Day 4: Brendan Gaunce, Belleville Bulls, C. 13th NA
A strong two-way player, Brendan Gaunce brings excellent size (6’2”, 215 pounds) and two-way instincts to the draft table.
A graduate of the Markham Waxers and the second overall pick in the 2010 OHL draft, Gaunce’s style was built with the NHL in mind.
“I think from a young age I was taught by all my coaches that to play in the NHL you have to play defence first,” he said. “I think that’s one thing that stayed with me. Over the last two years it has improved and I think it will continue improving.”
Gaunce scored 28 goals and added 40 assists for 68 points in his sophomore OHL season. He also incurred 68 penalty minutes. He scored three goals and added an assist in seven games for Canada at the Under-18 Worlds.
A good skater with a hard shot and terrific instincts, Gaunce hasn’t lacked for role models. His brother Cameron played for the Waxers beside Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos, defenceman Mike Del Zotto of the New York Rangers and Buffalo centreman Cody Hodgson.
Watching those three players, Gaunce said, was a mixed blessing.
“When you’re younger you always saw the winning and you would think the winning came easy. I think that might have been the only negative.”