#7: Jon Gillies
Team: Stockton Heat
Drafted: 2012 #75 (Round 3)
Last Year Rank: #6
Is Jon Gillies the answer to the Flames continual goaltending problem? That is the million dollar question. Gillies has all the talent and skills, but found his first full year with the Heat a throwaway as he had hip surgery and missed basically the entire season. He came back and played healthy last season, but found himself outplayed by the relativity unknown David Rittich. And now he has Tyler Parsons barking from London. So where does any and all of this leave Gillies? It leaves him in a great spot. He should be hungry and out to prove that he IS the Flames solution between the pipes.
Gillies has the size. He has the history. Now he needs to go out and prove to the Flames that they are right to be so high on him. Gillies got one start in Calgary last season against the Kings and stopped 28 of 29 shots and didn’t look out of place. Yes, small sample size for sure, but the bright lights didn’t seem to deter him at all.
The Flames are apparently “set” at the NHL level with Mike Smith and Eddie Lack between the pipes for this season. Where that leaves Gillies is another season in the AHL to prove he’s “the guy.” He’ll need to perform better than Rittich and keep the chatter about Parsons at bay if he wants his shot in Calgary. Training camp and the preseason are a great place for him to shine and put all the other goalie talk to rest. He certainly drew some well deserved attention with his one NHL start, now it’s up to him to do it consistently.
(Stats Courtesy Elite Prospects)