Bryan Matthew Little (born November 12, 1987) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League (NHL). Little was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the first round, 12th overall, of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Although Little was born in Edmonton, Alberta, he was raised in Cambridge, Ontario. He grew up with his younger brother Shawn and his parents, Brenda and John. Little played much of his minor ice hockey for the Cambridge Hawks of the Alliance Pavilion League until the 2001–02 season. He played in the 2001 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with Cambridge. He then played for the Cambridge Winter Hawks Jr. B hockey team at age 14, while he attended Southwood Secondary School until age 15, when he joined the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Little had been selected in the third round, 50th overall, in the 2003 OHL Draft after a standout season with the Winter Hawks.
Little was selected first round, 12th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers. He won a gold medal with Canada at the 2007 World Junior Hockey Championship. After four seasons playing for the Barrie Colts in the OHL—during which he played in the 2006 CHL–NHL Top Prospects Game—Little joined the Thrashers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, for two games in the 2007 Calder Cup playoffs, recording no points or penalties. 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." Little signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Thrashers running until the end of the 2009–10 NHL season. He made the Thrashers' NHL roster out of training camp in 2007 and joined the team full-time. He made his NHL debut on October 5, 2007, scoring in his first game, the first Thrasher ever to do so. However, midway through the season, he was demoted to the Wolves, where he would go on to win the 2008 Calder Cup Championship. He would spend the entire 2008–09 NHL season with the Thrashers, scoring 31 goals.
In August 2010, Little signed a three-year, $7.15 million contract extension with Atlanta as a restricted free agent. After the Thrashers organization relocated to Winnipeg to become the Winnipeg Jets prior to the 2011–12 season, Little changed his uniform number from #10 to #18 out of respect for Dale Hawerchuk, who played for the original Winnipeg Jets.
On July 22, 2013, Little and the Jets agreed to a five-year, $23.5 million contract extension, avoiding salary arbitration. In the first year of his new contract in 2013–14, Little had a career year offensively, scoring 64 points in 82 games.
Little was first selected in an international tournament for the Team Ontario in 2003–04 in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Newfoundland, winning a gold medal. He was then included with Canadian National Under-18 Summer Team at the 2004 World Junior Cup in Břeclav, Czech Republic, and invited to the December 2005 Canadian World Junior hockey team selection camp. Little was a member of the gold-medal winning 2007 Canadian World Junior hockey team.
As of 2015, Little and his wife Brittany currently reside in Cambridge, Ontario, when he is not living in Winnipeg during the hockey season.
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