Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Joel Broda (nearly) steals the show

(Photo by Chris Jerina) 
If many of you are like me, the mere mention of the name Joel Broda may spark a feeling of indifference. After joining the Aeros on a full-time basis, the kid really didn't stand out in a way that'd make you think he'd keep up with some of the sexy rookie names up in Minnesota.

Well, guess what? He did just that and may have been one of the Wild's best during last week's development camp.

According to Kent Youngblood of the Star-Tribune, Broda scored twice in team white's 4-3 regulation winner. Mikael Granlund, who I don't think will ever see the light of day in Houston*, also scored two goals in a losing effort.

John Torchetti had some real nice things to say about Broda, who really has shown some flashes of real talent in his stints with the Aeros. His only problem, to me, is that he does not seem to be able to do that with out some massive skill around him.

I think he's played well enough defensively on the lower lines to stat in the AHL, but he doesn't score enough as he needs to to get real notice from fans, the media and even the opposition. But, when you put him with talent, look out ... Just read Torchetti's quotes about him (again from the paper in St. Paul):

“He has a heavy shot,” Torchetti said. “He knows how to take the puck to the net. Simple things. He cycles, uses his body to protect the puck. He’s close, you know. He’s close. He just needs to keep working on his foot speed.”

Last year, Broda finished with 14 goals and 27 points and took advantage of the playing time and playing with better skill because of injuries throughout the system. We know he has speed, and he earned regular time in the shootout last year because of his hands on the breakaway.

This is a huge year for Broda. If he continues to improve, maybe he becomes a 25-30 goal guy in the AHL. We'll see for sure, but it was nice to see him stand out a bit amid all the starlets in the Twin Cities. 

* How the NHL lockout will affect the AHL, we have yet to really find out. If it goes down anything like it did last time, Aeros fans could see more of the players that otherwise would see ice time with the Wild. 


Forecheck said...

My guess would be that in a lock-out OKC would have a knock-the-lights-out team. All those young Oilers!

Joe said...

I thought of Broda in a ho-hum manner early and middle of last year's season, but he got better and better as the season progressed. By the last couple of months of the season, we were like 'Hell yeah, Broda!' When DiSal and Taffe were floundering, and many of the young ones faded into oblivion, Broda stepped up his game.