June 22, 2009 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Michigan-Bound Brown Bring Rugged Brand From Texas

by Russ Cohen/Special to CHN

Chris Brown is a draft eligible forward who hails from Flower Mound, Texas, a small town outside of Dallas. He plays a rugged brand of hockey and he hopes to make it to the NHL some day.

"I will be in Montreal," he quickly stated. "I think I will just be on cloud nine just to be able to go to the NHL Draft. It's been a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid, it's every hockey players' dream, to get drafted and play in the NHL."

Team USA recently won a historic game against Russia when they won the World U-18 Championships with a 5-0 rout. It just so happens this Texan played in that game, which was USA Hockey's first world title win on U.S. soil since 1980. Brown didn't just play in this game he scored the team's fourth goal. Did he think the game was over after that?

"The funny thing is no we didn't, because in Pool play because we were up I think two or three goals and we ended up losing to Russia," Brown said. "It gave us a little comfort room to get that momentum in the third period..We made sure we just stuck to our system and played hard throughout the game."

Sometimes players like to check out their work on the Jumbotron. Was this the case for this budding prospect?

"This past weekend I did but it's because we actually had a Jumbotron with instant replay," he chuckled. "It was something new and kind of fun to see. I mostly try to stay focused. If I make a big hit, I can see it because I lived it."

There were a ton of scouts at this tournament, which was held in Fargo, N.D., but the center stuck to his game and enjoyed the sold out crowds.

"It's indescribable. We trained really hard the past two years. We became like a little family," he said. "What better way to beat the Russians on home soil again. The city of Fargo was going through a rough time. It was great for them and it gave them a little life and they knew there was hope and we appreciate the support for coming out to every game."

Before Brown steps up to the podium for his new NHL team, he decided on a college and now he will suit up for Michigan next season.

"When I was little my dad turned on the television, it was a Michigan-Minnesota game. I was just in awe," Brown said. "I had never seen anything like that before. When I saw the helmets and the jersey's I thought that was cool and new and I knew that one day I wanted to play for them. When the opportunity came it was a no-brainer."

Brown is the 30th ranked North American Skater according to CSS.

This pivot watches the Dallas Stars regularly and the fact that Marty Turco and Brendan Morrison are also Michigan alums was a bonus for him.

"When they opened the ACC, back when I think maybe I was a squirt," he recalled. "I actually sat next to Marty Turco up in the stands for the ribbon cutting. It's kind of ironic, Michigan, kind of a connection there. He's a great guy. He was giving me elbows while I was sitting there. It was a fun day. I hope I can play either with him or against him and give him that reminder that ‘hey I was that kid sitting next to you'".

The captain of the Stars is a player he patterns himself after.

"I think I can give them an edge. A power forward edge. I like to use my body to its advantage. I have a good shot and good speed and good vision on the ice," the 6-foot-3, 200 pound prospect said confidently.

"Even though he's not as big, Brenden Morrow is one of my all-time favorite players. He plays that power forward position and he's obviously got great leadership. He does what he needs to do to help the team win. Night in and night out."

Many times scouts are looking to see what a kid is made of on the inside. Can he lead or he is a follower. The right response on and off the ice can ensure a solid draft position.

"I had moments where I can be vocal or lead by example. I was not put in a leadership role but I feel everybody has a leadership role on the team. I have been a captain before on previous teams. My captains this year and in the past few years have been great and they have really stepped up," said the recent gold medal winner.

Look for this future leader to get drafted late in the first round or sometime early in the second round.

Russ Cohen is publisher of Sportsology and Hockeyology.

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