Name: Derick Brassard
Weight: 202 lbs
Born: September 22nd, 1987 (27 years old)
Drafted: CBJ 1st Round 2006, 6th Overall (acquired by the Rangers in 2013 in Marian Gaborik trade)
2014-15 stat line: 80 games played, 19 goals, 41 assists, 34 penalty minutes
2013-14 playoff stat line: 23 GP, 6G, 6A, 8 PIMs
2014-15 stats vs Penguins: 4 GP, 2G, 3A, 0 PIMs
2014-15 5v5 Advanced Stats: 52.41 CF%, +3.93% Corsi Relative, 100.6 PDO
Player detail (via The Hockey News Player Page)
HERO Chart (via Domenic Galamini):
Per these metrics, I would say Brassard is producing at what should be expected for a player who is generally seeing time on the 2nd line for a team of the Rangers caliber. Combine Brassard's $5 million/year cap hit and it's hard to find much to complain about, given his 60 point production. I'd be happy with that
Analysis: I've been a fan of Brassard's since he played in Columbus. Seeing how Gaborik didn't work with Tortorella and he needed a change of scenery, the Rangers got a good player in Brassard, as well as Derek Dorsett (traded for a pick that turned into Keegan Iverson) and John Moore (a piece in acquiring Yandle). Brassard is a good player. Nothing too flashy or fancy, doesn't dazzle much, but he's consistent. 29 points in the shortened 2012-13 season, followed by a 45-point last year, and a career-high 60 points this season.
Most common line mates: When you see Brassard's usual line mates, it's not difficult to see in part why he produced 60 points this season. His most common ice time partners were Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello. There's something to say about needing to have chemistry to fit with your wingers, but they were a lights out pairing this season. The three players combined scored 76 goals. I mean, come on. That's silly.
Why you should know who he is: As I just mentioned, playing with Nash and Zuccarello, that line is bound to score goals in the upcoming series. He already made a bit of a name for himself last year against the Penguins in the playoffs. Mainly from his memorable Game 1 in Pittsburgh where he scored (twice) in OT to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the series.
How the Pens can stop him: I honestly don't think that Brassard (and his line) can be stopped. It will simply be a matter of being able to slow them down enough that they don't light the lamp on the regular. Hopefully some of the uncalled interference that has plagued the NHL as of late can make its way into this series on the regular.