9:36 AM: The Marlies have made the signing official, per a team announcement.
9:32 AM: Without an official announcement coming from the team up to this point, Adam Kimelman of the NHL is reporting that former top prospect of the Philadelphia Flyers, Jay O’Brien, has signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. Less than a week ago, the Marlies also added another intriguing prospect, Robert Mastrosimone, to a similar contract.
Much like Mastrosimone, given his skill set, O’Brien has a legitimate chance to earn his way to an NHL contract off of this deal. Originally drafted 19th overall by the Flyers in the 2018 NHL Draft, O’Brien went off for 43 goals and 37 assists in 30 high school games in his draft year.
Unfortunately for O’Brien and Philadelphia, the beginning of his college career did not bode well for his future with the club. Originally committing to Providence College out of high school, O’Brien would only score two goals and three assists in 25 games during his freshman year.
Taking a bridge year during the 2019-20 season in the BCHL, O’Brien would re-enter the NCAA a year later, transferring to Boston University to finish off his college career. In 79 total games for the Terriers, O’Brien scored 26 goals and 44 assists, showing some serious improvement compared to his freshman year.
Still being a bit undersized at 5’11” at the center position, O’Brien will join a Marlies team coming off a very strong season in 2022-23. Last year, the Marlies finished with a 42-24-4-2 record, clinching the league’s North Division. In all likelihood, O’Brien will transition to the wing at some point this season, but should get his AHL career off to a winning start.