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Hockey roundup: Michigan commit Hunter Brzustewicz opts to play with OHL Kitchener

Top 2023 NHL prospect Hunter Brzustewicz decommited from the University of Michigan and signed with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League on Thursday.

A native of Washington, Mich., the five-foot-11 defenseman played the last two years with the National Team Development Program with 29 points (2 goals, 27 assists) and a plus-30 rating in 80 games.

“We are excited to welcome Hunter and his family to our organization,” Rangers GM and head coach Mike McKenzie told “He is a top-rated prospect and will be a huge part of our team moving forward."

Brzustewicz played his AAA youth hockey in Detroit with 120 points (18 goals, 102 assists) and a plus-85 rating in 76 games during the 2019-20 season with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies. He had 35 points (8 goals, 27 assists) in 20 games with Detroit Honeybaked in 2018-19.

“When the opportunity to play for Kitchener came, I couldn’t turn it down,” Brzustewicz said. “It’s a great place, a great league and looking at the options that I had, I think it’s the best opportunity to excel in a hockey career. 

"The arena is the most iconic in the league and they have the greatest fan base in the league. I went to a game in April and the fans are truly special there. Everything about it is just so special. I cannot wait.”

Memorial Cup update

Olivier Nadeau broke a third-period tie with Shawinigan’s third power-play goal, Antoine Coulombe made 38 saves and the Cataractes beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 on Wednesday night in the Memorial Cup in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Westland's Avery Hayes scored a goal for the OHL champion Bulldogs (0-2), who will face Red Wings draft pick Sebastian Cossa and the Edmonton Oil Kings (1-1) on Friday.