The Austrian was the Minnesota Wild's eight round pick (237th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. The Klagenfurter AC veteran, who was then playing for the DEL Krefeld Pinguines, moved to North America in 2003, where he split his season between the Wild and the AHL's Houston Aeros. Brandner played 35 games with the Wild, scoring four times and adding 5 assists. He played the next season exclusively with Houston, before heading back to Europe. He spent the 2005-06 season with the Elitserien Södertälje SK; after a disappointing campaign, Brandner returned to the DEL with Hamburg.