With natural goal scorers hard to come by, the San Jose Sharks feel like they found one in Brodie Reid.
The former Burnaby Express and Penticton Vees forward provided a glimpse Sunday of what he can bring during the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars tournament. With the Sharks leading 1-0 early against the Calgary Flames, Reid fed Michael Sgarbossa, who broke in on Flames goalie Joni Ortio and beat him with a wrist shot high blocker. Reid then scored his first of the tournament when he gathered a rebound from the corner and put it on goal helping the Sharks win 6-1.
“That’s kind of a natural goal scorer’s goal,” said Worcester Sharks coach Roy Sommer. “They find ways to get pucks in like that.”
Sommer likes Reid’s skillset.
“You kind of see what he brings to the table,” said Sommer. “He’s got a great release and seems to find open ice and where to go to get pucks to get scoring opportunities. His board work needs a little work and his skating still has to come a little ways but he’s got a lot of potential.”
Sommer noted the biggest thing is coming from college to the American Hockey League and NHL level is things happen quicker. That’s where Reid has to make adjustments and figure out what works for him.
“How to get open, use his body better,” said Sommer. “He’s a kid who pays attention. Works on things you ask him to work on. He’s got a good future.”
Reid, who once scored 52 goals with the Express, said he learned a lot while playing for the Northeastern University Huskies. It was a big jump from what he was used to in the BCHL and United States Hockey League, but it made him stronger. The six-foot-one, 195-pound forward believes that his year in college will help him at the pro level from facing older competition.
“That’s kind of what you are more to expect playing at this level,” said Reid. “Playing against men and experienced players.”
Reid inked a deal with the Sharks after his freshman season with the Huskies ended. He was named to the Hockey East all-rookie team after scoring 11 goals and 28 points in 37 games. That placed him fourth on the team. He also posted five points in three games of the Hockey East quarter-finals against eventual conference champion Boston University according to Sharks.com.
“Brodie accomplished nearly everything an individual can achieve in his first season at the collegiate level,” said Sharks executive vice president and general manager Doug Wilson to Sharks.com. “We feel that he is more than ready to take the next step in his professional development and we are pleased that he has chosen to do that with the San Jose Sharks.”
Wearing jersey 56, Reid said it has been special being with the Sharks.
“It’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a chance to play for them,” said Reid, following a morning skate. “It’s been a great ride so far and I’m hoping to take it as far as I can.”
As much as he loved the college life, the Delta native couldn’t spurn the pros.
“It would have been fun to play a few more years, but you can’t pass on opportunities like this,” said Reid. “I had a good year for a freshman. I wasn’t really expecting to leave right away. Then a couple of teams came knocking and before I knew it I had a couple of offers. It was a whirlwind three weeks for sure.”
What has helped Reid look like he belongs is his approach on the ice.
“I’m not really a nervous guy,” said Reid, who has worked out with Chicago’s Brent Seabrook and Washington’s Troy Brouwer, both who are from the Lower Mainland. “I like playing in big stages like this. It’s kind of more natural for me. I’m more excited than anything.”
During the five-day tournament, the 21-year old is focused on playing his game, which is creating offence.
“They signed me for a reason,” said Reid, who according to capgeek.com, signed a two-year entry-level deal worth $1.38 million, which will earn him $67,500 in the AHL. “I’m not going to try to change that. They obviously like what I bring. I want to learn a few things and be one of the hardest working guys out there. Show some offence and be strong in the d-zone. Make strong plays and be a leader.”