A Better Look at Adam Brooks

    It’s simple. Adam Brooks is the Leafs prospect you should know but don’t. It’s not your fault. All eyes would be on the Regina Pats captain if this were any other Toronto season, but why focus on a fourth-round pick when you have three rookies with 50+ points? Because Brooks just finished his WHL season with 130 points.

    “There’s really nobody better [than Brooks] on most nights”

    Once Regina named John Paddock the Pats’ Coach and GM in 2014, the Leafs’ eventual 2016, 92nd-overall pick began scoring at a near point-per-game pace. It was an impressive turnaround after a slow and disappointing start to his junior career (23 points in his first 115 games). Paddock named Brooks team captain in January 2016 amidst the Winnipegger’s 120-point campaign (38G 82A, 72 games), the highest point total the WHL that season. Coach Paddock put it simply: “[Brooks] excels at this level. There’s really nobody better on most nights.

    The responsible, two-way centre kept that momentum rolling this year. As an overager, he helped Regina to a WHL-best, CHL-best, and franchise-record 112 points and 52 wins (52-12-7-1). In just 66 games played this year, he lead the CHL in assists (87), netted a personal best 43 goals, and recorded 130 points. Unfortunately, that point total wasn’t enough for back-to-back Bobby Clarke Trophies; this year’s WHL (and CHL) points leader was Brooks’s Regina teammate Sam Steel, who bested Adam by a single point.

    Steady

    If you can’t find it in your heart to look past that shortcoming, maybe Brooks’ consistency will change your mind. He’s missed just six Pats games over the past two seasons when he was excused to attend Leafs camp in early October. Upon returning, the fan-favourite recorded a 22-game point streak and notched an astounding 47 points between October 12th and December 10th.

    Most impressively, the WHL’s November Player of the Month hit the scoresheet in all but eight games this year. He recorded at least a point against 18 of 19 opponents and finished his final WHL season with 10 straight multi-point games (10G, 17A).

    Now, playoffs

    Regina won the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as this year’s WHL regular season champions, giving the Pats home-ice advantage throughout the entire postseason. Regina was the CHL’s top-ranked team for 15 weeks this season, including every week from November 30th – February 22nd. In fact, the panel of National Hockey League scouts only left the Pats out of the CHL’s top-10 in week 1, and currently rank them second behind the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs.

    Remember the Name

    Through all of this, somehow, we’ve completely ignored Brooksy. We’re still all so stunned by the prodigious triumvirate of NyMarnThews that none of us looked to our Saskatchewanian talent pool. When Brooks was again left off the Team Canada WJC invite list, fans focused on national talents Jeremy Bracco, Carl Grundstrom, and Joe Woll instead. We’ve raced to Youtube for Steven Dangle’s post-game “bless-or-blame” without ever opening a second tab to check on our prairie prospect.

    Adam Brooks has been off our radar for a long time. That’ll change with an expected long playoff run, possible Memorial Cup appearance,  and all-but-guaranteed spot on the Marlies next year.