Flames come calling
They were teammates in minor hockey, and again in the B.C. Major Midget League.
They went their separate ways to play in the Western Hockey League, but Tyler Wotherspoon and Laurent Brossoit may soon be teammates again in professional hockey.
The two products of Cloverdale Minor Hockey were claimed by the Calgary Flames at last weekend’s National Hockey League (NHL) entry draft in Minneapolis.
Wotherspoon, a 6’1”, 196-lb. defenceman with the Portland Winterhawks, was taken in the second round, 57th overall.
Brossoit, a goaltender, was selected in the sixth round, 164th overall.
“I was confused, I didn’t know where I was going,” said Wotherspoon after his name was called. “But Calgary is a great city, I’ve been there a lot and I’m excited.”
Wotherspoon scored twice and added 10 assists in the regular season, his second with the Winterhawks, and added three goals and an assist in 20 playoff games.
Portland advanced to the Western Hockey League (WHL) final before losing in five games to the Kootenay Ice.
Describing himself as “a defensive two-way guy,” Wotherspoon, 18, expects to be back in Portland for a third year in the WHL before making the jump to professional hockey.
“I’m going to work as hard as I can, I don’t have a set schedule,” he said of his offseason plan. “I have a great team to go back to in Portland, and will learn as much as I can. Then I will come to camp as a 19-year-old, fit and ready to go.”
Brossoit, a teammate of Wotherspoon’s at both the Bantam A level with the Cloverdale Colts and the B.C. Major Midget League with the Valley West Hawks, was the highest-ranked goaltender in the WHL prior to the draft, and was the first netminder from the league claimed by an NHL team.
The six-foot-three, 202-lb. goaltender played one season in the B.C. Hockey League with the Cowichan Valley Capitals before his rookie season in the WHL last year with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
He had a 13-12-2 (won-loss-overtime loss) record with a 3.32 goals-against average and an .887 save percentage.
“I didn’t have the year I had hoped for in Edmonton, but it got me here,” said Brossoit before the draft. “I showed the scouts what I could do and I have potential.”
Brossoit will likely be back in Edmonton for the 2011-12 season, battling for the number one job with the Oil Kings.