The 25-year-old, left-handed defenseman has signed a new deal after initially agreeing to begin his professional hockey career in Dundee, last summer.
Orr joins from American club, Bentley University Flacons, where he spent four seasons competing in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association).
Brett was the Falcons co-captain in the 2019/2020 season and was named to the Atlantic All-Academic Hockey Team in all four of his years with the team from Waltham, Massachusetts, which is near Boston.
The 5’10” blueliner has also previously played in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for three years and prior to that he played two seasons in the Manitoba Midget League.
The native of Elkhorn, Manitoba has also won two MJHL titles and a national championship with Portage Terriers and won a gold medal at the World Junior Challenge A competition as part of the Canada West Under 19’s team.
Stars General Manager and Head Coach, Omar Pacha is excited to have Brett join his roster for next season and speaking about his new signing, he said: “What I like about Brett, is his compete level.
“He was a co-captain last year at Bentley University and at Bentley, they have had a guy like Brett Switzer before, who was a great player for the Stars, so I am sure he had some words with Orr about Dundee.
“He is a great leader, a true professional and on the ice, he skates very well but he is also very good in one-on-one situations and he rarely gets beat.
“Brett plays like a bull and that’s what we maybe missed at times last year, the fact that he wants to play hard and we want to be a team that plays hard.
“He also has the ability to join the rush and contribute offensively, so he is a really good two-way player, but I love that he has a really high compete level.”
The Stars boss also spoke about the defender’s character and off ice attitude.
Pacha added: “The feedback I got from other coaches that had worked with Brett in the past, were all excellent.
“He is just a great human being and he wants to do everything right, every day.
“Brett is a competitor and that is what we are looking for in our defensive core, a guy that is really hard to play against and he is probably going to be a great penalty killer for us.
“It is good to get in a d-man that plays hard, plays with high intensity and has strong attributes as a leader, and I think he will make a great addition to our team.
“He is defenseman, who is not the biggest but has that really high compete level, which I think gives him that edge.
“I think he is a guy that will transition well into pro hockey and he is really hungry to come in and make an impact in his first year but even though, he is a young defenseman, I don’t think he will take long to adapt to the Elite League.
“In the team we have built already, you can see we have signed a few captains, assistant captains and what excites me is that, he is a player that knows his role.
“He is going to play hard defensively and be responsible in his own end and sometimes you need guys that can do a bit of the hard work and he is willing to block shots, get in front of the plays and break things up with his stick.
“He is smart defensively and he has a bit of poise to with the puck and when you look at our d-core, you need someone who is going to be steady defensively.
“He is a defenseman that you might not notice in a game but he will be very effective.”
After signing his new deal that confirmed he would still make his professional debut in Dundee, a delighted Orr said: “I am very excited!
“Obviously I signed last year but the season did not work out in the UK but I kept in contact with Omar throughout the entire season when I was figuring out my other hockey options.
“I felt like we had a great relationship and throughout this whole process, he has been great for being a person I can reach out to and it ended up working out again.
“So, I am super excited to get over there and meet the fans, see the city and hopefully play some hockey.”
Brett continued: “It definitely has not been an ideal year, a lot of ups and downs, but that is the way it was in the hockey world last year.
“There were a lot of leagues and teams in North America and Europe that did not end up playing and as a result, here was such a massive influx of players and that made it tough to stick with a team unless you had more of a known role or if you had been there for a few years.
“So, obviously there was a lot of turnover with players and I was in South Carolina with the Stingrays (of the East Coast Hockey League) but unfortunately that did not work out and then I was waiting to see if some other things came up but again it did not really work out.”
The Canadian then explained more about why he chose to stay committed to joining the Stars.
He said: “A lot of that has to do with Omar, like I said, I think we have a really good relationship and he always talks up Dundee.
“You can really see his passion for the city and this hockey team, you can just tell what you are getting from him by just talking to him and he is just an honest guy, who will give you everything he has got.
“Also, my family’s heritage is from Scotland, although I think we are more around the Glasgow area.
“But it still just seemed like the perfect chance to go and see a great country, play in Dundee and get the opportunity to play professional hockey at such a high level too.
“So, I am really thrilled to still have this opportunity!”
Finally, Orr discussed his expectations of the season ahead and commented: “It was pretty clear from speaking to Omar, this year we want to be high in the standings.
“Obviously, it is not easy for any club to take a full year off and for the fans too, because it was not just hard on the teams and players.
“So, for me, I just want to come in and make sure I am doing my role as a steady defenseman, chipping in with offence when I can but making sure we are getting those wins, playing smart hockey and hopefully by the end of the season, we will be in a position to compete for a championship.”
The defender didn’t know too much about the EIHL before speaking with Pacha but did find a way to hear about other players experiences in the UK.
Brett said: “I didn’t know a lot about the Elite League until I read that article, but I had heard of some of the bigger teams like Belfast (Giants) and Nottingham (Panthers).
“But once I really started getting into discussions, one of your former players from last year, Brett Stovin, who is from just outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, played with a couple of my buddies from over here.
“So, I got in touch with him and he only had great things to say about the team too and great things to say about the country and he obviously said he loved it there and that Omar was great.
“Then, a former Bentley player, just coincidently enough, his name was also Brett, but it was Brett Switzer and he played in Dundee four years ago.
“So, I got in contact with him as well and he said the exact same, he loved his experience there and did not have any troubles and that is where I got all my know how and word about the league and it was all very positive.”
Brett’s career started back in 2011, when he was playing with the Yellowhead Chiefs Under 18 team in the Manitoba midget leagues.
In two seasons with the Chiefs, the 181lbs Canadian accumulated 23 points (5G + 18A) after playing 91 games.
Then, the defender moved on to play with Portage Terriers in the MJHL between 2013 and 2016, becoming an alternate captain in his final year.
In his first year with the Terriers, Brett made the All-Rookie team and the followed it up with back to back league championships in 2015 and 2016.
Orr was also on the Portage team that won the RBC Cup in the 2014-2015 season, which was the national championship for all Junior A leagues in Canada.
His final year in the MJHL was topped off with being picked as the winner of the ‘MJHL Top Defenseman’ award, a place in the First All-Star team and their second league championship, all before winning gold with Canada that summer.
After three years in the junior leagues, Orr had played in 185 matches and collected 110 points (33G+77A) for the Terriers, but also 93 penalty minutes.
Then in 2016, Brett committed to Bentley University for the next four years and last season, he scored four times and assisted on a further 10 goals in the curtailed 35-game season.
Over the course of his four years in the NCAA with the Falcons, he iced on 139 occasions and racked up 54 points (8G+46A) and picked up 38 penalty minutes.
Therefore, in his career so far, Orr has featured in 419 matches, scored 47 goals, assisted 141 times and has collected 169 penalty minutes.
Brett is our seventh signing of the summer and joins Drydn Dow, Craig Garrigan, Kris Inglis, Alexandre Ranger, Connor Sills and Craig Moore on the roster for next season.
You can get your season tickets to watch these seven players and the rest of the team in the 2021-2022 campaign by contacting: [email protected]
To view Brett’s career stats on Elite Prospects click HERE.
Featured Image from: Jenn Hoffman/Bentley University Athletics
Banner Image Credit: The Brandon Sun