This has been a big week for the Flames’ top draft picks. Last year’s first round pick Connor Zary had four points, last year’s second round pick Yan Kuznetsov signed his ELC, and 2019’s first round pick Jakob Pelletier had six points. Dustin Wolf continues to be a gamebreaker, and the Flames have a few prospects knocking on the doors for a callup to Calgary. Let’s get into this week’s edition of Prospect Roundup.
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. 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.
Connor Zary – Kamloops Blazers
After a really strong start to the season with the Stockton Heat, in which he finished with seven points in nine games, Zary is back in the Kamloops. And boy has he made his mark. So far through just two games, he has three assists to go along with a fantastic shorthanded goal. He took a pass in the middle of the ice and split right through the two Prince George defenders before beating the goalie glove side.
He just makes it look so easy. His performance this week earned him a spot on the BC Hub’s Team of the Week. The Blazers’ Captain also had a fight this week, taking on Majid Kaddoura of the Prince George Cougars.
Zary is quickly showing that he is too good for the league, but hopefully he can race up the WHL point standings before he turns pro. Zary is absolutely a prospect to watch this season, and will be challenging for a spot with the big club as early as next season.
What was once the bright spot for the Flames organization this season, the Stockton Heat have now gone the way of their parent club. They have lost seven of their last eight games, and have not looked great of late. The team were goalie-d by Marcus Hogberg in their first loss to Belville, then blew out Belville in the following game with a dominant 7-1 victory, then lost a close one 4-3 to the Toronto Marlies.
The Heat are not getting the same level of production from their top players that they got earlier in the season. Adam Ruzicka has just one goal and two assists of late after starting off with multi-point performances. Matthew Phillips has also been quiet of late. On top of that, their depth scoring has also not been great this season. Dmitri Zavgorodny has yet to get a point this season and Mathias Emilio Pettersen has slowed down of late.
One Heat forward who has looked particularly good is Luke Philp, who has been quietly putting up strong numbers. He had two goals this week, and has been dynamic at both ends of the ice. On the back end, Connor Mackey has also looked incredibly dynamic, putting on a show this week with 5 points. However, he was beat badly to the front of the net to allow the Marlies to tie in the Heat’s most recent game, and he took a penalty which allowed the Marlies to pick up the win. Jekyll and Hyde kind of week for him.
The Heat finish off a two game series against Toronto tonight, then head up the highway to Laval for four against le Rocket de Laval. The Heat are second in the AHL, tied in points with the Toronto Marlies and just one point up on the Manitoba Moose. This is a critical week for the Heat, let’s hope they bring their A game.
This and that
- Some sad news from the NCAA: Jake Boltmann’s Notre Dame side was hit with a slew of COVID-19 cases, which forced them to forfeit from the NCAA Tournament. A disappointing end to Boltmann’s first season with the club, but hopefully they make a run back to the tournament next year. We broke down Boltmann’s style of play earlier in the season.
- However, there is also some great news from the NCAA. Friend of the Blog Yan Kuznetsov has signed an entry-level contract with the Flames. He will join the Stockton Heat after finishing a one week quarantine. The sophmore defensive defenceman finished the season with six points in 16 games for the UConn Huskies.
- Staying south of the border, Friend of the Blog Dustin Wolf finally allowed his first goal against this season. He has only allowed the one all season, following it up with another shutout. Everett is a powerhouse this season.
- Across the pond, Johannes Kinnvall has returned from injury, and featured in two games. Unfortunately no points from him in either game.
- Switching over to the Heat, a quiet week for Friend of the Blog Matthew Phillips who had just one assist this week. He was on track for a call-up to Calgary, but has slowed down substantially of late.
- More bad news from Stockton as Martin Pospisil will be out for the remainder of the season, having to undergo shoulder surgery. He also has what is reported to be an MCL injury suffered in a brutal knee-on-knee hit against Laval.
- However, three prospects have been carrying the ball for the Heat: Adam Ruzicka, Glenn Gawdin, and Connor Mackey. The former two had a goal and two assists each, while Mackey had a whopping two goals and three assists.
- Colton Poolman also had his first pro goal this week for Stockton. Great news for the former University of North Dakota Fighting Hawk.
- Moving east, Jakob Pelletier continues to be a superstar in the Q. He had two more goals and four more assists in two games this week. He jumps up to 8th in scoring in the league
- It looked to be a slow week for Friend of the Blog Ryan Francis who went pointless in his first two games this week. However last night he put up three assists in Saint John’s 6-2 win over Moncton. The fifth round pick has four less points than first rounder Pelletier in two less games. A sneaky good find for the Flames.
- Jeremie Poirier has also had a strong week, with a goal and an assist good for the first star of the game against Moncton last night. He also had three more assists this week, and hit 100 career QMJHL points. Not bad for a third round pick. His offensive side is very strong, but scouts have noted that his defensive game can use his work. It is hard to know how much of that is the structure of the Saint John game or him as a player.
Overall totals for all Flames prospects
|Francis, Ryan||C||24||11||25||36||4||2||34.9||Saint John Seadogs||QMJHL|
|Gawdin, Glenn||C/RW||14||2||8||10||0||0||28.5||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||16||2||5||7||1||0||17.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Koumontzis, Demetrios||LW||22||4||6||10||0||0||12.4||Arizona State Sun Devils||NCAA|
|Mattson, Mitchell||C||21||2||2||4||0||0||5.5||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Nikolayev, Ilya||C||21||8||10||18||1||0||12.7||Loko Yaroslavl||MHL|
|Nodler, Josh||C||27||3||8||11||0||0||11.6||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Pelletier, Jakob||C/LW||26||11||29||40||2||0||35.8||Val-d’Or Foreurs||QMJHL|
|Pettersen, Mathias Emilio||C||17||4||6||10||2||0||23.5||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Phillips, Matthew||C||18||6||10||16||2||0||35.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Philp, Luke||C||18||7||8||15||2||0||33.2||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Pospisil, Martin||C/LW||14||5||6||11||3||0||31.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ruzicka, Adam||C/RW||18||8||9||17||2||0||37.6||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Sveningsson, Filip||LW||49||7||7||14||1||0||8.4||MODO Hockey||Allsvenskan|
|Tuulola, Eetu||RW||11||2||2||4||0||0||10.7||Västerviks IK||Allsvenskan|
|Zary, Connor||C||9||3||4||7||0||0||31.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|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||16||1||5||6||0||0||12.9||UConn Huskies||NCAA|
|Lerby, Carl-Johan||LHD||16||0||6||6||0||0||14.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mackey, Connor||LHD||18||3||8||11||0||0||24.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Poirier, Jeremie||LHD||24||7||20||27||4||0||26.2||St. John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Poolman, Colton||LHD||12||1||2||3||0||0||10.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Solovoyov, Ilya||LHD||41||2||7||9||0||0||14.5||Dynamo Minsk||KHL|
|Yelesin, Alexander||RHD||17||1||3||4||0||0||9.4||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||4||0.25||0.991||4||0||0||Everett Silvertips||WHL|
|Zagidulin, Artyom||G||5||3.02||0.912||3||2||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
Which prospects are you most excited about? Let us know below in the comments or on social media.
Photo Credit: Allan Douglas/Kamloops Blazers