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Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports

Flames sign college UFA Josh Healey

With the Ohio State Buckeyes eliminated in last night’s game against Minnesota-Duluth (who are playing BU and Brandon Hickey later today), Josh Healey became a free agent. This morning, the 22 year old was scooped up by the Flames on an entry level contract, and will be on an ATO with Stockton for the rest of the year.

Healey signing here was probably one of the worst kept secrets. A dev camp invite from the past summer, Healey returned to OSU for his senior season as the team’s assistant captain. Building off of a break out junior year, he posted four goals and 21 assists in 35 games, fourth in Big Ten defensive scoring (third in 5v5).

He also has a bit of a nasty side to him. One of the reasons Healey stands out is because he likes to run people over and hits too hard for the college game. But that comes with its downsides. Twice this season, he was suspended for two games for contact to the head. Since 2015, he has faced supplemental discipline from his conference five times. For example

Yikes. Hopefully they signed him for reasons other than that.

He’ll be headed to a crowded blueline in Stockton, who also added Flames prospect Adam Ollas Mattsson this week. The Heat already have seven active defencemen (eight when Brett Kulak returns), so there’s not a whole lot of room for Healey to squeak in. I’d imagine they’d pull guys who won’t be here next year (Kenney Morrison, Tyler Wotherspoon) for Healey.

The Flames may not be done yet for college free agents. Hickey is definitely a must-sign, and the Flames have been connected to Sean Walker, a defenceman from Bowling Green. Stay tuned.

  • McRib

    I liked Healey this past summer where his skating really stood out as a major asset, which should allow him to translate seamlessly to the pro ranks. He isn’t a surefire NHL prospect, but if all goes right you never know. In today’s NHL I would take smooth skating defenders in the bottom pairing all day.

  • Sobueno

    Love the hard hitting pests that have high skill (eg Tkachuk). Looks like Treliving is trying to build some of that “functional toughness” we talk about so much and It’s fun having a few guys other teams love to hate on our team IMO. Only thing with these guys is trying to reign them in enough so they’re not crossing that line into dangerous/dirty play.

    Funny how we had such a dearth of D talent in the pipeline previously, now we don’t have enough spots to fit them all in! Good work Treliving, so far it seems he’s been consistent with his patient approach to building a contender (obviously not perfect though with some of those free agents so far).

  • McRib

    If Harvard wins a National Championship (still a ways away I know) do the Flames have any chance at signing Adam Fox this year? I know it is a long shot, but Havard is graduating a ton of talent this year, as Seniors Moy, Malone, Kerfoot, Esposito have accounted for 163 Points this year (more than 40% of offense).

  • T&A4Flames

    Why another D?? Sure, it’s nice to have a lot in the pipeline, but I hope Tre and company do something to add to the area we are most lacking in depth….RW. There were a few FA college options. Hopefully we are in on 1 or 2 of them.