#8: Tyler Parsons
Team: London Knights
Drafted: 2016 #54 (Round 2)
Last Year Rank: 21st
The Flames are loaded with goaltending talent in the minors and Tyler Parsons is getting the bulk of the buzz. The 19 year old Michigan product is turning heads with his OHL and international play. While his first two seasons with the London Knights were spectacular, it was his 2016-17 season that cemented him as arguably the Flames #1 netminding prospect. He led the Knights to the playoffs where he sported a .922 SV%, as well as getting Team USA’s U20 team a gold medal in the World Juniors.
Parsons play will force the Flames to make a hard decision at somepoint: who is the odd man out? Calgary has Parsons, David Rittich and Jon Gillies working their way towards the NHL. Gillies and Rittich are on the cusp and probably 2 years ahead of Parsons when it comes to the NHL. However, if Parsons plays at the AHL level the way he has with London, he will make one of the other two goalies expendable.
Goalies do tend to fluctuate as they climb the professional ladder (see Mason McDonald), but Parsons doesn’t seem phased by the spotlight. Getting on the ice in Stockton and getting some more experience at a higher level will only help him and build his confidence. Gillies and Rittich need to look over their shoulders because Parsons is coming down the line like a freight train. Last year he was our #21 rated prospect, this season he jumped to #8 and for good reasons. He’s clearly a couple of years away from the NHL, but when that time comes he could be the goaltending answer the Flames have been searching for.
(Stats Courtesy Elite Prospects)