After the Edmonton OIlers traded Anders Nilsson to the St. Louis Blues last season, they recalled Laurent Brossoit. The young AHL all-star had the opportunity to earn a full-time job in the NHL behind Cam Talbot. Despite a strong showing in the minor leagues, Brossoit’s NHL audition didn’t go as planned.
The 23-year-old netminder went 0-4-1 in five NHL games, posting a 3.60 GAA and .873 save percentage. Brossoit often struggled when it came to adverse situations, and a lot of the times, he surrendered “soft” goals. It was a frustrating time for the Canadian goaltender, and in the end, it made many question his ability. At times, he even seemed to ponder his role, and appeared unconfident in the NHL crease.
Brossoit has what it takes to play at the professional level. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound goalie possesses great size, flexibility and stamina. He isn’t one to give up on the play, and he will go to great acrobatic lengths to stop the puck. Not to mention, he has a great work ethic.
To give him a bit of competition, and to usher in a stable back-up plan, Edmonton signed Jonas Gustavsson. “The Monster” has years of NHL back-up experience under his belt, and looked great in his preseason debut, stopping 11 of 11 shots. Along with Gustavsson, Brossoit also impressed, turning away 22 of 23 shots. However, he fell victim to a late game power-play tally courtesy of Mark Giordano, but remained solid.
When it comes to making the Oilers, this is Brossoit’s time to shine. He is waiver-exempt for one more year, and can truly make a push to win a roster spot. On the other hand, Brossoit must first do more to prove himself; that means standing out, making a push and proving himself. Another thing Brossoit needs to work on is his confidence; if he feels good between the pipes, he’ll perform better.
I believe that Gustavsson will win the spot; he is reliable and experienced in the NHL back-up role. With Brossoit having more leverage when it comes to time in the minor leagues, it’s easier to start him in Bakersfield. Plus, the more development he gets, the better of a player he’ll become. His time will come, and when it does, he’ll be ready to make that jump.