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While right wing T.J. Oshie has manned the slot on the Capitals’ lethal power play for the last three seasons, it was former Capital Troy Brouwer who first provided the team with a weapon in front of the net. Coincidentally, it was a trade involving Brouwer that brought Oshie to Washington, and in this latest Capitals Alumni Profile, NoVa Caps takes a look back on Brouwer’s Capitals career.
Brouwer was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the seventh-round (214th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, and spent parts of five seasons with ‘Hawks, totaling 238 games played, while scoring 49 goals and adding 54 assists for 103 points, with a plus/minus rating of plus-8. Brouwer was a member of the Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team.
Brouwer was traded to the Capitals on June 24, 2011 in exchange for the Caps’ first-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (which the Blackhawks used to select left wing Phillip Danault, who would play just 32 games in the Windy City before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens), in the hopes that he could provide the team with insurance in the event that former wing Brooks Laich was not re-signed and also to provide a strong leadership presence on a team that had fallen short of its goal of winning a Stanley Cup.
In his first season with the Capitals (2011-12), Brouwer scored 18 goals and added 15 assists, for 33 points in 82 games played. Under former Head Coaches Bruce Boudreau and Dale Hunter, Brouwer averaged 17:11 of ice time, establishing himself as physical, two-way player. Of his 18 goals, just three came on the man-advantage. In his second season with the Caps (the lockout-shortened 2012-13), Brouwer played in 47 of the 48-game season, scoring 19 goals and 14 assists for his second straight 33-point season, with a minus-5 rating. In addition, he registered 108 hits, which was good enough for second on the team behind captain Alex Ovechkin.
In his third season in the District, Brouwer had a career-high 25 goals and 43 points in all 82 games played, averaging a career-high 18:51 of ice time in a season that saw the team miss the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. Brouwer would score a career-best 12 power play goals, establishing himself as a weapon for one of the league’s best power play units. In his fourth and final season with the Caps, Brouwer matched his career-high in points, scoring 21 goals and adding 22 assists, with a plus-11 rating in all 82 games played, averaging 17:31 of ice time a game for then-Head Coach Barry Trotz. Brouwer’s most memorable moment as a member of the Caps came during the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park, when, with 12.9 seconds left in regulation, Brouwer fired a shot past, ironically, Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford to put the Capitals ahead 3-2.
Brouwer was traded to the St. Louis Blues on July 2, 2015, along with goaltending prospect Pheonix Copley and a third-round draft pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft (both later re-acquired by the Capitals in a trade involving defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk) in exchange for Oshie. While Brouwer played a majority of his time in the District, his playing style was ideally suited for a third-line role. Three years after the trade, Brouwer is now with the Florida Panthers and Oshie is currently playing on an eight-year deal signed in 2017 with the Caps.
Brouwer would play just one season in St. Louis, scoring 18 goals and adding 21 assists for 39 points in 82 games played, averaging 17 minutes of ice time, and followed his regular season with an eight-goal, 13-point postseason performance in 20 playoff games, helping the Blues reach the Western Conference Finals. Brouwer then signed a four-year, $18 million deal with the Calgary Flames in free agency. Brouwer would play just two of the four-year deal, recording a total of 47 points (19 goals, 28) in 150 games played before being bought out by the Flames. Brouwer then signed a one-year deal with the Florida Panthers for the 2018-19 season.
In a total of four seasons with the Caps, Brouwer played 293 games, scoring 83 goals and adding 69 point for 152 points (the most with any team he’s played for), with a minus-15 rating, averaging 17:58 of ice time while registering 771 hits. In 35 playoff games, Brouwer recorded just nine points (three goals, six assists).
By Michael Fleetwood
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