At 36 years old, Gilbert Brule has this physical status:
Gilbert Jean Marco Brulé (born January 1, 1987) is a professional ice hockey centre who plays for the Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Brulé was drafted out of the Western Hockey League (WHL), and he spent three seasons with the Vancouver Giants as a major junior.
Brulé was named the WHL rookie of the year in 2004 and he dominated the Memorial Cup in scoring as part of the Giants' WHL championship-winning season two years ago.
He began his NHL career with the Columbus Blue Jackets before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 2008-09 for fifth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
He was put on waivers for three years with the Oilers and later acquired by the Coyotes for the 2011-12 season and playoffs.
He then joined the ZSC Lions for the 2012-2013 season.
Brulé was released by the Zurich-based team in October 2012.
Brulé has competed for Team Canada in the 2004 World U-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2004 U-18 World Cup, winning silver and gold medals, respectively.
Brulé, a youth, competed in the 2001 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from North Vancouver.
The Vancouver Giants selected Brulé first overall in the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft. The selection was originally owned by the Prince Albert Raiders but the Giants were given back to the Giants in exchange for their third overall and third round picks. He appeared in one game with the Giants during the upcoming WHL season, while playing Junior A in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) with the Quesnel Millionaires. In his lone BCHL season, he was awarded the Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy as the rookie of the year, racking 57 points (32 goals and 25 assists) over 48 games.
Brulé was a member of the Giants from 2003 to 2004 and gained 60 points in 67 games. He became the first Giants player to win a major WHL award, earning the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the year's rookie of the year. The distinction made him a candidate for the Canadian Hockey League's (CHL) Rookie of the Year, which was awarded to Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Océanic in Quebec, Canada. He joined Crosby on the CHL All-Rookie Team.
ite (39 goals and 48 assists) in the 2013 season, Brulé finished third in WHL scoring, establishing a Giants single-season point-scoring record (bested by Casey Pierro-Zabotel in 2008-09). He was selected by the Russian select team in the 2004 ADT Canada-Russia Challenge in November to face the Russian select team during the campaign. Several months later, he competed in the 2005 CHL Top Prospects Game, where he produced his first hat trick in the game's history and was named Team Cherry's Player of the Game. Brulé was named the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year at the end of the season, earning more high school awards than any other WHL player.
The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Brulé sixth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Before Evander Kane was selected fourth overall in 2009, he was the most highly recruited Giants player in team history until Evander Kane was named fourth overall. Brulé had been ranked second by the International Scouting Bureau (ISS) at the start of the 2004–05 season, behind Crosby, while the NHL Central Scout Bureau (CSB) ranked him as the best prospect in their preliminary rankings. Brulé was ranked fourth overall by the ISS and fifth among North American skaters by the CSB at the end of the season. He was drafted as an offensively strong player with a competitive and physical advantage at the time of his draft. "Outstanding skater with excellent vision on the ice...a natural goalscorer," the ISS scouted him as a "outstanding skater with great vision on the ice.
Brulé started his NHL preparation camp and then joined the club in a three-year, entry-level deal on October 3, 2005. He made his NHL debut against the Washington Capitals in the Blue Jackets' season opener two days later, notching an assist on a goal by Dan Fritsche in a 3–1 loss. Since being struck by Calgary Flames defenseman Roman Hamrl's attack on October 7, he suffered a fractured sternum in the next game. After missing 17 games, he returned to the lineup on November 20. Brulé scored his first NHL goal against Phoenix Coyotes, his team's lone loss in a 5–1 loss, winning goaltender David LeNeveu with a shot from the left offensive zone faceoff circle. During a game against the Minnesota Wild, he suffered his second fracture in as many months, breaking his leg.
He was returned to the WHL on January 13, 2006. The Blue Jackets saved the first year of his rookie deal by reassigning Brulé before he played ten NHL games. The purchase of centre Sergei Fedorov, making Brulé expendable, was another major factor in the decision to return him to junior. Brulé, who is back in the Giants, scored at a near-goal-a-game clip. Since scoring 5 goals and ten points in three Giants victories, he was named WHL Player of the Week on February 20, 2006. He was later voted WHL Player of the Month for February with 12 goals and 23 points in 13 games. He won the WHL Second All-Star Team honours for his 23 goals and 38 points in 27 games. Brulé was named WHL and CHL Player of the Week for the first week in the WHL's first round by scoring four goals and seven points against the Prince George Cougars. During the WHL Championships against the Moose Jaw Warriors on May 10, he received his second WHL and CHL Player întreg week award. In Game 1 of the series, the Giants defeated the Giants by a 7-5 victory. His award-winning week featured three-goal, four-point victory. With 30 points in 18 games to win the airBC Trophy as the WHL champions, he continued to lead the WHL in scoring, helping the Giants win the first President's Cup.
The Giants placed third out of four teams after the round-robin, and they are advancing to the 2006 Memorial Cup. Brulé scored five points (two goals, three assists) against the Peterborough Petes, one point behind the tournament single-game record, despite needing a tiebreaker game to decide who would advance to the semi-finals. The Giants were then disqualified in the Moncton Wildcats' semi-finals by 3–1. Brulé scored the only Giants goal in the game. Brulé earned the Ed Chynoweth Trophy as the national tournament's top scorer, despite finishing with 12 points in 5 games. Along with Giants teammates Paul Albers, he was also selected to the Memorial Cup All-Star Team.
In a ceremony ahead of a game against the Kamloops Blazers on January 28, 2011, the club paid tribute to him four and a half years as part of "Gilbert Brulé Night." Brulé was the fourth alumnus to the team's Ring of Honour, honoring the team's best players; a plaque with his name and the number 17 he wore on his jersey as a Giant was unveiled inside the stadium. The Giants' "Top ten Giants of the Decade" campaign concluded, ranking Brulé at number two after Milan Lucic's.
Brulé, who is still eligible for junior, made the Blue Jackets' roster for the 2006-07 season. Doug MacLean, a month into the season, told him that he would not return to the Giants as he had been the previous season. During head coach Gerard Gallant's absence, Gallant was scratched several times, but after Gallant was fired by Ken Hitchcock in late November, he began getting more playing time. He was playing mainly on the fourth line in his rookie season, and averaged ten minutes of ice time per game. In his first full NHL season, he posted 19 points (9 goals and ten assists) over 78 games.
Brulé had 9 points (1 goal and 8 assists) in 61 games with the Blue Jackets during his second appearance in the league. In January 2008, he was sent to the American Hockey League (AHL) for a month-long service after his play suffered, totaling 5 goals and 10 points in 16 games with the Syracuse Crunch, the Blue Jackets' minor league affiliate. Brulé was reassigned to Syracuse for the club's Calder Cup playoff run at the end of the regular season for the Blue Jackets. He had 2 goals and 5 points in 13 post-season games, assisting the Crunch in the second round.
Brulé was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Raffi Torres on July 1, 2008. He was one of the last cuts in his first training camp with the Oilers, and he was assigned to the Springfield Falcons, Edmonton's AHL affiliate. During a game against the Providence Bruins on October 17, 2008, he suffered a knee-on-knee attack, forcing him to miss several games. Brulé scored his first goal for the Oilers on January 11, 2009, beating the St. Louis Blues in a 2–1 victory during a call-up to the NHL later this season. He had been sent to Springfield ten days earlier. He was re-signed by Edmonton in the off-season to a one-year, two-way deal on August 12, 2009. He finished the season with 3 points in 11 games with the Oilers and 24 points in 39 games with the Falcons.
Brulé was the Oilers' fourth-line center out of training camp in the 2009-10 season. Brulé's improved play and absence of first-line winger Ales Hemsky, the Oilers' depth chart, led to his best statistical season in the league. However, after being sick with a recurring virus that had sidelined him for a total of 11 games, Kari Lehtonen's skate got jammed beneath goaltender Brian Sutherby's pad during a game against the Dallas Stars on April 2, 2010; he was also injured by a sprain. For the remainder of the season, he was sidelined due to injury. He finished the season with a career-high 17 goals, 20 assists, and 37 points in 65 games, third in teamscoring. Brulé, a restricted free agent in the 2010 off-season, has applied for arbitration with the Oilers after struggling to agree on a new deal. By agreeing to a two-year, $3.7 million contract on July 27, 2010, the two parties were able to prevent their arbitration hearing.
Brulé had sustained injury problems for the remainder of the season after being able to function for the first three months of the 2010–11 season. He sustained an abdominal injury the following month and missed 23 other games after being sidelined with a stomach virus for four games. Since returning to the lineup, he sustained a concussion after playing against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 13, 2011. Brulé played in 39 games with injuries in 2010-11, limiting him to 7 goals and 2 assists.
Brulé was traded along with a fourth-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Ryan Smyth on June 24, 2011. The contract never happened due to health issues as Brulé had not been allowed to play immediately after his concussion (under league rules, an injured player can be traded but not able to be sold), which is what the Kings had expected to do). In addition, Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi made it clear to the public that if Brulé could not be bought out, the team needed someone with a smaller salary cap. Smyth was eventually sold by the Oilers in exchange for forward Colin Fraser (whose cap hit was more than $1 million less) and a seventh-round pick in the 2012 draft.
Brulé worked with a sports psychologist to address his game's mental component, as well as his confidence during the off-season. He was placed on waivers for the sole purpose of being drafted to the Oklahoma City Barons, near the end of the Oilers' training camp on October 2, 2011. Although Andrew Cogliano's departure in July 2011 left Brulé's depth chart at center stage, the Oilers' depth chart at center was still a work in progress, as the Oilers' rookies Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Anton Lander made him expendable. Brulé's general manager Steve Tambellini characterized the situation as lacking consistency. Brulé's waivers were released two days later; an Edmonton Sun article suggested that if not for his $1.85 million salary, he may have been picked up by another team.
Brulé was recalled by the Oilers on January 9, 2012, in lieu of injured forwards Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, who had scored 18 points (eight goals and ten assists) over 27 games with the Barons. He was however required to obtain re-entry waivers in order to join the team, but he was later confirmed by the Phoenix Coyotes the following day. Brulé debuted with the Coyotes on January 12, after losing 3–2 shootout to the Detroit Red Wings in 14 minutes. In a 6–1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, he scored his first two points as a Coyote, including a goal and an assist.
Brulé, a free agent in Switzerland with the ZSC Lions of the National League A, has decided to join as a free agent in Switzerland as a free agent in Switzerland, which is the National League A. He appeared in only 14 games in the 2012–2013 season before he pleaded for an immediate release from his Lions contract to return to Canada for personal reasons on October 23, 2012.
Brulé accepted an invitation to the Coyotes' training camp for the 2013-2014 season in the following season. He was drafted to the Portland Pirates' AHL affiliate to start the season on a try-out deal before re-signing with Phoenix on a one-year, two-way deal on November 30, 2013. Brulé played three games in his return to the Coyotes before being recalled to the Pirates. Brulé resigned from professional hockey on January 1, 2014 after failing to report back to the Pirates.
Brulé recalled his playing career after signing a one-year deal with Russian team Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He joined Medvescak Zagreb of Croatia in July 2015 and had his contract renewed for the 2016-2017 season after one year in Yekaterinburg.
Brulé opted to return as a free agent for a second stint with Kunlun Red Star of the KHL on May 25, 2019, agreeing to a two-year deal.