As much as the London Knights have missed Tyler Parsons, Team USA at the World Junior Championships has needed him. Parsons a Calgary Flames draft pick(2nd round, 54th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft) and league leader in almost all goaltending categories in the OHL was the main reason the USA won gold in Montreal at the WJC. London has been without Jones(injury), Juolevi and Kuokkanen through the WJC tournament. But it is Parsons that they miss the most as they have had inconsistent goaltending from Tyler Johnson in his absence. The pair of Juolevi and Kuokkanen who were with Finland were missed, but other players on the Knights roster have filled in admirably.
Parsons now can add a WJC gold medal to his growing resume as he backstopped the USA to a 5-4 shootout victory against Team Canada. Parsons finished the tournament with 5 victories and a stellar .917 save percentage to go along with a 2.18 GAA. In the gold medal game Parsons stopped 46 shots and all 5 in the shootout including 28 saves in row to secure gold for the USA. It was his performance that lead the Americans to gold as he repelled a furious onslaught all game long by the Canadians.
In this day and age of the NCAA versus the CHL there were very few CHL players on the American squad as they for the most part shunned CHL prospects. Parsons was paired with Joseph Woll from Boston College and a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick as the top 2 goalies for the USA. It wasn’t until the game against the Russians that it was clear that Tyler was the clear cut number one goalie.
Along with defeating Canada twice in the tournament, he became the first WJC USA goalie to defeat Russia in 9 years. Parsons can be best described as an athletic goaltender, unorthodox at times. But rarely out of position and challenges shooters as opposed to playing deep in his net. The most noticeable change in the play of Parsons with the Knights, was the change of goaltending coaches. With the addition of goalie coach Dave Rook on the Knights staff Parsons has taken his game to new heights. His compete level has always been there it just took the expertise of a Rook to focus Tyler and make his play less scrambly.
Parsons will no doubt be back in the net for the Knights after their game against the Sudbury Wolves and get the Knights back on top of the OHL standings.
AS ALWAYS SEE YOU AT THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!