Brossoit feels he’s ready to make the jump
Flames prospect says going back to junior would be a ‘disappointment’
A year or two either way. A second or two either way. Timing can make you or break you.
Ask Laurent Brossoit.
On a grand scale — his emergence as a stud netminder coincided with the Edmonton Oil Kings’ blossoming as an organization. The result was two long playoff runs.
On an in-game scale — his razor-sharp turn Saturday turned heads during the Calgary Flames’ development camp. Post-scrimmage, he made claims of summertime rust. This, after stopping all three penalty shots and permitting only one puck, total, to elude him.
Turning pro this fall, Brossoit is once again looking to hit his mark — to plunge through another gaping window of opportunity.
Miikka Kiprusoff, netminding kingpin of the Flames, appears to be kaput.
So that door, nailed shut for a decade, breezes open. Finally.
Right time, right place.
“When was the last time people in Calgary watched a Flames game without Kiprusoff being the starter?” says Brossoit, 20. “It’s definitely the end of an era and the start of a new one. I’m just happy to be a part of this rebuild.
“My timing couldn’t be better, to be in this organization, especially as a goaltender.”
Flames general manager Jay Feaster, more than once, has talked about a three-man race — Karri Ramo, Joey MacDonald, Reto Berra — for the No. 1 gig in Calgary. He has since added the name of Joni Ortio to the mix.
Brossoit shrugs off the omission.
“To be honest, I don’t read too much of the media and what the GM says and all that,” says the six-foot-three, 205-pounder, “because I don’t want to get discouraged if he leaves me out. Whether I’m good enough to play in the NHL or not, it’s totally up to them — whether they want me to develop more or I’m ready. It’s in their hands. I’m just going to play at my best.”
A signed commodity, Brossoit could wind up in one of three locations — in the NHL with the Flames, in the American Hockey League with the Abbotsford Heat, in the Western Hockey League with the Oil Kings.
A case could certainly be made that he has nothing left to prove at the junior level. In his past two seasons in Edmonton, including playoffs, his record stands at 106-36-11.
His WHL career goals-against average is 2.59, including this past winter’s 2.25.
“You know what? I’ll play it be ear,” the Surrey, B.C., native says of his destination. “I don’t want to think too far ahead. I’m just going to go to camp. If I make it as far as I can — up to Flames — then I do. If not, I’m going to be in Abbotsford. So it’s a win-win for me.”
As far as an overage campaign with the Oil Kings, that isn’t quite as appealing. Nothing personal, of course.
“(Flames management) has made it pretty clear that I have a good shot in Abbotsford,” he says. “But if I go back to Edmonton, I go back to Edmonton. I’ll deal with it when it happens. I personally feel that I’m ready for the next level. It would be a little bit of a disappointment to go back to junior.
“I feel like I’ve made my mark there. I want to move up now.”
In Feaster’s first crack at the draft with the Flames, 2011, he had plucked Brossoit from the murky depths of the sixth round, 164th overall. The kid had a good idea he’d be picked — after all, he had gone to the NHL combine — but he spent the day at his grandma’s house in Port Alberni, B.C.
“It does seem like a long time ago. I think I’ve come a long way.”
Brossoit had been ranked No. 7 for North American goalies by Central Scouting. He ended up being the 12th netminder taken.
“I like being considered the underdog,” he says. “It’s the sixth round and some people turn a blind eye. But, to be honest, I like that — it gives me motivation to prove people wrong, that I’m not just a sixth-rounder.
“I’ve made some huge strides over my WHL career. I think I’m ready for the next level — whether it’s in Abbotsford or in the NHL.”
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