A few years ago, you could be forgiven if you followed hockey but didn’t know who Laurent Brossoit was. A product of Surrey, British Columbia, he toiled as a back-up to Edmonton Oil Kings starter Jon Groenheyde during the 2010-11 season. He posted respectable numbers and was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Then Brossoit became the Oil Kings starter upon Groenheyde’s departure to Swift Current and he back-stopped his club to a WHL championship and a Memorial Cup appearance. He posted a 42-13-5 record and radically improved his goals against average and save percentage in his first season as a full-time WHL starter, all developments that made the Flames scouting staff look really, really smart.
While in Calgary for Flames development camp, Brossoit took the time to discuss his progress with FlamesNation’s Ryan Pike.
Ryan Pike: First question…how do you pronounce your last name?
Laurent Brossoit: Bross-Wah
RP: Is it weird to be a Flames prospect playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings?
LB: For me it’s not weird, no. I grew up watching all the Canadian teams. I’m honoured to play for this team. It’s more weird for all the fans in Edmonton and even my billet family and all my friends in Edmonton. They always give me a hard time whenever I bring it up, so it’s more weird for them than me.
RP: You were the Oil Kings’ back-up when you were drafted, and you became the starter last season and won more games than you played the year before. What was the biggest change?
LB: Mostly it’s the experience. Obviously, I didn’t have the greatest year my draft year, I faced a lot of adversity. I didn’t face a lot of it growing up, so it was nice to see some of that and go through the tough times and to really learn who I am and what I’m expecting of myself on the ice. I kind of found my game and showed them some success this year.
RP: What was it like suddenly being the go-to guy for the Oil Kings in net?
LB: It was awesome. You always want to be that guy. You always have your doubts after a year like I had, and I was able to excel and give the team confidence. Like, for example, have the D jump up in a rush and be confident that their goalie is going to be able to make a save if they make a mistake. So I’m happy that I was able to give our team the confidence and give our team some momentum shifts in games, and I’m happy where our team is at right now.
RP: When I spoke with Justin Goldman of the Goalie Guild in the winter, he called you “a steal” of a pick going in the sixth round of the draft. Does it motivate you to continue to improve when people talk about your potential like that?
LB: Absolutely. Obviously, you want to go as high as you can, but at the same time I wasn’t too worried about it. I was always told that the draft means a lot less than you’d think. I was happy to just be drafted and especially to such a great organization, and I didn’t really care when I went, especially going in the sixth round, it made me want to prove to people that I was a steal and that I was worth more than a sixth round pick. I’m happy and flattered that people are saying that, but I’m hoping that I’m going to keep excelling and be even more successful than I have.