On the evening of December 29, 2017, T.J Brennan scored for Lehigh Valley Phantoms with ten seconds left in the second period of a game against Charlotte Checkers.
That strike was the 400th point of Brennan’s American Hockey League career and his 138th goal.
He becomes just the tenth defenseman in AHL history to reach the 400 point mark and it’s somewhat poignant he should have reached the milestone at the PPL in Allentown PA, just 70 miles or so from his birthplace of Moorestown, NJ.
Having turned down at least one lucrative offer to join the KHL (Russian league) Brennan has continued to rack up points and awards in North America’s second tier.
- AHL All-Star Game 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16.
- AHL Best Defenseman (Eddie Shore Award) 2013/14, 2015/16.
- AHL Most Goals by Defenseman 2011/12, 2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17.
- AHL Most Points by Defenseman 2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17.
The 28 year old defenseman is on pace to overhaul Bryan Helmer’s career record of 564 points, which took the current VP of Hockey Operations with the Hershey Bears over 1100 games to accrue.
Brennan’s 400 points were tallied in just 546 games, a rate of 0.73 which if maintained would see him overtake Helmer before his 32nd birthday.
With his NHL career stalled at 53 games and not likely to be restarted anytime soon, injury would seemingly be the only hurdle in Brennan’s path.
The new Jersey native has been well loved by the fans of every AHL team he’s represented including Portland Pirates, Rochester Americans, Rockford IceHogs, Toronto Marlies and now with Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Noted for his booming one-time slap shot from the point, it was somewhat ironic that his 400th point was courtesy of what appeared to be an intended pass across the crease after a drive to the net from the right boards.
Always a team-man before personal achievement and a real thinker about the game in general, Brennan was more pleased with the big win for his team than reaching this milestone – brushing it off somewhat during the post-game interview.
The next milestone on the horizon is 150 goals and I wouldn’t bet against Terrance James finding the net a further twelve this season to achieve that mark.