Jeremy Brodeur hoping to get chance to show what he can do for Sheffield Steelers
Jeremy Brodeur says he would love to return in a Sheffield goaltending tandem along with Tomas Duba - but this time he'd actually like to play a game!
Brodeur, the son of legendary, three-time Stanley Cup winner Martin, was brought into Steelers' squad in February, to provide insurance in case Duba picked up an injury.
Such was the Czech's fitness and form, the 23-year-old netminder never got a look-in.
But that frustration hasn't stopped Brodeur from wanting a second crack or admiring his competitor for a place between the posts.
"I was disappointed because I wish I'd got a chance to show the team and fans of Sheffield what I could do in a game," he told The Star.
"But I knew why I was brought in, it was a support role for Duba.
"I loved Thomas as a team-mate and a goalie. In the little time I was there he taught me a lot and really cared to make sure I was getting along well through the transition. Amazing goalie, amazing person."
Duba had a unique style that allows him to make saves "based on what he reads beforehand" he added.
Brodeur could never anticipate what tricks Duba had up his sleeve when a forward was one-on-one with him.
"It seems like it was always the shooter making the first move...then Duba made it look easy!"
Duba, whose own future is unknown, has certainly left an impression on the American prospect.
"I want to get better at hockey every year. I want to keep playing at a high level and hopefully be able to play as long as Duba is!"
The New Jersey-based goaltender had arrived in Sheffield after spells at Peoria Rivermen and then Budapest.
He describes his year as "adventurous."
"I took a leap knowing nothing about the hockey overseas in Budapest and ended up loving the experience and got to see a whole other side when I came to England as well.
"The move to Sheffield came out of nowhere, it was a quick call and I was there two days later. It was an easy decision as it was an upgrade in leagues and my season had one game left in Budapest," said Brodeur, a one-time OHL champion.
The goalie enjoyed the contribution of the "amazing fans" and highly rated the standard of hockey and the city of Sheffield.
"I would come back to Sheffield...or anywhere in the British league.
"I felt like I was treated in a very professional manner from ownership to coaching staff to equipment managers. Sheffield was amazing."
Brodeur has his 22-season NHL veteran father to lean on for any guidance: "Yes, my Dad gives me advice a lot but only minor things, he wants me to figure out my career on my own and do what I want to do. Wherever I end up he will support me!"
*As predicted by The Star, Steeler and Steeldogs forward Kieran Brown, 19, has signed for NIHL club Leeds Chiefs. Coach Sam Zajac said “Offensively, Kieran is pretty much the full package. He’s probably one of, if not the best, player for his age in the country and is someone with massive potential."