Jets backup Brossoit one of the few bright spots last season

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Nobody knew what to expect from Laurent Brossoit last season.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/09/2019 (1059 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Nobody knew what to expect from Laurent Brossoit last season.

When the Winnipeg Jets signed him prior to the 2018-19 campaign, it wasn’t exactly front-page news. He arrived in Winnipeg with limited NHL experience and some rather underwhelming numbers. But Steve Mason and Michael Hutchinson were gone and the team had tabbed Brossoit as their new backup goalie.

It was a decision that made some people uneasy. The idea of Connor Hellebuyck going down with an injury and being replaced by a guy who had an .897 save percentage and 2.98 goals-against average in 21 career games with the Edmonton Oilers was a scary thought.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Jets Goalie Laurent Brossoit, during practic at Bell MTS Iceplex Wednesday.

But yet, in a season that had a fair share of disappointments, Brossoit definitely wasn’t one of them. The 26-year-old from Port Alberni, B.C., was one of the bright spots, posting a 13-6-2 record to go along with an improved .925 SP and 2.52 GAA. The Jets rewarded Brossoit’s strong play by bringing him back on a one-year deal worth US$1.225 million.

So far, it looks like Brossoit is already in mid-season form as he’s 2-0-0 in his two pre-season starts and has surrendered two goals.

Brossoit doesn’t think his ceiling is a career backup and it’s hard to argue with him based off of last year’s performance. His save percentage was tied for the 10th best in the league and his GAA was in the top 20. To say Brossoit believes he can be a starting goalie in the NHL would be an understatement. And if his potential is what he thinks it is, he won’t be playing on one-year contracts much longer.

“I see myself as the best goalie in the league,” Brossoit told the Free Press after Wednesday’s practice at Bell MTS Iceplex. “I just need the opportunity and I just need to play, really. But you know, circumstance and business is a part of the game. I need to kind of bide my time and wait for that opportunity. And at this point, I’m not going to think too far ahead. I’m just in the situation that I’m in and I’ll play when I play.”

Despite Brossoit’s assessment of his skills, nobody is expecting Vezina Trophy numbers from him this year. However, he’s no longer flying under the radar. He knows the expectations for him to perform are higher this season and he’s more than OK with that.

“My expectations have always been high,” said Brossoit, a sixth-round pick by the Calgary Flames in the 2011 NHL draft.

“The goals that I set are pretty high. None of that changes, but of course the media and the guys here have raised expectations and anyone else in the league that has watched me play. But I like that. I’ve always wanted to be in this situation and my standards are higher than even where I’m at right now. So, I wouldn’t say that it worries me that the pressure is a little higher now.”

Brossoit said he went into last season feeling like it was his last chance to prove he’s an NHL-calibre goaltender. Nobody in the Jets organization is doubting that now, but with Brossoit playing on a one-year contract as a backup again, he still has a lot to prove this season.

“I think it helps, if anything because you have one year and you don’t take your foot off the gas,” Brossoit said. “Any contract year, guys put out more effort. It’s just kind of human nature. So, I’ll put in the work because of it.”

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen
Reporter

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of...

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