by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Talk about coming out of nowhere. Mike Condon wasn’t expected to play much of a role for the Montreal Canadians this season, but instead an injury to Carey Price early on in the season forced Condon to play an intricate role.
Coming up through the amateur ranks Condon wasn’t exactly a goaltender in demand. After spending four seasons playing college hockey with Princeton, he appeared in 24 games his senior season putting up a 2.48 GAA along with a .923 save percentage. He then bounced around the ECHL and AHL for the next two seasons before settling for 48 games with Hamilton (the Canadians affiliate) last year. He went 23-19-6 with 2.44 GAA and .921 save percentage, and it still wasn’t enough to truly raise his profile.
He did receive an invite to Montreal’s training camp this past summer, and he worked hard enough to earn the backup job. Little did anyone know at the time that Condon would have already appeared in 49 games this season. Entering the season, this was the scouting report from the Hockey News (click here to view it in its entirety):
|Assets:||Has a very projectable 6-2 frame and the ability to put up excellent numbers at lower levels. Is resilient and good at bouncing back from bad goals.|
|Flaws:||Needs to fill out his frame in order to maximize his upside as a National Hockey League goaltender. Is limited to backup duties at the highest level.|
|Career Potential:||Backup goaltender.|
Perhaps one of the best things that be said about Condon, who took anything but a conventional route to the NHL, is how hard he worked and continues to work. After all, that work is a large reason as to why he ended up in Montreal’s training camp and how he ended up on the squad (click here for the article).
“The way NHL scouting goes, sometimes if you don’t happen to be at the right game at the right moment, you might miss them,” Gardner said. “Pro hockey’s all about being prepared for opportunities. … His path is about proving people wrong, and he just continued to get better.”
Price’s injury then forced Condon into a starring role as his reward for being in the right place at the right time. While his statistics don’t jump off the page, he has had success. Condon has twice been a “Star of the Week” and for the season he is 18-22 with a 2.65 GAA and .905 save percentage.
While it hasn’t been easy, he has had his share of success. Once Price returns, as of a week ago he still wasn’t ready to return to practice, Condon will return to the bench. At this point, the Canadians now know what they have and that is a legitimate backup goalie they can count on.
Make sure to check out all of our Top 10 Prospect Lists: