Buffalo Sabres Draft Former Las Vegas Defenseman Brunet

The United States Premier Hockey League congratulates former Las Vegas Thunderbirds (now Henderson Force) defenseman Simon-Pier Brunet for being drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. Brunet was selected in the fourth round, 123rd overall.

The USPHL Premier is the only Tier III junior hockey league in the United States with alumni selected in the NHL Entry Draft since the Premier’s 2017-18 formation – and it hasn’t been just a one-man show. Brunet became the second former USPHL Premier player selected after former Chicago Cougar Mats Lindgren was selected in 2022, also by the Buffalo Sabres. 

Brunet played for the former T-Birds in the 2021-22 season, skating in nine regular season games in the USPHL Premier, scoring a 6-6-12 line. He also played in four playoff games, scoring four points that year.

“We were a great opportunity for Simon-Pier to push his game, and experiment with creativity, so when he went back to the QMJHL, he went back with a lot more confidence,” said Adam Bonaldi, his former GM for the T-Birds, and still a USPHL Premier Pacific Division representative. “We made him push himself, because he was great. It was just a good opportunity to go back to seeing what was possible, outside of playing in a major junior structure. That allowed him to go back to the QMJHL with more confidence. He had been drafted in the QMJHL, and they felt he still needed more time to develop towards that level, and we felt we were the perfect fit for him to achieve his maximum potential when he went back.”

“On behalf of the entire Las Vegas Thunderbirds and Henderson Force family, we send a huge congrats to Simon, his family, and all of those who helped him get to today!” added Joe. Micatrotto, Managing Partner of CMB Hockey, the former Thunderbirds and current Force’s ownership group.

He also played in five games with the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs that season, and has spent the past two years with the Voltigeurs, scoring 25 points in 130 combined regular season and playoff games.

Congratulations and best of luck to Simon-Pier Brunet in his hockey future!