2007-08: The St. Michaels Buzzers were one of the top teams in the OPJHL, and Brandon Burlon was an alternate captain with the team. While is numbers might not show it, he played a considerable role in the success of the team. He recorded seven goals and 17 assists and 41 PIM’s in 32 games. He showed strong puck skills and a sound two way game all season long and it helped get him drafted in the second round by New Jersey at the NHL draft.
2008-09: After Corrente, Burlon probably possesses the most upside of any Devils blueline prospect. An ankle injury meant that he got a late start to his first season at the University of Michigan, however once he was back to full health, he looked like he hadn’t missed a game, showing off his top-notch mobility and puck-handling skills. In 33 games for the Wolverines, he had five goals and 10 assists, and an outstanding +17 rating.
2009-10: Burlon appeared in 45 games for the University of Michigan as a sophomore as the Wolverines won the CCHA regular season and playoff titles. Burlon notched 3 goals with 11 assists and was +13 with 24 PMs. Burlon scored all three goals on the power play. En route to a CCHA championship, the Wolverines, after winning just five of their last twelve regular season games, reeled off seven straight post-season wins before losing to CCHA-rival Miami in an epic double overtime NCAA Midwest Regional final.
2010-11: Burlon was one of the top defensemen for Michigan as a junior but missed the team’s playoff run due to what was first thought to be strep throat but turned out to be esophagitis. Burlon scored 5 goals with 13 assists and was +14 with 28 PMs in 38 games as the Wolverines won their second straight CCHA regular season crown. Burlon signed a three-year, entry level contract with New Jersey in June 2011; foregoing his senior year of college hockey.
2011-12: Burlon had an up-and-down first season making the jump from college to pro hockey in his first season with the AHL’s Albany Devils. Part of a defense corps that featured a handful of veterans with NHL experience and some high profile draftees he scored 1 goal with 8 assists and was minus-five with 21 penalties in 57 games. Albany missed the playoffs for the second straight year; finishing last in the Northeast Division.
2012-13: Burlon skated in 53 games for the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany in his second pro season. Part of a deep defense corps with Albany, which included 19-year-old Adam Larsson during the NHL lockout, Burlon saw limited ice time early in the year but showed improvement and had and increased role in the second half He scored 1 goal with 16 assists and was +9 with 25 penalty minutes. Albany missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Northeast Division.
Burlon is a multi-purpose defenseman who doesn’t necessarily have as many elite qualities as other defense prospects in the organization, but he does a little bit of everything well. That being said, his best attributes are his skating and mobility. He’s a proficient and accurate passer out of his own zone and he is capable of leading the rush up the ice. He has the distribution skills to be effective when playing with the extra man. Burlon’s hockey sense and positioning allow him to defend effectively both off the rush and in his own end.
Burlon played quite well in his second pro season with Albany. His ability to make a good first pass out of his zone, as well as taking and giving the body, made him a valuable balanced defenseman. He will compete at training camp for a roster spot with the big club, but it’s probable he’ll return to Albany to continue his development. His skill-set and style is similar to that of current Devil defenseman Andy Greene.