A smart playmaking forward, Brent Imlach tried to establish himself as an NHL regular with the Toronto Maple Leafs when his famous father, Punch, was the coach. His talent wasn't quite up to the big league standard, but he was a fine minor pro and college player.
Born in Quebec City, when his father was based there as coach of the senior Quebec Aces, Brent moved to Toronto and played for the Neil McNeil Maroons of the Metro Toronto Junior "B" League. He later excelled with the Toronto Marlboros and received a brief recall to the Maple Leafs in January 1966 to replace the injured Wally Boyer.
The next stop was London, Ontario where Imlach enrolled at the University of Western Ontario and played with the Knights of the OHA. His father was a huge influence in terms of encouraging him to keep up with his high school work in junior and complete a university education later. In the fall of 1967 he suited up for the Mustangs where he enjoyed two fine seasons before transferring to the University of Toronto and York. Partway through his college career he rejected a pro contract with the Leafs because he didn't think his father was offering enough money. Toronto traded his rights to his father who was the general manager and coach of the expansion Buffalo Sabres, but he never played a game for the young club.