Who has impressed me the most this year? The answer might surprise you: Brooks Laich. I was a little weary of how he would handle being the third line center. So far, he has
proved me wrong and his future looks very bright. At first, I was against his extension. I thought it was too much. But I’ll gladly take a guy like Laich at his price.
Laich was originally a sixth round selection by the Ottawa Senators in the 2001 NHL draft. He came to Washington in 2003 via the Peter Bondra trade. He made his NHL debut with the Capitals the same season. For the next three seasons he spent time with both the Capitals and the Hershey Bears. He came up for good in 2006, and has not looked back since.
Laich is a well-rounded player, as he does everything pretty well, but nothing extraordinarily well. He can crash the net with the best of them, or he can buy time for his guys to get open and feed them a quick pass. He uses his 6’2″ 199 frame to his advantage, giving out tough checks and winning pucks against the board. He’s also extremely tough and I have no question that he is one of the most durable and best conditioned players in the league. He’s among the league leaders in ice time thanks to his prominence on both the powerplay and penalty kill units.
Laich is extremely versatile. He is equally efficient as a center or a wing. I’d use him as a center because he does have trouble against the more physical wings. Also, Laich is a natural born leader. He should be in the natural leadership role on his line: center. He knows how to win faceoffs, and he seems to be most comfortable when he’s the center.
However, I’d say Laich’s great asset is his work ethic. He’s extremely determined, and he takes every practice seriously. He’s not afraid to call players out either. Laich’s leadership is so highly regarded, he was actually considered for the vacant captaincy by in 2010. While Laich doesn’t have an official leadership position, there’s no doubt that Laich is one of the leaders on the team.
For Brooks Laich’s career stats, click here.
I could have put a sick goal video on here, but I think this is what Brooks Laich is all about: