The Muskegon Lumberjacks said this morning Blaine (MN-HS) defenseman Michael Brodzinski (Minnesota) will be playing with the team this weekend.
Brodzinski, a junior, established himself as one of the more talented players in Minnesota high school hockey this season. He led an extremely young Blaine team to the section finals this season before it was trounced 15-1 by state title contender, Maple Grove.
At least for now, it appears Muskegon could be in his future.
Brodzinski’s rights were traded from Des Moines in exchange for defenseman Nick Seeler (Nebraska-Omaha/Minnesota) in February days before the USHL Trade Deadline.
The 5-11, 190-pound Brodzinski told Slightly Chilled days after the trade he was unsure if he was going to stay around at Blaine for one more season or go to Muskegon in the hopes of raising his game and NHL Draft stock.
Though Blaine faces a better future next year, it remains to be seen what will happen in Muskegon. Muskegon opened the season with playoff expectations only to falter.
The Lumberjacks jumped out to one of the worst starts in the USHL this season continually facing roadblocks and speed bumps on the road to recovery. They fired coach Kevin Patrick, a former Wisconsin assistant, earlier in the season replacing him with former NHL toughman Jim MacKenzie. Muskegon also hired former Michigan State coach Ron Mason as a senior advisor.
McKenzie and Mason have helped turn things around making Muskegon a more competitive team scoring wins over Eastern powers such as the Indiana Ice while keeping close with other teams.
Muskegon, which plays Wednesday against the NTDP, is six points out of the last playoff spot in the East.
Brodzinski will play two games this weekend, both home games, against the Chicago Steel and the Lincoln Stars. Assuming Muskegon can win two of those three games, it certainly means the team has a chance at reaching the playoffs for a consecutive season.
Brodzinski, whose brother Jonny (St. Cloud State) play for Fargo, led Blaine with 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) in 28 games this season. His speed and offensive prowess are reasons why he was given an invitation to the NTDP’s 40-man camp and why Minnesota recruited him over the summer.