MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Admirals' Brendan Leipsic is known as "the most annoying prospect in hockey" -- and the young hockey player says he doesn't mind that label one bit!
It doesn't take too long to notice Leipsic at a Milwaukee Admirals practice. He's a gifted hockey player -- gifted enough to be a third-round draft choice by the NHL's Nashville Predators in 2012. After two prolific offensive seasons in juniors, Leipsic is adjusting well to the world of the American Hockey League.
"It kinda sounds cliche, but guys are bigger, stronger, faster. We're playing against some grown men out here, and off the ice too -- living by yourself, getting your own place, but I'm getting used to it," Leipsic said.
Leipsic's also getting used to hearing about this: In March of 2014, he drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for drinking out of the water bottle of an opposing goaltender.
"It was just kind of a heat-of-the-moment thing and it got a lot of attention to it and a lot of hassles from some of the boys, but it's kind of in the past for me. I kind of laugh about it," Leipsic said.
Admirals Head Coach Dean Evason says there is a lot of teaching going on with this year's largely young Milwaukee squad, but when it comes to Leipsic, the player doesn't really want to be taught an entirely different way.
"I think that's why I got drafted and that's why I'm here right now. I'm not changing my game at all. Obviously, I like to think I am an offensive guy first, but the energy I can bring to the team with a big hit or something like that is also something I can do," Leipsic said.
"He's going to get guys angry -- hopefully a little bit bothered and hopefully they'll take some penalties -- and he's got all the skill in the world,"
"'Leiper's' an individual character -- I'll say a character. He loves the game. He plays hard. He has skill. He has bite to his game,"
By now, Leipsic also has a reputation. On the internet, you can find him under the most annoying prospect in hockey, or agitator of the year. One day, he says he hopes to find himself listed as simply an NHL player.
"He has to learn the pro game, but we think eventually he'll be there. The word is that somebody is going to get him, whether it's an opponent or somebody on your own team. It might be one of our guys, it might be a coach -- I don't know. We'll see what happens. But yeah, you want a guy like that on your team for sure,"
Leipsic and his teammates have six wins in seven games so far this season.