Welcome to the TWC Flames prospect update. Each week, we’ll take a dive into how the Flames’ prospects have done in their respective leagues. With the ongoing pandemic, not every league is currently playing. Here is this week’s league status report:
The AHL has finally started in the States! The Canadian Division, where the Stockton Heat will play, started last weekend. Ontario teams have finally received clearance to resume playing at home. The Heat will play at the Saddledome starting this Sunday February 21st against Toronto.
Quebec teams continue to bubble, but there have been some COVID concerns. Last week, there will be three bubbles with four teams in each. Nova Scotia teams have also resumed playing, but New Brunswick teams still await the all-clear from health officials. Some teams including Cape Breton have begun to allow fans into the stadiums.
After some delays, the WHL has committed to playing a 24 game season. Alberta-based teams have gotten the go ahead to start the season on February 26. They will not be in a bubble, unlike the East Division (Manitoba and Saskatchewan teams), which will play exclusively in Regina.
The US Division will begin on March 19, but there is still no update for teams in British Columbia. Good news for Dustin Wolf, less good for Connor Zary.
The OHL has proposed a 24 game format for the season hosted at four hub cities. The league is shooting to begin quarantine and testing in March with April 2-4 being the proposed start date. This has not yet received provincial clearance, but with the AHL receiving the ok to return to play, there is some hope that the OHL will be next.
Both the Big-10 and Hockey East are back at it again, but some teams are having issues with COVID-19.
Full steam ahead in Russia with all three leagues, MHL, VHL, and KHL currently operational. While there have been numerous cases of COVID-19, this has not slowed the league down much, with just the occasional game being cancelled.
The SHL and Allsvenskan are operational currently.
The J-20 Nationell has been cancelled due to numerous cases of COVID-19.
Although there are numerous leagues on pause, the Flames have done what they can to get their players playing. With the AHL due to start shortly, expect many more Flames’ prospects to get started again. To learn more about the various leagues where the Flames players are playing, check out our guide on all major hockey leagues outside North America.
We have defined a prospect as a skater who has played fewer than 65 NHL games, and is younger than 25 years of age. All data is from QuantHockey and EliteProspects. We also use an NHLe calculator built by Christian Roatis (@Croatis) which is used to estimate a player’s equivalent point total in the NHL based on how they are performing in their respective league. The calculator uses the difficulty of the given league combined with the ease at which a player puts up points to determine the NHLe.
Let’s get into it.
JAKOB PELLETIER- VAL D’OR FOREURS
Another huge week for former first round pick Jakob Pelletier. He posted a goal and four assists in three games for the Val d’Or Foreurs. His goal came at even strength against Blainville-Boisbriand when he found a juicy rebound in front of the net and popped it home. He also picked up a fantastic assist in overtime, setting up Samuel Poulin for the game winner.
We all have seen just how good Pelletier can be from his incredible performance at the World Juniors for Canada. But what is even more exciting is his versatility. In the four games that Val d’Or played, Pelletier played in all three forward positions on the top line. He played on the right wing against Shawinigan last night, on the left against Blainville-Boisbriand, and then at centre against Gatineau, and he excelled in each role. This type of versatility is rare, but to be able to put up points in all three is truly remarkable. He is a guy for Flames fans to really get excited about.
Check out the passing play between Pelletier and Poulin that led to the game winner
This and that
- A big week for Lucas Feuk, who put up four goals and an assist for Kalix HC in Sweden’s third division. On the one hand, this is awesome for Feuk, but on the other hand it is the third division when he was putting up decent numbers in higher leagues.
- This weekend featured a marquee matchup between Josh Nodler of Michigan State and Friend of the Blog Demetrios Koumontzis. Nodler finished with an assist, while Koumontzis had a beautiful goal for ASU.
- Mitchell Mattson was scratched in both games. The senior is probably going to be looking for greener pastures at the end of the season.
- Both of the Flames’ Russia-based prospects are back in the MHL and are getting tons of playing time. Ilya Nikolayev had 2 goals and two assists this week for Buran.
- On the flip side Daniil Chechelev had four losses and is starting to come back down to earth numbers-wise from his very impressive start. While he did feature in four games, his numbers did not jump off the page in any of the games he played.
- The other Russian prospect, Friend of the Blog Yan Kuznetsov and the UConn Huskies were shutout by Providence in the first game, then had the second game cancelled due to a positive COVID-19 case. They face Boston University this weekend.
- Speaking of teams that were shutout, Jake Boltmann and Notre Dame were shutout in both games at the weekend. They lost both by a 3-0 score to Minnesota.
- Having been off the ice for almost a year, 2020 draft pick Rory Kerins has been signed to a Professional Try-out with the Stockton Heat. He is currently with the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL, but with their season in flux, he may get a couple of games in the AHL in the meantime. If he can make an impact in the league at 18, it bodes really well for his future with the Flames.
- Last but not least, Glenn Gawdin has been called up to the Flames’ taxi squad for the first time this season. While he is yet to feature for the big club, having some practice time with the club can’t hurt. We wrote about why this is a great move for the Flames to make last week.
Overall totals for all Flames prospects
|Francis, Ryan||C||15||6||15||21||3||1||32.6||Saint John Seadogs||QMJHL|
|Gawdin, Glenn||C/RW||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|1||0||0||0||0||0||0||EHC Visp||National League|
|Kerins, Rory||C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Soo Greyhounds||OHL|
|Kirkland, Justin||LW/RW||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Koumontzis, Demetrios||LW||18||4||6||10||0||0||15.2||Arizona State Sun Devils||NCAA|
|Mattson, Mitchell||C||18||2||2||4||0||0||6.1||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Nikolayev, Ilya||C||20||8||10||18||1||0||13.3||Loko Yaroslavl||MHL|
|Nodler, Josh||C||20||2||8||10||0||0||13.7||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Pelletier, Jakob||C/LW||15||5||16||21||1||0||32.6||Val-d’Or Foreurs||QMJHL|
|Pettersen, Emilio||C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Phillips, Matthew||C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Philp, Luke||C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Pospisil, Martin||C/LW||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ruzicka, Adam||C/RW||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Sveningsson, Filip||LW||38||3||6||9||0||0||7.0||MODO Hockey||Allsvenskan|
|Tuulola, Eetu||RW||11||2||2||4||0||0||10.7||Västerviks IK||Allsvenskan|
|Zary, Connor||C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Kamloops Blazers||WHL|
|Zavgorodny, Dmitri||C/RW||6||0||3||3||0||0||33.0||SKA St Petersburg||KHL|
|Boltmann, Jake||RHD||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||Lincoln Stars||USHL|
|Kuznetsov, Yan||LHD||11||1||4||5||0||0||14.7||UConn Huskies||NCAA|
|Lerby, Carl-Johan||LHD||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mackey, Connor||LHD||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Poirier, Jeremie||LHD||15||5||11||16||3||0||24.8||St. John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Poolman, Colton||LHD||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Solovoyov, Ilya||LHD||35||1||5||6||0||0||11.3||Dynamo Minsk||KHL|
|Yelesin, Alexander||RHD||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Chechelev, Daniil||G||21||2.58||0.912||8||7||3||HK Ryazan||VHL|
|19||2.49||0.924||11||7||0||Russkie Vityazi Chekhov||MHL|
|Parsons, Tyler||G||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Wolf, Dustin||G||0||0||0||0||0||0||Everett Silvertips||WHL|
|Zagidulin, Artyom||G||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
Which prospects are you most excited about? Let us know below in the comments or on social media.
Photo credits: QMJHL