The young goalie with the slender build and the neatly trimmed beard had the wide-eyed look of any normal hopeful following the brief practice at the Rangers training facility Thursday.
“I got invited to camp – I’m so excited for the opportunity,’’ Jeremy Brodeur said, as he joined the Rangers’ prospects for the Traverse City Tournament that will take place over the weekend in Traverse City, Mich. “Obviously, it’s a little different setting than I’m used to – in New York, rather than New Jersey – but it’s pretty cool, I guess.’’
Yes, Jeremy Brodeur is Martin Brodeur’s son, and he’s with the Rangers on a professional tryout, hoping, like every other tryout player, that he’ll play well enough this weekend to catch someone’s eye and earn himself a contract with an NHL organization. As the Rangers’ second goaltender for the tournament, behind Hartford player Chris Nell, Brodeur knows he’s a long, long way from becoming an NHL goalie, but all he’s hoping for is a chance to make an impression.
“It’s my third go-around in this tournament,’’ said Brodeur, who played at Traverse City for Columbus in 2016 and Dallas in 2017. “The year before I played really well; last year I only played one game. This year, hopefully, I can showcase what I can do to everyone there, just to prove that I can be competitive at the level everyone’s at here.’’
Brodeur, 21, is entering his second professional season, having played last winter for the Allen (Texas) Americans of the ECHL, where he went 15-13-4, with a 3.15 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. The 6-1, 195-pounder doesn’t look all that much like his dad, although he sounds just like him when he talks and laughs.
Martin Brodeur, the NHL’s all-time winningest goaltender, who just rejoined the Devils as an assistant GM, cast a long shadow over his three sons, Anthony, 23, and twins William and Jeremy. Anthony, a goaltender, was drafted by the Devils the summer before his father’s final season as a player there. But he never played professionally and now plays college hockey and golf at the University of Ottawa. William, a defenseman, plays club hockey at Providence College, where is a senior.
Jeremy – who said he was never coached by his dad – decided to give pro hockey a shot, though. After three years at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Minnesota (where he was a teammate of Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren) Brodeur went Oshawa of the OHL, where he was a backup on the team that won the Memorial Cup in 2015. He took over the No. 1 job the next two years, and despite going 70-40-10, with a 2.81 goals-against average and .909 save percentage in three seasons, he wasn’t drafted by an NHL club.
NOTES: The Rangers announced this week they will retire Vic Hadfield’s No. 11 jersey Dec. 2, prior to their home game against the Winnipeg Jets… The team also announced it has hired former NHL forward Steve Konowalchuk as an amateur scout… In the tournament, the Rangers will face Dallas Friday at 7 p.m., Minnesota Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Detroit Monday at 4 p.m. On Tuesday, they will play an opponent to be determined at a time to be announced. The games are being live-streamed by the Red Wings, who are hosting the tournament, and the Rangers will share a link to the broadcasts of their games.