Brian Strait
Image: USA Hockey

Brian Strait

Hometown:

Waltham Massachusetts

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1988-01-04

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2006

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2006

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

Waiver claim, 2013

Weight:

200 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B

History

2005-06: Brian Strait spent the past season with the US National under 18 squad, playing 55 games and serving as its captain. He was looked to as a great leader and character guy in the locker room. He had a solid season and helped lead team to a gold medal in the U18 WCs. Strait posted 2 goals to go with 12 assists and collected 72 PIMs for the season, while playing a solid two-way game. He was counted on to be a steadying force on the blue line.

2006-07: Appeared in 36 contests for the Terriers and recorded a respectable three goals and thee assists, with an accompanying 46 penalty minutes.

2007-08: Named the alternate captain at beginning of the season, Strait increased his numbers and decreased his penalty minutes, becoming a more effective all around hockey player for Boston University. He was also voted a runner up for the Old Time Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman award.

2008-09: In his junior year with Boston University, Strait appeared in 38 games and managed 2 goals, 5 assists, and 67 penalty minutes. More importantly he was a key cog in Boston University's Frozen Four championship, often deployed to shutdown opposing teams top scorers. At the end of the season Strait would sign an entry-level deal with the Penguins.

2009-10: In his first professional season, Strait provided a steadying presence on the Baby Penguins blue line, normally with Robert Bortuzzo as his defensive partner. He managed 2 goals, 12 assists, 73 penalty minutes and a plus-22.

2010-11: Paired with Robert Bortuzzo, Strait made up one of the most effective defensive pairings in the AHL. Through 75 games he managed 2 goals, 8 assists, and a plus-22 rating. He also saw a 3 game cup of coffee in the NHL, playing mostly in a bottom-pairing role.

2011-12: Strait appeared in 12 NHL games with Pittsburgh, including three playoff games, in his third pro season. Called up by the Penguins in October, he saw just under seven minutes of ice-time in a game against Minnesota; suffering an elbow injury that kept him off the ice until mid-December. Once healthy, Strait re-joined Penguins AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before being re-called by Pittsburgh in March. In nine regular season games he was minus-two with 1 assist and 4 penalty minutes; averaging 13 minutes of ice time.  Strait made his playoff debut in Pittsburgh's wild 10-3 win in Game Three against the Flyers and was plus-three in 12 minutes of ice time. He had no points nor penalty minutes in the final two games of the series.  In 43 AHL games (including two playoff games) he scored 4 goals with 13 assists and was plus-seven with 26 penalty minutes. Strait signed a one-year contract  as a restricted free agent with the Penguins in July, 2012.

 

Talent Analysis

Strait is a smart defender who prefers to play a simple game focused on his own side of the ice.  More than any particular skill, Strait brings leadership, grit, and a steadying presence to the blue line.  Strait’s skating ability lacks explosiveness, but the 200lb defenseman makes up for his weak first step with strong backward and lateral skating.  Strait is also very good at picking angles and is rarely caught out of position.  Although not known for his physicality he will not hesitate to clear the front of the net and is willing to pay the price along the boards to protect the puck.  The 6’0 defender does a good job of locking up opponents along the boards, separating them from the puck, and removing them from the play.  He does not have a particularly hard or accurate shot but is capable of corralling the puck and making a crisp first pass.

 

Future

Strait will start the 2010-11 season in the AHL and will be among the first to be called up in case of injuries.

 

Numerous positives found in disappointing Penguins post-season

by Ian Altenbaugh
on
London Knights defenseman Scott Harrington

Photo: Finishing the season with an OHL championship and an appearance at the Memorial Cup, defenseman Scott Harrington easily saw the most post-season success of any Penguin prospect. (Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

Only two years ago an extended run in the NHL post-season was a seeming right of passage for the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and their rabid fanbase. But after two consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009, the Penguins have experienced dramatic early post-season upsets, the first in 2011 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and most recently in 2012 to the Philadelphia Flyers.

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