Lost in all the trade deadline hubbub and games yesterday was a bit of news from TSN’s Darren Dreger.
In his Dreger Report column, he reported that the Flames are one of several teams taking a lot look at Boston University goaltender Matt O’Connor. They obviously see quite a bit of him given that Brandon Hickey, a Flames third rounder from last year’s draft, is at B.U.
O’Connor is a big, tall goalie. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t the Flames already have a couple big tall goalies in the system?” Well, yes. Mason McDonald is pretty tall (and 18) and Jon Gillies is both tall and a college goalie. The big differences between Gillies and O’Connor are age and performance.
In short: Matt O’Connor is an older, slightly worse version of Jon Gillies.
MATT O’CONNOR, stats via EliteProspects:
JON GILLIES, stats and awards via EliteProspects:
Gillies is two years younger, has played more in the NCAA for a largely similar team, has better numbers, more international experience and more awards.
If the Flames get O’Connor, it appears to be primarily a depth move. After all, you can never have too many good goalies in your system. Considering a few years ago the Flames had nothing but potential AHL starters (or worse) in their development system, this move makes a bit of sense. Depth is never a bad thing to have.