Getting to Know Winnipeg Jets' Bryan Little

By Stephanie Lewark
Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Little of the Winnipeg Jets seems to have quite the trophy display as he has earned himself a vast number of awards throughout his amateur career with close to 20 to his name (in the OHL alone).  Even though these may not be as well known, some of the more impressive-sounding awards are among the OHL Eastern Conference Coach’s Poll for “Smartest Player” (2003-2004, 2004-2005); “Hardest Worker” (2004-2005, 2005-2006) and “Most Dangerous in the Goal Area” (2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007) to name a few.  I would say that is one accomplished player who definitely had aspirations of making his love of hockey into a career. 

Little started his career in the amateurs while attending Southwood Secondary School in 2002-2003 for the Cambridge Winterhawks (Junior B hockey — MWJBHL or Midwestern Junior B Hockey League, to be exact) then went on to play for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for over four seasons (2003-2004 – 2006-2007).  Also during that time, he represented Canada helping Team Ontario win the gold in the 2004 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge; Team Canada win the gold medal in the 2004 World Junior Cup; as well as being part of the gold-medal winning team in the 2007 World Junior Championships.
In the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, he was drafted in the first round (12th overall) by the Atlanta Thrashers splitting up his seasons between the NHL and their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, up through the 2008-2009  season and put up some pretty impressive numbers at that point:
  • set a new career high in assists (21) on 03/29/2010 versus the Carolina Hurricanes
  • played in his 200th career game and recorded his 100th career point in that same game (on Mar. 29, 2010)
If you really want to get an idea of how impressive this kid is, look no further than an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution written by Craig Constance back in May 2007 while Little was still right out of junior playing in the AHL that just boasts about this kid’s talent (somewhat like a Jordan Staal, if you will) and I found it pretty interesting myself.

Here’s a kid fresh out of junior, making his debut in the middle of the playoffs and he played like he’d been there all season.

He’s not a big boy at 5’11 and 185 pounds, but a lot of the smaller players have proven that size does not have to mean much when it comes to hockey talent (as in Martin St. Louis, Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy).  He currently plays on the Jets top line with Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler and the three have combined for 44 of 128 of the Jets goals this season which is 34 percent of the scoring.
He was born in Edmonton, Alberta, but raised in Cambridge, Ontario and his favorite hockey memories (so far) are winning the 2007 World Junior Championships with Canada and the AHL’s Calder Cup with Chicago.

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