He's got a great shot from the point, great vision, and he's only going to get better. You guys should keep an eye on him. - Jon Gillies on John Gilmour
CALGARY, AB -- Montreal, QC native John Gilmour grew up watching talented junior players suit up for teams throughout the Quebec Major Junior League (QMJHL) and hoped that one day, he too would be a member of that league.
But that wasn't the case. The rearguard was never drafted by a QMJHL team and had to make a decision about his future. He knew he wanted to further his hockey career and thought that a collegiate career would open the most doors for him.
He spent the 2010-11 season with the Gilmour Academy of the Midwest Prep Hockey League (MPHL) before joining the USHL, playing for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. The move allowed for more collegiate scouts to view his games and in February 2012, he committed to Providence College.
"Having an education in your back pocket seemed to be a good option for me because I wasn't really sure where I stood. Then going to the USHL and getting to choose my college was fantastic. I couldn't be happier."
His freshman season at Providence went extremely well with Gilmour registering 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) through 38 games and finishing the year with a plus-3 rating. His strong play throughout the campaign left an impression on his teammate and fellow Flames prospect Jon Gillies.
"Gilly is probably one of the strongest skaters I've ever played with," the netminder said. "He's very, very good offensively. He's got a great shot from the point, great vision, and he's only going to get better.
"You guys should keep an eye on him."
Looking back on his first season with the Friars, Gilmour is impressed with how such a young group was able to exceed all expectations and feels they have set a great foundation for the 2013-14 season.
"We had a really young group of guys this year and a lot of got our feet wet in our first year. I'm really excited for this season. We all have experience under our belts now and who knows what we can do. I think we're going to have a really, really great season."
The 20 year-old was passed over in the 2011 and 2012 NHL Drafts but that didn't diminish his drive. Gilmour has put in a lot of hours at the gym and works tirelessly at the rink in order to improve his game and that wasn't going to change if he wasn't selected in 2013. His dream is to play in the NHL and he is willing to put in as much work as it takes to get there.
“This is my first year talking to some NHL teams throughout the season so I figured I had a chance going in the draft," he smiled. "I had already been passed two times before so I wasn’t going to get down by it.
"It wasn’t going to change the way I worked and approached things. But getting drafted, it’s just that extra motivation now and I see that goal at the end of the tunnel.”
While he only has been through one on-ice practice at camp thus far, he already has pinpointed areas he will put an emphasis on in his off-season training.
"(I have to work on my) d-zone (coverage) for sure. Also my strength, I need to be able to push around the big guys.
"There are some big boys here, guys weighing 230 lbs. I've got to be able to get bigger, much stronger lower body and I've got to be able to be just as physical as the next guy."
With the dedication he has shown throughout his hockey career, there is no doubt he will be able to accomplish the goals he has set for himself.