Laurent Brossoit is having himself a stellar season. Although he is serving as Connor Hellebuyck’s backup, he has succeeded immensely and is quickly making a name for himself. Brossoit is under contract until the end of the season at which point he will become a restricted free agent. The Jets can see how talented Brossoit is and they have a few options: they can try to sign him to an extension now to avoid losing him, they can wait till the offseason to either try and re-sign him then or trade him away, or they can use him as trade bait. Although it may be a tough pill to swallow, using him as trade bait may in fact be the best option for the club.
Connor Hellebuyck is arguably having himself a poor season by his standards and in his small sample size Brossoit has clearly been better, it is unlikely that the Jets start Brossoit over Hellebuyck long-term. Hellebuyck is the team’s starting goaltender and that will not be changing anytime soon. Hellebuyck is signed until 2024-2025 at $6.17M per season and has established himself as the teams goaltender for the present and the future. Brossoit is a restricted free agent at the end of the season and is coming off of a one-year $650,000 contract. He is due for a pay raise and it is unlikely that the Jets can fit him under the salary cap at a higher wage, management might find it beneficial to involve Brossoit in a package deal in exchange for a top-6 center that they are reportedly interested in such as Kevin Hayes.
This would make sense for the Rangers as well as they are a rebuilding team who can afford to give him a pay raise and who may be able to serve as a viable option for the Rangers as they could either keep him as a potential successor to Lundqvist or will more likely trade him for assets to aid in their rebuild.
Another player that the Jets have been rumoured to be interested in is Derrick Brassard who was recently traded to the Florida Panthers. The Panthers are reportedly eyeing a new goaltender in Sergei Bobrovsky who is set to be an unrestricted agent this offseason. The Panthers currently have over $7M invested in their two current goaltenders: Roberto Luongo and James Reimer. It is clear that the Florida is looking for options to replace their current goaltenders. Adding Brossoit to the roster would make sense as he would be a cheaper option then both of their current goaltenders and could also serve as a piece in a potential trade with the Jackets for Bobrovski.
Brossoit has been featured in 13 games the season for Winnipeg and has started 12 of them. In those games he has been exceptional and has a goals against average of 2.09 and a save percentage of .940. He has a record of 10 wins, 2 losses, and 1 overtime loss. Regardless on the fact that he has only played 13 games, that is still a great record and are exceptional numbers for any goaltender at the NHL level.
Although losing Brossoit may be a tough pill for fans to swallow considering how strong he has performed it is important to note that with the amount of players that need to be signed, Brossoit is not the number one priority considering that fact that he would not even be the teams starting goaltender. It would make more sense for the team to trade Brossoit when he is worth more and to acquire a player or assets that can help them either win now. The Jets will have their hands full this offseason as they have Jacob Trouba, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp, Brendan Lemieux, Nic Petan, and Joe Morrow all set to be RFA’s and Ben Chiarot, Tyler Myers, and Brandon Tanev all set to hit the free agent market. The Jets will have some big decisions to make and will possibly have to add some new players as well. As great as it would to have Brossoit in the teams long term plans, it makes more sense to trade him now and get the help they need to win now instead of sacrificing their future.