Red Wings of Tomorrow is assessing every prospect in the Detroit Red Wings system and what they are projecting to be in the future. We’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them as they advance through the Detroit organization. Today, we look at center Brennan Ali
How Acquired: 212th overall pick (7th round) in 2022 Draft
2021-22 Stats: (GP-G-A-Pts) 27-15-19-34 (with Avon Old Farms – Prep)
Contract Status: Unsigned
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: University of Notre Dame
Ali just signed a letter of intent for Notre Dame in the fall of 2021, and will suit up to play for the Fighting Irish in 2022-23. But the prep school he spent time playing at in Connecticut has quite the wealth of alumni that include Jonathan Quick and Brian Leetch. Avon Old Farms fell in the NEPSAC Elite 8 Semifinal 4-2 after a 23-4 season.
In those 27 games, Ali had 15 goals and 19 assists. He then played a handful of games with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, notching two assists in nine games.
Congratulations to Brennan Ali! He was chosen by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2022 NHL Draft. Brennan played for the #WingedBeavers this past season, graduated in May and is headed to Notre Dame in the fall. pic.twitter.com/tWG8k3nTnd
— AOF HOCKEY (@AOF_Hockey) July 8, 2022
Estimated Time of Arrival in Detroit
Ali is kicking off his college career with Notre Dame, but the returns from his prep career and even his brief stint in the USHL are certainly encouraging. Ali’s rights with Detroit don’t expire until 2026 when he’ll be 22, so growth between that time is certainly going to be something they’ll keep monitoring.
Director of Amateur scouting Kris Draper mentioned following the draft how neat it was to see Ali’s reaction on being drafted.
“It’s a very special moment,” Draper said. “We were excited that he was here as well. When he came around the table you could see the joy he had so it was a very special for him.”
Ali described himself as a power forward when answering questions following the selection.
“Hard to play against,” Ali said of himself on the ice. “Big, physical, fast and a good shot to go with that.”
He also mentioned his insistence on playing a 200-foot game, a hallmark of Steve Yzerman teams.
Determining an estimated time of arrival isn’t really feasible until at least a season at ND is in the books. There’s something to be said for the seasons lost due to the COVID pandemic. If ever late-round picks throughout the league are going to see substantial growth, it’s going to be during these next few seasons. Might Ali be one of those picks?
Ali’s career path is still early, but he landed with Notre Dame, which includes fellow Red Wings prospect Jack Adams among other NHL-drafted prospects on the roster. It can be a solid first step for the young center who is one of many selections the Red Wings hope turns into a late round gem.