It is safe to say Tyler Parsons’ first professional season didn’t go the way he had planned.
“Tyler missed 20 games this season due to injury,” Flames assistant GM Brad Pascall told CalgaryFlames.com. “He played 28 in the ECHL and seven in the American League. Playing 35 games in your first year of pro is good but you want your young players playing and not sitting.
“Unfortunately, he was injured at various times through the year. It was frustrating for him, for sure. I think his injuries made it difficult for him to get into a rhythm.
“He would be playing well, getting used to the pro game and then would miss some games due to injury. He’d get back, recovered from an injury, and get back into the swing of things, playing well, and then have another injury.
“The injuries, they hampered his season – you can’t get into any sort of rhythm when you’re battling injuries over the year, physically or mentally.”
With the Kansas City Mavericks in the ECHL, Parsons ended up putting up a 12-12-2 record with a 3.16 GAA and a .902 save percentage. He picked up one shutout during his time with the Mavericks, coming on Oct. 19 when he made 28 saves in a 2-0 victory over the Quad City Mallards.
At the AHL level, Parsons held a 1-3-0 record with a 4.39 GAA and a .856 save percentage. He faced 153 shots during his time in Stockton, stopping 131.
“Tyler had a below-par year but in saying that, I think it was a learning year for him. He knows the focus that is needed to really look at this as a job, both on and off the ice, really concentrating on ‘Hey, this is what I need to do to be better as a goaltender and this is what I need to do to succeed.'”
Despite the challenges he faced in 2017-18, the netminder has proven to be resilient throughout his young career.
Undeterred after not being selected in the OHL Draft, he landed the starting gig with the formidable London Knights after signing as a free agent. He would go on to lead the Knights to an OHL Championship and Memorial Cup victory in 2016.
In total, he suited up for 116 regular-season games in the OHL, posting a 75-25-10 record with a 2.65 GAA and a .918 save percentage. In the OHL playoffs, he dressed for 40 games, going 27-8-4 with a 2.56 GAA and a .922 save percentage.
Throughout his OHL career, he was known for his athletic play and ability to elevate his game in key situations. He was often the difference-maker for the Knights, willing his team to wins.
Parsons’ strong play with the Knights would lead the Flames to select him in the second round, 54th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.
“He’s a real competitive kid, he’s really athletic, he’s a battler, and he’s won,” Flames GM Brad Treliving said after drafting Parsons. “There’s still lots of growth to come but (our scouts) love his resume, love how competitive he is and love the athleticism.
“There’s a lot of upside there.”