Abbotsford connection nets Aces a netminder and two defensemen

dwoody@adn.comOctober 2, 2013 

— Laurent Brossoit's numbers his last two seasons in the Western Hockey League were eye-popping.

Now it's time to see if he can duplicate those jaw-droppers in the pay-for-play game.

The 20-year-old rookie goaltender, a sixth-round draft pick of the NHL's Calgary Flames, was one of three players assigned Wednesday to the ECHL's Alaska Aces from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.

That trio, which includes defensemen James Martin and Zach Davies, represents the first bounty in the Aces' new affiliation agreement with Calgary and Abbotsford.

Abbotsford on Wednesday also released from its training camp four players who are under contract to the Aces -- returning defenseman Kane Lafranchise, returning wingers Jordan Kremyr and Andy Taranto, and winger Peter Sivak.

Brossoit two seasons ago backstopped the Edmonton Oil Kings to the WHL championship and was voted playoff Most Valuable Player. Last season, he helped deliver them back to the finals, where they fell to the Portland Winterhawks, the team they beat for the title in 2012.

Brossoit (pronounced Lore-en Bro-swah) last regular season went 33-8-6 with a 2.25 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and five shutouts. In the postseason, he furnished a 14-5-3 mark, 1.82 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and five bagels. In the last two regular seasons and playoff runs, he went a combined 105-30-14 for a .752 winning percentage.

With returning Aces stalwart Gerald Coleman likely to miss the first few weeks of the season after offseason hip surgery, Alaska will likely start the season with the tandem of returner Mark Guggenberger and Brossoit. Guggenberger is currently in training camp with the AHL's Iowa Wild and last week stopped 26 shots in a 4-3 overtime exhibition win over Chicago.

Aces coach Rob Murray, who along with assistant coach Louis Mass was at Abbotsford's training camp last month, said the 6-foot-3 Brossoit scored high in strength and conditioning tests, and looks like a legitimate prospect.

"He's a guy who moves around the net really well,'' Murray said. "We're looking at a guy who is really going to be a good goaltender for us.''

The Aces on Friday at 10 a.m. open their training camp with a practice, open to the public, at Ben Boeke Arena.

Like Brossoit, Martin, 22, is under contract to Calgary. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Martin played much of last season with ECHL Utah -- he produced 3-10--13 totals in 44 games with the Grizzlies -- and also played five games for Abbotsford. Murray sees him as a potential shutdown defenseman, as long as he plays with an edge.

"He's got to be a nuisance,'' Murray said.

Davies, 25, is a rookie coming off a strong four-year career at Quinnipiac, which last season lost to Yale in the NCAA Division I championship game. Davies produced 2-15--17 totals and a plus-17 rating in 43 games last season ,and racked 55 points in 158 career games. Davies is under contract to Abbotsford.

"He's a guy I think is really underrated, an under-the-radar type of guy,'' Murray said.

Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.

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