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Top 25 Under 25: #13 Brendan Lemieux

I would call him gritty, but that name is already taken.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets
Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Top 25 Under 25 -
#13 - Brendan Lemieux
6’1” 210 lbs - Left Wing - Shoots Left
NHL 2017-2018 Season: 9 GP - 1G - 0A - 1PTS - 21PIM
AHL 2017-2018 Season: 51 GP - 19G - 24A - 43PTS - 170PIM
AHL Career Stats: 117 GP - 33G - 32A - 65PTS - 306PIM

After playing in his first nine NHL games last year with the Winnipeg Jets, Brendan Lemieux finds himself on the opening night 23-man roster. While he will not be in the lineup tonight, it does show how far he has risen in the eyes of the club.

Lemieux put up 43 points in 51 AHL games last year, and scoring at close to a point per game was an improvement on the previous year in which he had 19 points in 61 games. While his offensive production improved, his penalty minutes went up from an already high 130 PIMs in 2016-17 to 170 last year, second in the AHL, with six fights in there accounting for 30 of those minutes. That’s something that needs to be curbed if he is to break into an NHL lineup. Dustin Byfuglien barely gets away with 112 penalty minutes last year because of his skill and experience. Lemieux doesn’t have that luxury.

When he’s on the ice, Lemieux has been good. He brings an energy to his game that is hard not to like, and his offensive production is also something to like. He won the fastest skater competition for the Jets last year, so that’s something too. He could be like Brandon Tanev but with better hands. Or better. He’s 22-years-old, so there’s room to grow.