The Calgary Flames have a bit of a logjam when it comes to their goaltending prospects. Between David Rittich suddenly lighting the world on fire last year, Jon Gillies recovering from injury, Tyler Parsons performing stupendously for the London Knights before reporting to the Flames organization, and Mason McDonald who has performed worse-than-expected but still having promise, two guys were going to be of A.H.L. caliber down at the E.C.H.L. level in Missouri. McDonald was already certain to be one of those while the other was unknown. Today, the Kansas City Mavericks announced that Parsons would be the other.
There are different theories on how to develop goalies; the saying “Goalies are voodoo” exists for a reason. One theory on how to best develop a goalie is to allow them to be a big fish in a small pond for as long as possible. The assignment of Parsons to Kansas City clearly shows that the Flames subscribe to that theory.
As for Parsons himself, there’s still plenty of time for the 20-year-old to develop. Goalies generally don’t peak until the age of 27 or so and as long as he shows exponential improvement for the first two to three years, he’ll be on pace to be a stalwart in net for the Flames for years to come. While it’s understandable that some fans may want to see that second round pick break into the league sooner rather than later, that’s not the path the Flames wish to take.
This move serves as quite the coup for Kansas City in the first year of their partnership with the Flames. They now have two A.H.L.-level talented netminders on an E.C.H.L. roster and will look to improve on the year they had last year as the Adirondack Thunder where they were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. While they lost their top talent in Stepan Falkovsky, the addition of Parsons should serve to offset that and then some.