#21 Tyler Parsons
Team: London Knights
Drafted: 54th overall in 2016 (Round 2)
Coming in at #21 on our Top 25 Under 25 list is the recently drafted goaltender, Tyler Parsons. Goalies are voodoo and wildly unpredictable as prospects, so it is best not to become too enamoured with them, especially early on their careers like Parsons. However, there is a lot to like about Parsons at this time.
Apparently, the Flames were not planning on taking a goalie in the second round of the draft, but they had Parsons so high on their list, that when he was still available with their 54th overall pick, they had to take him. We have heard that story before with Mason McDonald, but Parsons actually has the numbers to back up the logic. As a draft eligible goaltender, Parsons backstopped the London Knights all the way to the Memorial Cup championship. That is quite the accomplishment for such a young goaltender. Yes, Parsons did it behind a stacked team, but his counting numbers were excellent in that he posted a .921 save percentage in the regular season, .925 in the playoffs and .942 in the memorial cup. Those are dominant stats, especially in the playoffs and memorial cup when it most counts.
The Flames likely got a ton of viewing time on Parsons while scouting Matt Tkachuk and Olli Juolevi throughout the course of this past season and evidently they liked what they saw. At a younger age than his junior contemporaries Nick Schneider and Mason McDonald, Parsons had a far more successful season than them. So, while it is dangerous to put a ton of faith into young goaltenders, Parsons is actually a quite exciting prospect and looks like the best goaltending prospect in the organization, after Jon Gillies (who we will get to on our list in quite some time).
Parsons’ challenge for the upcoming season will be to maintain his success behind a London team that will have lost some key contributors. He also looks in line to be the starting goaltender for the United States at the World Junior Hockey Championship in December. He helped his case for that role by stopping 35 of 36 shots against Canada last week. It will be many seasons before he could challenge for an NHL spot but he is a prospect to keep an eye on in the years to come.