After an unfortunate first season in the NCAA with Providence, Jay O’Brien will be switching leagues next season. The Penticton Vees of the BCHL announced that the former Philadelphia Flyers first round pick will be lacing his skates for them next year.
The need for O’Brien to leave the NCAA was understandable. He felt like at this point in his development, he needs to play in a league with more games in a season. I totally understand that logic and the BCHL will provide him with exactly what he is seeking. However, a league in the CHL would have provided O’Brien with more games as well, against stronger competition.
I respect the BCHL and the important role it plays in the development of young players. That being said, it is a step below the likes of the WHL, OHL, QMJHL, and NCAA. I expect O’Brien to establish himself as a force with Penticton but I’m concerned how much it will help him move the needle forward toward playing in the NHL
Calling O’Brien a bust at this point in time is premature. Still, it is completely understandable to feel slightly concerned by this decision.
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
John Gove covers prospects within the Philadelphia Flyers farm system for Philly Sports Network. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnPGove.