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Brossoit excited for a fresh start in Winnipeg

Newly-acquired goaltender has connections to Hellebuyck, Myers, and Petan

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

WINNIPEG - When he signed on the dotted line on July 1, Laurent Brossoit also added a third Canadian franchise to his resume.

Initially drafted by the Calgary Flames in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Draft, Brossoit was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in November of 2013.

Now the 2012 Western Hockey League Champion and MVP, and 2016 AHL All-Star is a member of the Winnipeg Jets.

"I love winter cities I guess you could say," Brossoit said with a laugh, shortly after putting pen to paper on a one-year contract worth $650,000. "I'm excited. I love the energy, I love the passion all the fans have. It motivates you to be a part of the team even more."

Video: FREE AGENCY | Jets Perspective

The 25-year-old has 28 games of NHL experience, with his best numbers coming in Edmonton in 2016-17. That season, he played eight games, posting a 0.928 save percentage and a 1.99 goals against average.

Following a 2017-18 campaign that saw him accumulate a 0.912 save percentage, Brossoit's contract expired with the Oilers. He said his deal with the Jets came together quite quickly.

"We were talking to a few teams, and actually discussing some offers from the other teams. Winnipeg wasn't even on the radar," said Brossoit. "Then all of a sudden out of the blue they gave my agent a call and said they had me in their sights. With the amount of goalies they had at the time, we weren't very interested. But they said just hold tight, and they were in the works and trying to work something out. We kept an open mind, and they came back with the offer I signed. The rest is history. It seemed like a no-brainer when you have a team that looks as good as this team does.

Video: FREE AGENCY | Laurent Brossoit

"When they give you an opportunity, you take it."

That opportunity came as a result of a trade that saw the Jets acquire defenceman Simon Bourque from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Joel Armia, goaltender Steve Mason, and two draft picks.

Then, Michael Hutchinson - who had been with the Jets organization since the 2013-14 campaign - signed a one-year deal with the Florida Panthers.

It was a scenario General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and his team had discussed in recent days.

"The conversations internally were if we had to go down the path of something with moving a goaltender out to create some space, who would we want to look at? We had extensive conversations with both (Jets goaltending coach Wade Flaherty, and Manitoba Moose goalie coach Rick St. Croix)," said Cheveldayoff.

"Laurent's name was very intriguing to us."

Clearly that intrigue was shared on both sides. The next step was a call to a number Cheveldayoff is familiar with - player agent Ray Petkau, who not only represents Brossoit, but Connor Hellebuyck as well.

The relationship between Brossoit and Hellebuyck goes back to the Net360 program in Kelowna, BC.

Video: FREE AGENCY | Kevin Cheveldayoff

"I got to know him a little bit there, and he's such an easy guy to get along with," said Brossoit.

In addition to Hellebuyck, Brossoit has also worked out with Tyler Myers while in Kelowna, as well as Nic Petan in Vancouver.

"That's the biggest part. I'm so excited for a fresh start and come to an organization that has a few buddies. It makes it that much easier to know a few guys makes being in the dressing room for the first time a lot easier than if I didn't know them."

Brossoit saw first-hand the work that Hellebuyck put in, and said he wasn't surprised to see the record-breaking season the Jets goaltender had in 2017-18.

"I knew as soon as I played against him in the minors. I saw how efficiently he moved in the net," said Brossoit. "Even two seasons ago, I thought even though it was perceived as an average season, I could see a good goalie and I could see potential from a mile away.

"There are a lot of things that I can learn from Helly even though we're the same age. He does a lot of things that I'd like to do. It's going to be really fun working with him, especially considering we're friends already."

With over two months to go until training camp opens, Brossoit plans to work on every aspect of his game, fine-tuning the technical aspect of his game as he works his way to full speed practices.

More than anything, he's looking forward to a fresh start.

"It's huge. It's a new environment. You learn so much, and I've learned so much the past couple years about myself, and how things work in the NHL and in dressing rooms," said Brossoit. "To be able to come to a new organization and implement all those things that I've learned in front of new perspectives and new people, it's a huge thing.

"You see a lot of players that go through the same thing. Once they get a fresh start, their career takes off. I honestly think that's going to happen here."

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