According to Hockey's Future, Brandon Yip is a 6.0 (D) prospect. According to their ranking system, this translates to:
6 - Third line forward / No. 5-6 defenseman / Backup Goaltender -- generally speaking, players whose game is defensively-oriented, or whose abilities aren't quite good enough to land full-time duty on the 2nd line, top two defensive pairings, or the No. 1 goaltending position. Think Kris Draper, Stephanne Yelle, Igor Ulanov, Brad Lukowich, Jussi Markkanen, Manny Legace.
D - Unlikely to reach potential, could drop 3 ratings - a player who has a chance to reach his potential but is unlikely to do so. The potential rating is multiplied by 70 percent for depth chart purposes, indicating that the player's potential is extremely fluid.Yip has taken Avalanche fans by surprise this season. In ten games, he has 5 goals and 3 points. The 2004 8th round pick took the long road to professional hockey. He played for four years at Boston University, the last in which he set career highs with 20 goals, 23 assists, and 118 penalty minutes. If his "fan page" is any indication, not much was expected of this guy.
Yet the Avs, plagued by injuries, called Yip on December 16th. A few games later, he had his first career NHL goal:
The video is actually a nice compilation of what Yip gives to the Avs. The goals are a nice bonus, but Yip has thus far played every shift with some edge to his game. He makes clean, hard checks on most of his shifts and provides the Avs with a lot of energy down low.
As for what he needs to improve, Hockey's Future has this:
It is absolutely essential that Yip gains strength if he wishes to play professional hockey. Also, some improvement could be made in his play away from the puck.Players like Yip make it much tougher for a Svatos or a Tucker to keep his spot in the lineup. Avalanche fans love guys who play with energy. Ian Laperriere, Cody McLeod, and now Matt Hendricks, and yes, Brandon Yip, are starting to earn their places in the hearts of Colorado fanatics.
I have no idea if Yip can keep up his current level of play. Either way, no one thought he was going to make it this far. He has nothing to lose.