2009-10: Brendan Burke played for the PF Changs U16 midget team in Arizona. In 24 games he had a 3.41 goals against and .861 save percentage.Burke was selected by Portland in the third round (49th overall) of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
2010-11: Burke skated for the re-christened Phoenix Junior Coyotes U16 team. In 23 games he was 9-10-3 and had a 3.39 goals against and .862 save percentage. The Junior Coyotes reached the championship game of the Rocky Mountain District. Burke was invited to USA Hockey’s U17 Development Camp.
2011-12: Burke appeared in 18 games as a backup to Chicago prospect Mac Carruth in his first WHL season with Portland. He was 7-2-2 with a 3.58 goals against and .875 save percentage. The Winterhawks finished second in the U.S. Division and reached the WHL Finals in the playoffs. Burke appeared in one playoff game – stopping 1 of 2 shots in 12 minutes of action.
2012-13: Burke played in 33 games for Portland in his second season as the Winterhawks dominated the WHL. Splitting time with Carruth, Burke was 24-5-1 with 4 shutouts and had a 2.65 goals against and .908 save percentage. The Winterhawks won 57 of 72 games in the regular season and rolled through the playoffs to reach the Memorial Cup. Carruth handled the bulk of the goaltending in the playoffs, with Burke appearing in one game, stopping 3 of 5 shots, in 10 minutes of action. He did not see any time in the five Memorial Cup games. Ranked 13th amongst North American goaltenders in Central Scouting’s final rankings, Burke was selected by Phoenix in the sixth round (163rd overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: With the departure of Mac Carruth, Burke took over as the number on goaltender in Portland. He responded well to the added workload, posting a GAA of 2.75 and .911 save percentage. In the playoffs, Portland’s run to the WHL finals was bittersweet for Burke. He relinquished his starting position to late-season acquisition Corbin Boes. Burke got the opportunity to redeem himself in Game 6 of the finals when Boes was pulled. The Winterhawks won and Burke got the start for game 7 only to lose 4-2.
Much like his father and current goalie coach for the Phoenix Coyotes Sean Burke, Brendan plays a similar style. He takes advantage of his size at 6’4” and fills the net with a positionally based butterfly style. His rebound control is solid, as is his vision. He could stand to be a little more aggressive and impose his size on shooters however. He is going to have to become real master of angles and positioning if he plans on playing a style similar to that of his father.
With Arizona’s glut of goaltending prospects, it’s most likely Burke returns to Portland as an overager. He fared well at Team USA’s World Junior Evaluation Camp and has an outside shot at making the club for the World Junior Championships.