The price was huge—“hockey’s best kept secret” in Peter Bondra. However, the return for Peter Bondra to the Ottawa Senators was top rookie forward Brooks Laich and a second round pick in the 2005 Entry Draft.
Brooks Laich is just in his first season out of the Canadian Juniors, but has not looked out of place making his jump into the American Hockey League. Laich is a top scoring rookie this season, currently ranking fifth with 15 goals and 33 points. He also has one short-handed goal and is a +2 defensively. He has been immediately assigned to the Portland Pirates (Washington Capitals AHL affiliate) and on a goal-starved team, he is a much-welcomed addition.
Brooks Laich was ranked fifth overall in the Ottawa Senators organizational prospect rankings before the trade and is projected to be a second/third line player in the National Hockey League. In his placement to the Washington organizational depth chart, Laich becomes a top tier forward and joins Alexander Semin, Eric Fehr, and Boyd Gordon as the future scorers for the Capitals.
Between 2000-02, Laich played for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. This is the same team on which Capitals prospects Brian Sutherby (graduated) and Derek Krestanovich played together, adding to the chemistry of the future Washington Capitals. There is also chemistry with Boyd Gordon and Steve Eminger, whom all played for the Canadian National Team at the World Championships last year.