Thursday, July 24, 2014

Andrew Brunette: 7 Autographed Cards (Part 1)

As I hinted in yesterday's post about Niklas Backstrom, I got two returns from Minnesota yesterday. Here is the second one:
Never a superstar, Andrew Brunette made the OHL's Owen Sound Platers after having been drafted in the 7th round at the midget draft; he had three relatively successful years with them, improving from 35 to 98 to a whopping 162 points over his three seasons in Juniors, where he played alongside future NHLers Kevin Weekes, Kirk Maltby, Scott Walker, and Jamie Storr, all of which led him to being drafted by the Washington Capitals 174th overall in 1993, in the... seventh round. That pick originally belonged to the Calgary Flames.

This card reflects his time in the OHL, showing him with the Platers' white (home) uniform, from 7th Inning Sketch's 1990-91 7th Inning Sketch set of CHL cards (it's #277):
He would play 62 games with the Caps over parts of three seasons, showing a great deal of promise in the third, with 11 goals and 23 points in just 28 games, leading the Nashville Predators to select him in the expansion draft. He only played one year in Nashville before they traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers for a draft pick, making it the second-straight expansion team he'd play for.

Of his days in Atlanta, I have this keepsake showing him wearing the Thrashers' dark blue (away) uniform, from Pacific's 1999-2000 Omega set (card #9):
He had a pretty good couple of seasons in Atlanta, scoring 23 goals with 50 points in 1999-2000, and reaching 59 points the next year, before making his way to the Minnesota Wild. He played three fine seasons in his first stint in Minnesota, and started making a name for himself in the 2002-03 playoffs, with 13 points in 18 games but, more importantly, all 7 of his goals being of the ''very important'' kind, including a Game-7 overtime series clincher against Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche.

As soon as he became a free agent, the Avs signed him, specifically for his clutch post-season acumen. He did pretty good in the regular season in Colorado as well, with a career year in 2006-07, marking his high point in goals (27), assists (56) and points (83). He would also put up 17 points on 8 goals (including another series clincher) in 19 playoff games with the Avalanche.

I have this memento of his time playing with Joe Sakic, from Upper Deck's 2005-06 Parkhurst collection (card #121 in the set):
It shows him wearing their original burgundy (away) uniform, which I have grown to miss.

    (continued in the following post)

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