The 18-year-old goaltender, who is currently playing for the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League, was scheduled to go to Northeastern next fall, but with Chris Rawlings returning for his senior season, Gillies has asked to be released from his National Letter of Intent.
“The (Northeastern) coaching staff had a really good relationship with my family and me,” Gillies said. “When Chris Rawlings decided to return for his senior year. That’s not what we planned on as a group, so the circumstances have changed and Mr. (Jim) Madigan (Northeastern Head Coach) was amazing throughout the whole process.”
“He wasn’t glad he was releasing me, but he was releasing me without any questions if I felt I had to pursue other options for next year. It was a mutual agreement based on changed circumstances.”
Gillies, who was rated the number one goaltender in the USHL according to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau for the upcoming 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has a 28-10-7 record with a 2.73 goals against average and a .916 save percentage in his second season in the USHL.
Gillies has indicated that he has no immediate plans for next season.
“I am kind of leaving my options open and I am going to take everything in and make my decision not to far away, but not right now.”
He doesn’t know if he will have his plans made up for next season by the NHL Scouting Combine or by the NHL Entry Draft.
A rumor in Quebec circulated last summer that he would end up with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the 2011-2012 season, which at the time he denied, but now he will look at that option going forward.
“Of course it’s an option,” Gillies said by telephone late Wednesday night. “I would say it’s a 50-50 between Quebec and another college right now, but like I said I have to weigh out my options and see everything that comes in.”
Right now, the Remparts have Phoenix Coyotes’ goaltending prospect Louis Domingue, who could be back with Quebec for his 20-year-old season if the Coyotes don’t assign him to their AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates or the ECHL. Their second goaltender is 17-year old rookie Francois Brassard, who’s also eligible for this year’s draft.
Gillies said he hasn’t been in contact with any other schools just yet as he just signed his release from Northeastern Wednesday morning.