Report: Flames Looking At College Goalie

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:

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 1.05.29 AM

JON GILLIES, stats and awards via EliteProspects:

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 1.01.11 AM

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.

  • Colin.S

    “it appears to be primarily a depth move. After all, you can never have too many good goalies in your system.”

    It never hurts to have to much depth at any position in your farm system.

    With Ortio pushing hard for a roster spot and Gillies the goalie of the future we are going to need some more good bodies to fill the AHL and be a good call up.

  • Flames can’t really offer this guy a legitimate shot at an NHL slot nor even the starter slot in the AHL if Gillies turns pro. If I’m O’Connor, I would think long and hard before signing with the Flames when there are other teams out there that probably need him worse than we do.

    BT should absolutely pursue this guy. Let’s not act too hurt or surprised if he doesn’t sign with the Flames.

    • Colin.S

      Sure there are other teams that might give you an immediate path to the NHL **COUGH** oilers **COUGH**, but you might have crap stats and how long does your NHL career last? It’s not just about making the NHL, but staying there once you do. I think an undrafted career college kid realizes that with a very saturated goalie market he’s not going straight to the NHL, so it’s probably seeing where he can get AHL starts. Gillies is probably going pro after this season and go to the AHL and Ortio the backup spot in the NHL, so O’Connor could be challenge for the open AHL spot with Gillies.

  • Parallex

    If I were him I’d sign in Arizona.

    Defensive minded style, Well known goalie coach, poor organizational depth at the position, likely openings at the NHL level in the not distant future… ideal for a guy like him.