A Tale of two seasons for Windsor Spitfires Defenseman Brandon Devlin
Photo courtesy of TheRecord.com
By Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell)
It has been an up and down season for Windsor defenseman Brandon Devlin, to say the least.
Heading into the season, the 2012 draft eligible defenseman was projected to be a mid-round dfart pick. Devlin was coming off a solid season as a 16-year-old rookie in the Ontario Hockey League with the Barrie Colts and things were really starting to look up. The Colts were projected to be a middle-to-upper tier team in the Eastern Conference and Devlin, along with Mark Scheifele, Ivan Telegin, Tanner Pearson and Aaron Ekblad, among others, were supposed to play big roles in that.
How quickly things can change.
Devlin didn’t start the season off on a good note and former NHLer and Colts head coach Dale Hawerchuk let him know about it. Devlin’s game started to drop off, he lost all his confidence and he started to be benched almost regularly throughout games by Hawerchuk. Devlin thought things would only get better in Barrie, but that wasn’t the case. After struggling and being benched for a couple of weeks, Hawerchuk decided it was a good idea to use Devlin as a fourth line winger — that was it for Devlin in Barrie.
Devlin and Ian Pulver, his agent from Pulver Sports Agency, spoke with Hawerchuk and Colts General Manager Jason Ford, and the two sides came to the conclusion that it was best to trade Devlin and move on.
Knowing that, Hawerchuk played Devlin regularly for a few games and he played well. Devlin impressed Windsor and the team’s management and he was eventually traded to the Windsor Spitfires for a couple of draft picks.
Since the trade, things have really been looking up for the 2012 draft eligible defenseman. Devlin has been playing big minutes for Bob Boughner’s Spitfires and has produced much more than in Barrie. Devlin had three points and a +4 rating in 16 games with the Colts and since the trade he has tallied two goals, five assists and a +2 in 16 games. That’s almost a half of a point per game since being traded which isn’t bad for a defenseman; especially one who’s best asset is arguably his physicality or play in his own zone.
I managed to talk to Devlin recently and he told me that: “Playing in Windsor has helped a lot, I’ve regained my confidence and am playing my game.”
He mentioned Bob Boughner has played a big part of helping him regain his confidence and I asked if there was any particular reason as to why: “Just by giving me the opportunities to prove myself in every situation, he said.”
That’s an opportunity he never received in Barrie this season.
“Everything here (in Windsor) is helping me get better and improve my game, whether it’s the coaches, or the guys, or just working out, everything is helping me get better (as a player) and helping me make it to the next level”
It’s quite evident from talking to Devlin and watching him since the trade that he has regained his confidence and once again found his game.
That’s certainly good news as it couldn’t have came at a better time for the 2012 draft eligible defenseman. It’s been a whirlwind of a season for him, perhaps a tale of two seasons.