BRANDON BIRO'S TOP THREE MOMENTS OF THE 2021-22 SEASONJun 16, 2022
By Suzie Cool
Sometimes the most critical thing for a player to develop over the course of an American Hockey League season is confidence. What does it take to build confidence? A little bit of consistency in the lineup and opportunities that propel you to the best league in the world.
Amerk rookie forward Brandon Biro experienced all that and more in the 2021-22 campaign, so let’s take a look at his top three moments from this past season.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
It’s no secret that Rochester faced a depleted lineup multiple times throughout the course of the 2021-22 campaign. When the roster was looking a little thin, that meant others had to step up and it presented the perfect opportunity for players like Biro.
After returning from injury for a second time, Biro tallied five points on three goals and two assists over his final eight games of the regular season. Biro finished the year tied for 12th in scoring amongst all league rookies with 41 points in 48 games. With his 40th point on the season against Cleveland on April 23, Biro became the third different Amerks rookie this season to reach the mark, joining JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn, and the sixth overall.
“Just some confidence with the puck,” stated Biro when asked what the reason was for his offensive growth this season. “I think any offensive guy, or really anyone, would say when things start going for you, you just kind of have this confidence that sometimes you might not have when things aren’t going your way. So, I think there’s a little bit of luck.”
Lucky, or not, Biro proved just how talented his offensive skillset can shine when given the consistency in the lineup that he’s earned over the last two seasons in Rochester.
WATCH: BRANDON BIRO YEAR-END INTERVIEW
MAKING IT TO THE NHL
After proving to be one of the team’s most consistent point-getters at the turn of the calendar year, Biro made his long-awaited NHL debut with the Buffalo Sabres.
On Feb. 23 against the Montreal Canadiens, Biro laced up his skates for his first game in the National Hockey League. He logged 13:30 time on ice over the course of 17 shifts, becoming the fifth different Amerk to make his NHL debut this past season as well as the second undrafted player to do so, joining defenseman Ethan Prow.
Looking back at this milestone, Biro discussed how there was a lot more work to be done prior to his NHL debut just the week before. Seems like he underestimated himself just a little bit, however, Biro knows there’s still more work to be done to get back to the NHL and stay there.
COMING BACK TIME AND TIME AGAIN
Despite missing 24 games during the Amerks’ regular season, Biro went on to have a career year in the AHL.
In 48 games, the rookie forward posted 41 points on 12 goals and 29 assists. Biro came back from injury twice, made his NHL debut and consistently flew under the radar to opponents who were focused on other offensively talented rookie forwards like JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn.
Coming into the 2021-22 campaign, Biro was off the ice for close to two months.
“I was off the ice for probably close to two months going into the start of the season, so I think it was a little bit difficult to find my footing,” stated Biro early on in the Amerks season. “I guess for anyone that’s really gone through an injury, there’s kind of a mental battle of when you’re coming back. You’re not really trusting what you injured, so you’re thinking about that a little bit every single game and practice. Once I started to feel a little bit better and conditioning got up to where I wanted it to be, things started clicking.”
Like all pros, though, Biro will never give himself the credit he deserves. Simply saying that because others were out, it gave Biro the opportunity to help lead his team in a time of need.
“We had some guys that were injured and out because of COVID. It did open up some opportunities for myself and other guys to step up in the lineup and play different roles, get a little bit more ice time and I really wanted to take advantage of that because you never know how many opportunities you’re going to get.”