Brossoit aims for Flames, Team Canada
WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency
|Laurent Brossoit backstopped the Edmonton Oil Kings to the 2012 WHL championship and at the Memorial Cup. (QMI Agency)
CALGARY - He could be Calgary's goaltender of the future.
He wants to be Canada's goaltender first.
Calgary Flames prospect and current Edmonton Oil Kings standout Laurent Brossoit arrived Thursday in Calgary for Hockey Canada’s four-day program of excellence goaltending camp, one of the first steps in picking puck-stoppers to wear the Maple Leaf at the next instalment of the world junior tournament.
“(Representing Canada) is obviously a huge priority of mine. It’s been a dream of mine, and I want to make sure that I make it,” Brossoit said prior to Thursday’s first on-ice session at WinSport Canada Athletic & Ice Complex. “It’s my priority for the summer, but once the season gets going in the fall, I want to make sure I do well, because that’s a huge part of the decision that they’ll make, whether or not I’m hot at the start of the season. So I don’t want to look too far ahead.”
If he feels like looking back, Brossoit will get a good reminder of why he’s here.
The 19-year-old from Surrey, B.C., posted a 42-13-2-3 record with a stingy 2.47 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in his second full season in Edmonton. He was even better come playoff time, backstopping the Oil Kings to a Western Hockey League championship and their first trip to the Memorial Cup in modern franchise history.
Without a doubt, it was the most satisfying season of his young career.
“I think the biggest thing was just consistency. I felt, throughout the year, I gave my team a chance to win game-in and game-out,” Brossoit said. “Last year, I felt that I lacked that a little bit and I had some ups and downs. This year, I kind of found my game and kept it simple and kept my rebounds under control, and it just worked out for me.
“If you look at the (NHL) playoffs this year, L.A. is in the situation that they’re in because (Kings goalie) Jonathan Quick gives them the same performance game-in and game-out. That’s what every goalie strives for. I still don’t think I’m there yet. I’m not satisfied with where I’m at.”
He’s thrilled to be in Calgary for the next few days, though.
Brossoit is one of 16 netminders invited to Hockey Canada’s seventh annual program of excellence goaltending camp.
Others on the camp roster include Belleville Bulls star Malcolm Subban, whose older brother P.K. patrols the blueline for the Montreal Canadiens, and Corbin Boes, who backstopped the Brandon Wheat Kings to a first-round triumph over the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL playoffs.
Brossoit was the Flames’ sixth-round selection, 164th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. While goaltenders are usually long-term projects, Brossoit is as optimistic as ever about what his future could hold.
“I made some huge strides this year, and I’m just mentally and physically more confident than ever,” Brossoit said. “Confidence is actually a thing I lacked the past few years. This year, because I found my game, I know what I’m expecting out of myself when I step on the ice. It’s easier to go out and know that I have confidence, and I have what it takes. Confidence is a huge thing. It’s a big part of a goalie’s game, and I’m happy that I found a little bit of it.”
On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson