Saturday, September 26, 2009

Focus on a Thrasher: Bryan Little

Last season saw some pretty dismal times. The one thing we always had going for us was Bryan Little. Who? Yeah, learn this kid's name if you don't know it. On "NHL Live" EJ Hradek called him "Byron Young." (WTF??) This started a little meme on the Thrashers web boards and even a few people brought signs for Byron Young. Little was one of our studs last season and when the team finally started buying into Anderson's system and the Thrashers made that strong finish at the end of the 2008-09 season, Little was fantastic.

You have to be pretty good for our marketing team to make you a video!

Bryan Little was born on November 12, 1987 in Edmonton, Alberta. He was raised in Cambridge, Ontario.

In 2002, Bryan started his career playing Junior B hockey for the Cambridge Winterhawks of the MWJBHL (Mid-Western Junior B Hockey League). Bryan played 40 games and tallied 35 Points. Around this time, Bryan began to think for the first time he might be able to make a career out of hockey.

Probably around my junior B year, which was also my OHL draft year. When I was playing there, more and more scouts were coming to the arena and I was on the OHL rankings for their draft. I would say that that was about the time I gave it some serious thought.

In 2003, Bryan moved on to the OHL and began playing for the Barrie Colts. Bryan was surprised by the ice time he got his first year in the OHL, and had a pretty good rookie season collecting 58 points in 64 games. He led the team in goals, ranked second in points and was sixth in assists.

Bryan continued to excel with the Colts. The 2005-06 season was Bryan's third with the Colts and he tied for sixth in the OHL with a career high 109 points (42goals and 67 assists). He ranked 7th in the league for assists. At the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Bryan was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the first round, 12th overall.

After being drafted by the Thrashers, Bryan continued to play with the Colts for the 2006-07 season. Bryan had another successful year playing in 57 games and scoring 107 points. He was also sent to the Chicago Wolves for 2 games in the AHL's post season. He didn't score any points. One local columnist said:
According to one local columnist, "He didn’t play much, and he was playing out of position, but the biggest thing was that he fit right in ... he played like he’d been there all season."

Bryan made the team out of training camp and started the 2007-08 season with the Thrashers. Bryan made his NHL debut on October 5 and scored his first NHL goal that night making him the first Thrasher to score in his NHL debut. Bryan played in 48 games and scored 18 points before being reassigned to the Chicago Wolves.

Once back with the Wolves, Bryan played in 34 regular season games and scored 25 points. The Wolves went all the way through post season, winning the Calder Cup. Bryan scored 12 points in the post season.

For the 2008-09 season, Bryan was a full time Thrasher. He played in 79 games and scored 51 points. He ranked 2nd on the team with 31 goals. He had three straight multiple point games from February 15-19.

Bryan has played for his country, too. He was a member of the gold medal winning 2007 Canadian World Junior team.

Awards Bryan has won:
* 2003-04 OHL Rookie of the Year
* 2003-04 OHL Eastern Conference Coaches Poll
* "Smartest Player"
* 2004-05 Barrie Colts Alternate Captain
* 2004-05 OHL Eastern Coach's Poll
  • Smartest Player
  • Hardest Worker
  • Most Dangerous in the Goal Area
* 2005-06 Barrie Colts Team Captain
* 2005-06 Eastern Conference All Star
* 2006-07 OHL All Star


Brittany September 27, 2009 at 1:39 AM  

Little is amazing! He is my age so its even cooler to see someone born close to me that is so successful. I would love to meet him. Plus his smile is way too cute. :)


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