LOS ANGELES, CA -- It's confirmed: Jon Gillies will make his NHL debut tonight when the Flames take on the LA Kings at 8:30 p.m. (SN360, SN960).
The netminder, who was recalled from the Stockon Heat on an emergency basis on Wednesday, will have his mom, dad, brother, and three friends in attendance tonight, making his first start with the Flames even more memorable.
"It's exciting. It's something you've been waiting a long time for, since you started playing hockey … I'm excited that my family gets to be here.
"For everything that I've done, they've sacrificed two or three times as much to be able to put me in a position to succeed. I'm really happy for them, that they get to be here. Hopefully it's a good night."
This year, Gillies has a 17-14-5 record with a 2.95 GAA and a .909 save percentage with the Heat. Calgary bench boss Glen Gulutzan has heard plenty of positive scouting reports from his counterparts in Stockton and is eager to see the 23-year-old in action.
"It's going to be neat for Jon. I had to give him a little talk this morning, just a quiet little thing and told him just to do his thing," Gulutzan said.
"We just went over some penalty kill stuff with him, just some subtleties that a goalie needs to know, but other than that, we're going to let him play. He said he's excited.
"He's got a real high-end game. It will be interesting to see him in an NHL game tonight."
With a couple of practices and meetings with the coaching staff under his belt, Gillies is feeling comfortable heading into tonight's clash with the Kings.
"It's just another game. It's game 81 of 82 I think and you just focus on the two points. That's all that matters. There's a bunch of storylines for every ... game so it's just focusing on the win and let everything else take care of itself."
Gillies was the Flames' third round selection in the 2012 NHL Draft. After spending three years at Providence College, he signed an entry-level deal with the Flames on Apr. 15, 2015. Since joining the Heat last season, he has a 19-17-8 record with a 2.86 GAA and a .910 save percentage.