Former NHLer Brandon Prust isn’t planning another European Vacation for the 2017-18 hockey season. When the veteran of 486 games was cut loose by the Vancouver Canucks after the 2015-16 season, he found himself without any NHLer offers and was forced to take his bruising game to the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of the German Deutsche Eishockey Liga. This year, he has no plans on returning. Instead, he has his eyes set on an NHL return.
Before crossing the Atlantic to play in Germany, Prust received interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs and even accepted a professional try-out from the team. However, a deal never materialized and Prust bolted for Europe fearing that he’d miss an entire season of hockey if he didn’t act quickly.
“It was really good hockey,” said Prust when speaking with Sportsnet about his year abroad. “Obviously the ice is bigger and the game is different that way — just knowing you have a little more time with the puck. The way of living in Europe is different, the travel is different, but I had a lot of fun.”
Prust is hopeful that with the NHL expanding to 31 teams this offseason with the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights, that he’ll be afforded an opportunity to bring his game back to the world’s top league.
“There’s teams that realize they need guys like me around still,” Prust said.
What do you think? Do you think Prust has a shot at an NHL return? Would you take him back on your squad?