FORMER LEAMINGTON FLYER BRODIE SIGNS FOR $23.25 MILLION

Former Leamington Flyers defenceman T.J. Brodie of the Calgary Flames signed a five-year extension worth a reported US$23.25 million.  The 24-year-old Brodie was slated to become a restricted free agent this summer. The six-foot-two, 185-pound native of Dresden has a six-game scoring streak with three goals and four assists and leads all players in the NHL with 176 minutes of ice time.

Thomas James Brodie (born June 7, 1990) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League. He was a fourth round selection of the Flames, 114th overall, at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Brodie played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League prior to turning professional in 2010. Internationally, he was a member of Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Amateur

Brodie grew up in Ontario on the family farm located between Dresden and Chatham. He went to elementary school and high school in Chatham, but played his minor hockey in the Dresden Minor Hockey Association.

Brodie was selected by the Saginaw Spirit in the third round of the Ontario Hockey League priority selection in 2006 out of the Cyclones program. He spent the majority of the 2006–07 season with the Junior B Leamington Flyers. He was voted the Western Ontario Hockey League’s defensive rookie of the year and named to the rookie and first all-star teams. In 43 regular season games with the Flyers, Brodie scored 8 times adding 38 assists for 46 points along with 104 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 20 games with the Spirit before moving up to the OHL full-time in the 2007–08 season. He appeared in all 68 games for the Spirit that year, scoring 30 points as a 17-year-old. Seeking an offensive defenceman, the Calgary Flames selected Brodie in the fourth round, 114th overall, at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

He improved to 50 points in 2008–09 and was praised by his coaches as being one of the best all-around defencemen in the OHL. His season earned the attention of Hockey Canada, which invited him to their summer evaluation camp for the 2010 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Brodie began the 2009–10 season in Saginaw, but was traded to the Barrie Colts after 19 games as part of a four-player deal. The Colts finished the year as the top ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League, but were defeated by the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL championship series.

Professional

Entering his 20-year-old season, the Flames expected Brodie was ready to turn professional in 2010–11. The team praised the improvements he made to his game, and anticipated that he would join their American Hockey League affiliate in Abbotsford. A strong showing at the team’s rookie camp, and performances in the main camp that impressed both his coaches and teammates, resulted in Brodie earning a spot with the Flames to begin the season. He appeared in three games, recording two penalty minutes, before being assigned to the Abbotsford Heat. Brodie established himself as one of the Heat’s top scorers and is considered one of the team’s top prospects, While he did not challenge those complaints, Brodie’s play was such that he was named the team’s lone representative at the 2011 AHL All-Star Game. He finished the year as Abbotsford’s leading scorer amongst defencemen, and tied for second on the team overall, with 34 points. He led the Heat in assists with 29.

Brodie began the 2011–12 season in Abbotsford, but an injury to Anton Babchuk led to his recall by the Flames on November 11, 2011. He scored his first NHL point by assisting on a goal by Lee Stempniak against the Chicago Blackhawks on November 18. Brodie’s first NHL goal nine days later against Niklas Bäckström of the Minnesota Wild when an attempted pass to Tim Jackman was deflected into the goal. Brodie played 54 games in his first NHL season and recorded 14 points.

A labour dispute in the NHL resulted in Brodie starting the 2012–13 season in Abbotsford. He scored 20 points in 35 games with the Heat before NHL play resumed. Finishing the season with the Flames, he scored 2 goals and 14 points in 47 games. He emerged as one of the Flames top defencemen. He averaged over 20 minutes of ice time per game and earned an invitation to join Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Championship. Brodie appeared in seven games and recorded one assist for Canada, who were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

A restricted free agent following the season, Brodie signed a two-year contract extension with the Flames worth $4.25 million. He began the 2013–14 season alongside Mark Giordano as the Flames’ top defensive pairing before being locked-up with a five-year extension in 2014 worth a reported US$23.25 million.

David Honsberger

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