Flames Top 15 Prospects 2013: #10 Laurent Brossoit

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What’s the similarity between Laurent Brossoit’s statistics and his FN prospect ranking relative to last season?

They’ve both climbed.

In fact he wasn’t even ranked last season. After being drafted by Calgary in the 6th round (164th overall) Brossoit’s stock as a prospect began to climb steadily and hit a fever pitch after a tremendous playoff performance with the 2011/12 edition of the Edmonton Oil Kings. His exceptional play in the playoffs led them to a WHL championship and a birth in the Memorial Cup (Let’s not discuss how he played in said Memorial Cup, because it wasn’t all that great).

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  Justin Ryan Kent Hayley BoL
Brossoit 13 5 8 13 10

Much was expected of Brossoit and the Oil Kings coming into the 2012/13 season. Most of the core from the playoff run the year previous was still intact and many saw them as being the class of the WHL. Unfortunately, Brossoit stumbled out of the gate, allowing soft goals and just generally not seeming very comfortable in the net. His play reflected on the Oil Kings as well as they struggled to find their stride early in the season.

Despite not playing his best hockey, Brossoit got an invite to Hockey Canada‘s roster selection camp ahead of the 2013 World Junior Championships. He managed to turn in a solid performance but it wasn’t enough to avoid being the only goaltender let go. There was some interest in how Brossoit would deal with the snub. Would he crumble and fail to regain his confidence or would he use his shortcoming as motivation to play his best hockey?

Thankfully, it was the latter.

Brossoit stormed through the second half of the season with exceptional numbers and 2012 playoff-esque performances. The Oil Kings, too, improved in the second half and secured the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Flames prospect wrapped up his third WHL campaign with career best numbers, going 33-8-6, a 2.25 GAA and a .917 SV%.

As stellar as Brossoit was in the 2012 playoffs, he managed to replicate that feat in 2013. He took the Oil Kings to the WHL finals again, only to fall the superpower Portland Winterhawks in 6 games. Through 22 playoff games Brossoit put up a stellar 1.82 GAA and equally impressive .935 SV% despite falling in the finals.

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Brossoit will look to turn pro next year and seems well equipped – skills wise – to do so. The big, lanky goaltender has developed well through three WHL seasons, especially the mental side of the game. He uses his frame extremely well to cover the top parts of the net is proficient, butterfly style goalie down low.

One of Brossoit’s greatest strengths is his agility which he uses particularly well when in trouble to scramble get back into position. It also allows him to make spectacular saves at times. That being said, Brossoit is prone to letting in soft goals now and then. Not only that, but – especially early in his career – one harmless looking goal would topple his confidence and affect his play the rest of the game. As mentioned, his mental toughness seems to have improved greatly over the course of his junior career and he should be ready to at least back-up in the AHL.

Unfortunately, the Flames log jam at the goaltending position may force Brossoit to either play the season out in the ECHL or return for an overage season in the WHL, an extremely rare occurrence for top goaltending prospects. Regardless of where he plays, it’s becoming clear the Calgary Flames have snagged a real gem at 164th overall. 

Flames Top 15 Prospects

  • piscera.infada

    I really like this kid! I really hope he’s going to be great. Everything I’ve read or heard about him is that he oozes confidence, which is a huge trait for a ‘tender. He’s also appears to play with a chip on his shoulder since the whole WJC fiasco (which it appears, only made him stronger).

    Watching him for the three games in Calgary during the the Oil Kings-Hitmen series he seemed strong in net, and you could really see the confidence people talk about. The one minus I came away with was that he seems to get really small in net when there’s a lot of traffic in front of him (especially on the pp). But I’m assuming with coaching, that’s correctable.

  • piscera.infada

    I don’t know who I am excited to see more Brossoit or Gilles, both have the potential to be stud Goaltenders. With all the talent the flames have in their organization at this position I have a feeling that there could be some trades in the future to help ease up that log jam and allow these kids to properly develop.

  • seve927

    I think Brossoit got a little burnt out last year with the Memorial cup, then pretty much right into development camp, the trip to Russia…

    I hope he’s taking a bit of time off this spring and he can just focus on getting ready for his first pro season this summer.

  • Lordmork

    I’m excited about Brossoit. I’m really hoping that he continues to develop well after turning pro. He seems like the most likely of our goalies to end up the ECHL, which I think is too bad. I’d rather see him in the AHL.

  • McRib

    “Unfortunately, the Flames log jam at the goaltending position may force Brossoit to either play the season out in the ECHL or return for an overage season in the WHL…”

    I don’t see much of a log jam at the AHL level once next year starts. If we didn’t even think about resigning Danny Taylor, Leland Irving and Barry Brust are both long gone by now. So that leaves us Joey Mac, Reto Berra, Karri Ramo and Brossoit. Miikka Kiprusoff was gone at the start of this season.

    Brossoit is not going back to the ‘dub Tristan Jarry will literally smoother him in his sleep, lol. He is also waaayyyy to good to be in the ECHL, teams are off that league as a developmental league after guys like Dubnyk took so long to get to the NHL. Laurent Brossoit is honestly a Top. 3 Major Junior Prospect at this point, if he isn’t in the AHL then they might as well trade him.

    • McRib

      You forgot Ortio.

      Ramo, Berra, MacDonald, Brossoit, Ortio. Five goalies for four spots. If Laurant beats Joni, the Finn probably goes back to Finland. Otherwise, Brossoit goes to the ECHL unless the Flames want to carry 3 goalies (which they actually might)

      • McRib

        IMO, Brossoit is five times the goalie Ortio is and if he wanted to be a Flame… Why did he bolt Abbostford TWICE?!?! He is a left over from the Sutter administration he isn’t even on my radar anymore to be honest. Have you guys watched Brossoit…

        At the World Junior Camp he was the best goaltender period, the only reason he wasn’t the starter was because of Hockey Canada’s politics…. Did you notice Pendergast has been let go of HC… This is as good a goaltending prospect as you will find in Canada at this moment. He is not playing in the ECHL, even if he doesn’t handily beat out Ortio he is Feasters Guy.

        • Ortio didn’t make the top 15 to tell you the truth. The only reason he’s likely ahead of Brossoit on the depth chart in the org is he is older and has already been a starter in a pro league.

          That said, once the season starts goalies tend to settle at the level that their performance dictates. See: Leland Irving this past year. He was penciled in to be an AHL stater/NHL backup when things began, but he ended up a 3rd stringer in the minors instead.

        • “Why did he bolt Abbostford TWICE?!?! ”

          Because he only “bolted” once. For a year and a half.

          You’re acting like the guy’s 25 or something. He’s 22. The same age that Ramo left NA after being rushed. I’m not saying Ortio definitely has more upside than Brossoit (he probably doesn’t) but currently he has a lot more pro experience. Even if most of it is in Europe.

          • McRib

            Sorry he bolted once and decided to stay in Finland and then came over at the last possible minute to play a game once. Haha.

            I don’t think Ortio is a bad goaltender, but we already have two guys with even more pro experience coming over… Honestly I just can’t see Ortio being thrilled to leave pro in Finland to have to compete for a backup position on an AHL team… He wasn’t thrilled to do that two years ago what has changed? I can see Ortio and Brossiot splitting time in ABBY but that means one of Mac, Barra, Ramo are gone. But I agree with everyone else lets trade one of these guys and get something in return and roll the dice with four of the five.

  • McRib

    So three of my Top. 5 Prospects are in the 10-15 range in these rankings (Jankowski, Brossoit, Wotherspoon). Lets just hope you still consider Sven Baertschi, Max Reinhart, etc prospects, as I don’t.

    The fact that Markus Granlund is ranked higher than Mark Jankowski or even in our Top. 15 at all makes me want to smash my head into my keyboard!!! NHLE are fine and dandy to an EXTENT but a massive late bloomer like Jankowski is where you upgrade them and a soft euro playing in a good situation is where down grade them.

    Markus Granlund is the softest player in history he is going to come over for half an AHL season get Mich Wahled and then leave and never come back. His brother had a hard time adjusting to the NA game, he is twice as good and never had concerns over being soft.

    • Christian Roatis

      That’s quite harsh. Have you seen Granlund play live on a regular basis? Because that’s the only way you can properly evaluate how he plays. He’s not a bruising forward by any means but playing proficiently in a men’s league suggests he’s not overly soft either.

      • McRib

        Yes have watched him numerous times, he spent the majority of the World Junors in Edmonton crawling out of the corners…. Don’t get me wrong he can score on the PP, but honestly the World Juniors aren’t the AHL and this kid was absolutly unable to play on the smaller ice.

        I was at the draft in Minnesota and people were chuckling when the Flames made that pick. Two or Three teams had him in the Top. 60 all other teams didn’t even have him in the Top. 100. Man I wish we took a Ryan Sproul, Vincent Trocheck or Adam Lowry, oh well every other pick was bang on.

    • Granlund scored at a higher rate in a tougher league than Jankowski at roughly the same age.

      There’s currently no guarantee Janko will necessarily be a “late bloomer” at this point in his development. That’s a hope/assumption yet to borne out by events. It’s possible, but not assured.

      There’s lots of movement from year-to-year in these rankings typically. If Janko can be a 1 PPG player or better next year, he’ll be top-10 next summer Im sure.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Given a goalie gets lots of playing time once turned pro, at what age do they peak? I think I saw it as 25 for positional players.

    How close or how far removed are the Flames’ goalies from this?

  • McRib

    I am with Mcrib in that if we cant get this kid in the rotation in Abbey, we should trade him in a package that may allow us to move up in the draft with our Pitt pick. Gilles isn’t far behind & Ortio is a little ahead of him but his value is solid from this last year & WJC training camp. At some point we need to trade selling high in a position we are overstocked on to get us where we really have our needs. Personally, I’m frustrated with some of Feasty’s decisions, we all know next year is going to be a big yuuuccch. So we should be flying with Berra & Ramo next year. Bar none, signing Macbackup was a waist. Lets take the Buckleys & see what we have here with the touted 2 best goalies outside the NHL. Let Ortio & Brossoit tend Abbey.

    Another thought would be maybe using Brossoit & a 2013 3rd rounder to acquire a 2014 1st rounder. We shouldn’t ignore the fact GM’s are so tight with parting 2013 1st rounders & trying to acquire more that we may catch a few loosey goosey GM’s willing to quikly open the wallet with next years 1 rounders. Nothing wrong with getting another 3+ 1st rounders next year as well.

    • I think you’re overestimating Brossoit’s current value. Aside from the very, very top-end goalie prospects, most puck stoppers aren’t worth very much until they’ve proven themselves at the pro level.

      Middling skaters can be worth something because there’s lots of opportunity to plug them somewhere in the lineup and see if they grow into something. Goalies? Not so much. If a guy isn’t a starter quality player, then he sits on the bench most of the year. So teams are less likely to collect puckstoppers and are therefore less interested in them unless they are clearly superior to their existing options.

      Brossoit looks like a decent prospect in the Flames system in isolation, but just about every team in the league has at least one Brossoit-level goalie in their org already.

      • McRib

        I agree that most goaltending propsects are not worth much until they’ve proven themselves at the pro level. That’s why I think if someone is getting traded for value its Joni Ortio.

        But I disagree that every team in the league has at least one prospect as good as Brossoit. What goaltender in Junior/NCAA was as good as Brossoit the last two years…. John Gibson maybe Binnington, Subban although Brossoit was better than both at the WJC for me.

        • piscera.infada

          Granted I wasn’t there for the WJC tryout, but I heard Brossoit was awesome. Yet, he didn’t make the team. Politics or not, that doesn’t make him better in any way.

        • piscera.infada

          Although, I agree. He’s a great prospect and I’d rather see someone like Ortio be traded (if we go that route). I don’t think trading Brossoit is the way to go. He is better than most CHL prospects in the league, and I hope to God we find a way to get him a fair rub in the A.

        • Im not going to root around the other teams for particulars, but there are lots of goalies who come out of junior with an excellent resume and don’t do much at the pro level.

          Flames recent examples: Leland Irving, Matt Keetley.

          I think until Brossoit has a noteworthy season in a pro league like the AHL (by which I mean, a league leader), I doubt he gets much attention as a trade piece. Goalie prospects have to be very obvious improvements in order to garner any kind of interest.

          • McRib

            Leland Irving had minimal NHL size at 6’0″, those extra few inches means everything for prospects stepping up to the next level, as on his knees he exposes the top corners. He was also not very reactionary to make up for it. Never watched Matt Keetley closly in Junior as I was out east for university, but Brossoit’s positioning with his hybrid stance, just screams pro to me and has the same elements that Corey Crawford did in junior.

          • McRib

            If being tall was so important for a goalie, Henrik Karlsson wouldn’t suck. All goalies leave the corners exposed when they go down, unless they’re Zdeno Chara sized.

            “He was also not very reactionary to make up for it”–> Wouldn’t every goalie who sucks not have great reflexes?

            “Brossoit’s positioning with his hybrid stance, just screams pro to me” –> Leland Irving had great positioning in juniour. He crapped the bed in the pros. Let’s hope Brossoit doesn’t follow suit

  • piscera.infada

    I’m actually starting to think that the plan is to carry 3 goalies in the NHL, at least at first (ie. the moment it becomes apparent that Berra can’t cut it).

    The question is, though, what do they do after? Loan Berra (or Ortio) to Europe? Demote Brossoit?

  • Lordmork

    So we have five goalies, four spots. I would prefer 2/ Berra, Ramo, and MacDonald in the NHL, with us hopefully able to flip the third into a 7th round pick or something. I think anyone other than Ortio and Brossoit in the AHL is a waste of development. If none of the above three can hack the NHL, then time in Abbotsford doesn’t seem likely to improve them. We know Feaster has said Ortio will be in the AHL, so the only real question, in my mind, is whether Berra ends up there too and bumps Brossoit out.

  • BurningSensation

    Another guy I was surprised to see as low down on the prospects list as he is. I would have thought he was one of our top 5 prospects – guess I have to wait and see who was ranked ahead of him.

  • BurningSensation

    That is the problem with signing MacDonald. The Flames should have started the year with Ramo and Berra and Ortio and Brossoit. Give it a quarter of the season to see if any of them cant play at that level and then go and look for a replacement level goaltender like MacDonald. They are easy enough and cheap enough to find and get.

    • supra steve

      My point as well. Why would a .902 thirty something replacement goalie bump one of our top prospects from proper development. This is what ticks me off. Kent, point taken, but, my only rebuff would be, wasn’t Subban a target from Boston as part of the Iggy return? I’m not saying Brossoit is a better goalie than Subban but I don’t think Subban is a better goalie than Brossoit. & they obviously wanted no part of Subban as part of the return to acquire Iggy. Why would that be if these goalies don’t have a lot of trade value at this stage of their careers? Just playing devils advocate.

      • The Subban thing is a rumor only.

        He stopped pucks at notably better rates than Brossoit during the regular season, including a .934 SV% this year, which was the best rate in the OHL (and probably the CHL by extension).

        He may very well be a better goalie than Brossoit right now, is younger and has a higher projection from the scouting community at large. The association with PK Subban and underlying assumption of “quality genes” doesn’t hurt him either.

        In addition, if the Bruins are indeed reticent to trade Subban, that would also have to do with his being a recent first rounder, which teams don’t tend to part with easily regardless of position.

        As I noted, most goalies don’t have value at this point in their careers. There’s rare exceptions when it comes to very high-end prospects.

        I agree with the MacDonald thing though. I don’t know why the Flames bothered with him.

        • everton fc

          “In addition, if the Bruins are indeed reticent to trade Subban, that would also have to do with his being a recent first rounder, which teams don’t tend to part with easily regardless of position”

          And when they do, it seems really bizarre at the time. Like St. Louis flipping David Rundblad for a 1st the year after they drafted him. Sure, it makes sense now..

        • Bean-counting cowboy

          :-} Ok fair enough, I’ll drop the Brossoit trade banter. I still think Feaster should target Carolina well before the draft & see if he could pull off a Gio & our Pitt 1st for Mcbain & their 5th overall. It will hurt in the short term but imagine Monohan, Nichushkin & Sven on a top line a few years from now.

          • supra steve

            Kevin, do you have a fever? You usually make good sense, but this trade proposal is way more then a hopeful reach. My old fallback in evaluating this type of trade proposal is…can you imagine this being the best offer that CAR will get for their #5? I can see someone like EDM or PHIL offering much more if they were of the mind to move up.

          • Bean-counting cowboy

            No just cabin fever from all this friggin rain. I didn’t think it was that far off, I had heard they were down on Mcbain, thought maybe I could sneak him in. Gio is exactly what Carolina need. They don’t really need a Nichuskin when they have Staal(s), Semin, & Skinner needs to be resigned. Gio is well priced, well experienced & a pretty good fit there. Oilers don’t have anything like a Gio to give up that is what Carolina needs. I think Gio & that 5th overall are a pretty darn good basis for a deal, the other parts are just parts & as they say, parts are parts.

          • Bean-counting cowboy

            There is no way any team in the top five trades their pick without the 6th overall being included in the deal unless the Flames gut the current roster and then what would be the point? They would end up in worse shape than they are currently. GM’s, for the most part, aren’t that stupid and/or desperate.

  • BurningSensation

    The problem with goaltenders is how do you know if they can make the next level of pressure when things are that much faster and more physical.

    Great numbers on a great team. That should be expected. That is what Irving put up when he was in the WHL. Good numbers on a good team. Irving has lots of good press about being a good character person and high compete level. Until they show it at the next level there is just no guarantee.

    Goaltenders have to be able to improve their anticipation and play reading skills as the game gets more elite and some goaltenders are able to make the mental adjustments. Whereas in juniors its all about physical athleticism and being bigger, quicker, faster, etc.

    I think that Irving has the physical tools to play in the NHL. But he is lacking the elite mental piece of the equation that allows goaltenders to read, react, and recover. Call it lack of CPU processing speed.

    That is what makes the difference between elite goaltenders, very good goaltenders, backup goaltenders, and minor league goaltenders. They all have the same physical skills more or less. But they dont all have the capacity mentally or emotionally to be able to process the game fast enough.

    The only way that you can see if they have that ability is to play them at that level and see if they can do so, or if they can make the adjustment with some time and refinements.

  • BurningSensation

    For everybody that is suggesting that Brossoit is an amazing goaltending prospect. I would like to see an analysis of Brossoit versus Irving WHL career numbers. They are probably very similar. Junior numbers and accomplishments dont mean anything when it comes to making it at the next level.

    • Jeff Lebowski

      Irving had the massive roadblock in his development in Kipper (Flames overall lack of team quality which had them rely on Kipper).

      If I recall both Mchelliny and Irving had a great AHL season, thinking the next step was NHL, to only sit long stretches.

      Calgary was not in any position to further develop young goalies. They eventually have to get consistent playing time in the NHL.

      It seems these new guys will not have to deal with that. I don’t think you can compare the two scenarios.

      IMO it’s a real pity of what happened to those guys’ career. Yeah it’s up to them to prove they belong but Calgary did not develop their players properly. Especially goalies.

      • piscera.infada

        I completely agree with you. Mcelhinny, for instance, got the biggest chance out of any of our “young goalies” and he was playing what, 8 games a year? Maybe 12?

        That’s no way to develop goalie prospects. Sometimes they just need to find a groove, which is extremely difficult when you play 1 in every 6 or 7 games.

      • The problem with goalies is you can’t justify developing them at the NHL level unless they are at least as good as other readily available options, including the incumbent starter.

        Skaters, you can bring along on the 3rd pairing or 4th line until they can get their legs. A puckstopper? He can singlehandedly cost you games. And with the Flames constantly scraping along trying to make the playoffs for X amount of years, they weren’t really in any position to gamble on a dude like Irving who wasn’t dominating the AHL.

        All this goes to why I say teams should almost never pick goalies in the draft, at least not early in the draft. They are difficult to project and just as difficult to develop.

  • supra steve

    Anyone remember Trevor Kidd? He was pretty good back in the day. Rick Dipietro? Kinda didn’t live up to his younger self either. Marc Denis? M.A. Fleury doesn’t look like such a swell #1 overall pick anymore.

    Kent is 100% correct, every team has one or two similar prospects in the system. Some are still in the CHL, some in AHL, some in Europe. Some will become NHL all-stars, most will not even come close.

  • everton fc

    Spot-on, McRib. Last year at the draft, Feaster sais “size doesn’t matter; we want the best available hockey player.” Now, size and grit matter. Same time last year, I had brought up size/grit matter. So does skill, of course. But not at the expense of an NHL body.

    Until we get a new GM and leadership group in this organization, picks like the one described above will continue. And I’ll throw Jankowski in there, as well – way too big a risk for an organization like this…

    Sproul’s huge. So is Lowry, and he’s a local boy we should have known abouty. “Size and grit”.

    Of course, with the Gaudreau and Broissot picks… I’ll expect to get criticized for the above comments. So be it.