When the Oilers take the ice tonight against the Winnipeg Jets they'll have Laurent Brossoit between the pipes making his first start of the season. In his only other NHL appearance, Brossoit made 49 saves on 51 shots in a game that the Oilers lost by a score of 3-1 to the San Jose Sharks. The Jets are 15th in the NHL in shots per game, averaging 29.8, so Brossoit's workload should be a little lighter tonight, but the last time the Oilers and Jets played each Cam Talbot had to make 44 saves (surprisingly the Oilers won that game 3-1) so you never know.
Originally drafted by the Flames and acquired in the trade that sent Ladislav Smid to Calgary, Brossoit has progressed nicely in the AHL and has posted some very good numbers this season: 14-8-3 in 26 games, a 2.70 goals against average, and a 0.921 save percentage. Those are numbers good enough to make many think, my self included, that he might be ready to make the jump from Bakersfield to the Edmonton, filing the role of the team's backup to Talbot, as soon as next season.
If Brossoit is able to make that jump - the games he plays between now and the end of the season will go a long way towards telling us if that's possible - it would be beneficial to the Oilers for a couple of reasons: developing a goalie is something the team has struggled with (Devan Dubnyk is the only goalie prospect that this team has been able to develop in forever), it'd be nice to see it work out for a change. It would also give the Oilers a dirt cheap backup for next season, leaving them with some room under the salary cap to spend on other roster needs.
That's getting ahead of ourselves though. Before any of that can happen Brossoit will have to show that he can put up good numbers in the NHL as well as in the AHL, starting tonight against the Jets, a team coming off a 6-2 loss to the Bruins and has four wins in their last ten games. With a 42-27-3 record, the Jets sit last in the NHL's Central Division with 51 points. Last year the Jets took Winnipeg back to the playoffs for the first time in 20 years, they won't be making a return appearance this season though, it's already time to start thinking about next season for Jets fans. I can provide tips on how to do this, if necessary.