As we discussed recently, the Calgary Flames are in for a long wait at the NHL Entry Draft in June. The team already dealt away their first and second-round picks, and could find themselves without a third-round selection depending on their playoff push. Because of that lack of draft capital, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) reports that they would be willing to listen on trade proposals including goaltending prospects Jon Gillies and David Rittich. Though they’re not shopping either netminder, they aren’t hanging up the phone either if the trade is for a scoring winger.
Gillies and Rittich are both set to become restricted free agents this summer, and are just two names in a long goaltending pipeline that also includes top prospect Tyler Parsons and project Mason McDonald, both second-round picks that still have huge potential in goal. Though current NHL starter Mike Smith may not have much longer at the Vezina-caliber he’s shown this season, the Flames have an impressive depth chart and could afford to lose a single name.
Gillies, 24, only has two NHL games under his belt so far but has performed admirably in the AHL since leaving Providence College. With a .915 save percentage this season for the Stockton Heat and a massive 6’6″ frame he could be very intriguing to teams looking for a future in goal.
Rittich, 25, is a very different story after signing out of the Czech Republic in 2016. The 6’3″ goaltender has immediately taken to North American hockey, posting impressive numbers in the minor leagues and in a short tenure as Flames’ backup this season.
If Calgary is to wave one of their young goaltenders in trade talks, it would be interesting to see if they added a veteran option somewhere else in case Smith was to suffer an injury. Otherwise they’d be relying on a fairly inexperienced goaltender in a season that isn’t lost just yet. Calgary sits just barely out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, and still has plans to contend for the Stanley Cup this season.