March 31 2011 08:48AM
The Flames recently announced they signed former 6th round pick Joni Ortio. The 19-year old has spent his time bouncing around various junior and pro leagues in Finland since he was drafted in 2009, so his results are all over the place. This year, he's appeared primarily with TPS of the SM-liiga league (Finnish Elite League) and managed a .910 SV% in 15 games.
Ortio has been Finland's starter during the World Junior Championships the last two seasons as well, marking him as perhaps the best goaltending prospect of his age group in Finland currently. Last year he knocked the ball out of the park at the tourny, with a .913 SV% in six contests. In the games I caught, Ortio was outstanding and one of the primary reasons his team was competitive.
I'm not a big fan of drafting goalies in general, but the Flames got this one right. They nabbed a guy late in the proceedings and he's turned out to be one of the better puck stoppers of his cohort. This signing no doubt means that Matt Keetley's tenure with the organization is at it's end and Ortio will probably battle with Leland Irving for the starters role in Abbotsford next season. The details at the bottom of his Elite Prospects profile suggests the Flames have already called him to Abbotsford, probably because Irving is out with an injury. It'll be interesting to see how Ortio does if he gets some starts down the stretch here.