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Flames Prospects at the World Juniors

Jon Gillies, America's starting goalie, is the only Flames prospect playing at the World Juniors this year.

Bruce Bennett

Last year, Jon Gillies won a gold medal alongside fellow Americans and Flames prospects John Gaudreau and Patrick Sieloff. He was Team USA's backup, playing only the third period in an 8-0 blowout against the Germans, while starting goalie John Gibson played the rest of the tournament.

This year, Gaudreau is too old to participate, and Sieloff is recovering from an infection initially suffered in October; otherwise, he would likely be there as the lone returnee on defence. As for other countries, Sean Monahan isn't being loaned to Team Canada (apparently playing on the fourth line with Brian McGrattan is better for him than playing on the top line with Jonathan Drouin?), and Rushan Rafikov was one of Team Russia's final cuts.

This leaves only Gillies, who will feature in a prominent role this year as Team USA's starting goalie.

Gillies, in his sophomore season at Providence College, currently has a .941 SV% (sixth best in the NCAA) and three shutouts (tied with five other goalies for first) in 15 games played. Providence only allows about two goals against per game, tied for fourth in the NCAA, no doubt in large part due to Gillies.

While Gillies is the only Flames prospect at the tournament, there are a few undrafted players who may become Flames property. The most notable ones all play for Team Canada. Projected 2014 first and second overall picks Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad will play; as will projected 2015 first overall pick Connor McDavid. So if you're hoping for high picks in the next few years, be sure to watch those guys.

TSN will be broadcasting all of Team Canada and Team USA's games, so be sure to get up early (or stay up really late if that's your thing) to watch!