets after clearing waivers. On March 10, he returned to his home in London, ON, and was taken off the roster due to an ankle injury. He became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2016 after the Canucks declined to re-sign him.
Due to his ankle injury, teams were unwilling to give Prust a contract, with concerns continuing to be raised over his foot speed and ankle itself. Going unsigned for the duration of the summer, he agreed to sign a Professional Try Out contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on August 22, 2016. Prust's main reason for signing the try out was to fulfil his childhood dream of playing for the Maple Leafs, the team he grew up cheering for. After an unremarkable training camp, along with stiff competition for role players on the Leaf's roster, he was released by the team on October 11, 2016, He then embarked on his first overseas stint and European professional experience in late November 2016 after signing with the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers of the German top-flight Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). In the 2016-17 season, Prust added a needed physical presence to the Ice Tigers, and contributing 8 points in 29 games with the team.
As a result of the Ice Tiger's lack of interest in re-signing Prust, coupled with his disinterest in playing overseas, once again as a free agent, Prust opted to return for another attempt at an NHL comeback in signing a professional try-out contract to attend the Los Angeles Kings training camp on August 4, 2017. After attending King's camp for 10 days, Prust along with Shane Harper were the first to be released from their PTO with Los Angeles on September 25, 2017.
On November 29, 2017, Prust signalled the conclusion of his 12-year professional career in joining his former major junior club, the London Knights, as a coach. Although Prust has not formally announced his retirement from professional hockey, his current role as mentor and coach to the London Knights has proven useful over the 2017-18 season and it is reported he will continue in the position.
Prust grew up in London, Ontario, where he attended Regina Mundi Catholic College. While there, he excelled in multiple sports, and was recognized as the outstanding student athlete in 2000–01 school year. The number 8 he wore with the Canadiens is the same number he wore as a football player in high school. His favourite team growing up was the Toronto Maple Leafs, and his favourite player was Wendel Clark, after whom he has tried to model his game.
Prust began dating Montrealer TV host Maripier Morin in 2010. On June 22, 2015, the couple got engaged and subsequently married in 2017. She has been a castmember on three seasons of the Canadian reality series Hockey Wives.
|2005–06||Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights||AHL||79||12||14||26||249||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights||AHL||63||17||10||27||211||6||0||3||3||20|
|2007–08||Quad City Flames||AHL||79||10||27||37||248||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009–10||New York Rangers||NHL||26||4||5||9||65||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||New York Rangers||NHL||82||13||16||29||160||5||0||1||1||4|
|2011–12||New York Rangers||NHL||82||5||12||17||156||19||1||1||2||31|
|2016–17||Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers||DEL||29||3||5||8||67||11||2||4||6||51|
- "Brandon Prust aims to impress in Maple Leafs tryout". National Hockey League. August 23, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
- "The fighter-scorer is as rare as the 40-goal scorer, and almost as valuable". Yahoo Sports. January 8, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- "New York Rangers – Rangers Records – New York Rangers – All Time Roster". Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- "Praise for Prust". Montreal Canadiens. April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "Prust Honoured, Therrien approves". RDS.ca. April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "Canadiens' Prust suspended two games for late hit on Stepan". The Sports Network. May 23, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- "Canadiens acquire Kassian from Canucks for Prust". NHL.com. NHL. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
- "Prust: 'I've always wanted to play for the Leafs'". theScore. August 23, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
- "Maple Leafs' Brandon Prust: Joins Toronto with PTO agreement". CBS Sports. August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- "Leafs release Prust, finalize opening night roster". theScore.com. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- "Ice Tigers verpflichten NHL-Stürmer Brandon Prust | Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers Nürnberg". www.icetigers.de. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- "Brandon Prust to attend training camp on PTO". lakingsinsider.com. August 4, 2017. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- "Prust, Harper released from PTO's". Los Angeles Kings. September 25, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- "Prust joins London Knights coaching staff". The Sports Network. November 29, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- "Brandon Prust player bio". New York Rangers. January 2, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
- "Marie Morin in relationship with Brandon Prust of the New York Rangers". 25stanley.com. April 5, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
- Fox, Luke. "Q&A: 'Hockey Wives' Maripier Morin opens up". Sportsnet. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
- Stokes, Cassie (June 22, 2015). "Brandon Prust And Maripier Morin Engaged". ET Canada. ET Canada. Retrieved June 29, 2015.