Edmonton Oilers Have A Gem In Laurent Brossoit

Feb 13, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit (1) skates during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at Rexall Place. Winnipeg Jets won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 13, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit (1) skates during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at Rexall Place. Winnipeg Jets won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Laurent Brossoit has inherited the backup goaltending position in Edmonton as a result of Anders Nilsson’s departure to the St. Louis Blues at the trade deadline. Now, the Edmonton Oilers top goaltending prospect will have much more responsibility and his transition to the NHL as the teams goalie of the future has commenced in full force.

Brossoit was acquired in 2013 from the Calgary Flames. At the time, the Oilers paid a decent price to pry the Flames 6th round pick of 2011, sending workhorse defender Ladislav Smid southbound on the Queen Elizabeth highway.

The most recognizable thing about Brossoit is his history with the Edmonton Oil Kings. For three full seasons, he manned the number 1 goaltending duties for the WHL powerhouse. He backstopped his team to a WHL Championship victory as well as a Memorial Cup appearance in 2012.

In the Oilers organization, Brossoit has turned heads so far. He stood out in his first full pro season in the ECHL with the Bakersfield Condors. In 2013/2014 he posted a 0.923 save percentage in 35 games as a rookie.

After a stellar season in the East Coast, he was promoted to the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons as the number 1 goalie in 2014/2015. In 53 games he posted an impressive 0.918 save percentage.

The 22 year old netminder earned himself a look with the big club at seasons end. His first NHL game with the Oilers was absolutely dynamic as he made 49 saves against the San Jose Sharks on April 9th, 2015.

Now, this season Brossoit continued to impress by posting a 0.919 save percentage in 28 games with the newly affiliated Bakersfield Condors. In 2 games with the Oilers, he has a 0.883 save percentage.

He had an excellent game against the Winnipeg Jets as he made 32 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss at Rexall Place on Feb. 13.

It was a different story against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March. 4 as Brossoit was lit up in a 6-3 loss. He made 21 saves on the night.

The fact is before the game against Columbus, Brossoit has been nearly perfect thus far in his very young NHL career. That streak had to end eventually. In order for Brossoit to become the goaltender every Oiler fan is expecting, he has to have some bad games. It’s the only way he will learn.

Fans should not panic just because one of the Oilers goalies have an off night. Brossoit is a rookie and he will learn from his mistakes. The odd bad game will help his development. It is key in this process to keep his confidence high.

I love how Todd McLellan handled Brossoit in Columbus. Instead of yanking him after a few weak goals and destroying his confidence, he kept the rookie between the pipes and made him finish the game. Confidence is a vital factor for all NHL goaltenders performances. Especially a rookie.

Goaltenders are strange in regards to development. Many of them take a while to evolve into starters, others flourish at a young age. As the experts say, “Goalies are like voodoo”.

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The Oilers have to be patient with Brossoit. They have done well in handling him so far. Now he is the legit backup in Edmonton. In a few years he could very well challenge or ease out current starter, Cam Talbot.

I see a similar scenario with the Oilers just like the Tampa Bay Lightning have with their goaltending tandem right now. Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy are two elite goaltenders. Vasilevsky is a star on the rise and Bishop is a proven number 1 netminder.

Basically what they have is Tampa is a 1A 1B system. The beauty about that is they have flexibility between the pipes and options to consider. I see the same type of scenario developing in Edmonton in a few years.

Right now the Oilers have a quality number 1 in Talbot. After inking him to a 3 year deal, he is the main option moving forward and rightfully so. Brossoit has an excellent opportunity to learn from Talbot and hone his skills in the big league without a lot of pressure to deal with.

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The process will be long and gruelling, but I believe Brossoit is the future between the pipes. Patience is very important. Fans must be prepared to see some bad games and questionable moments from the former Oil King. But again it is all part of his development.