While things on the Saddledome ice have not been as good as we all expected, there is some very good news on the prospect front. Dustin Wolf continues to be the best goaltender in the WHL, and boasts a GAA of just 1.12. Connor Zary had a great week but was not able to score on a lacrosse style goal from behind the net. Something tells me he will get along well with Matthew Tkachuk when he makes it to the NHL. Jakob Pelletier ended his regular season with Val d’Or this week. They finished first in their division, and have a bye in the first round. While all three were excellent, someone else is our standout performer this week
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.
Jeremie Poirier: Saint John Sea Dogs
It has been an awesome week for Jeremie Poirier. He racked up five points this week and was named to the QMJHL’s Team of the Week. He had two goals this week including a beautiful powerplay goal, in which he picked up the puck in the slot, outwaited the defender and fired it past a sprawling netminder
He also had a goal in tight in which he used his sweet hands to deke out the goalie. Don’t forget that he is a defenceman.
The Flames third-round pick has been incredibly impressive this season. Sitting at above a point-per-game, he is sixth in the QMJHL in points among defencemen and fourth in points-per-game. On top of that, he has been an excellent quarterback for the Sea Dog’s powerplay, which sits third in the league at 26.5%. Poirier has five goals and eight assists with the man advantage.
Offence has never been an issue for Poirier. It has been his defensive issues that have been cause for concern. Over the last two seasons, he sat at a combined -66 in 125 games with the Sea Dogs. Not great. However, this season he is only -1, and has looked much better defensively game in and game out. He continues to play with the same defense partner as last season in William Villeneuve, so it is unlikely that he is benefitting from having a strong partner. It is great to see him taking another step forward this season and working on his back-end play.
Saint John has a few more games still to play before the playoffs. They have loaded up at the deadline, acquiring Flames prospect Ryan Francis and others, and will be hoping for a long run this year. Hopefully, we get to see Saint John face off against Jakob Pelletier and the Val d’Or Foreurs in the finals.
This and that
- Sticking with the Sea Dogs, Friend of the Blog Ryan Francis has continued to impress. He had a goal and two assists this week while playing on the Sea Dogs’ top line. He sits 15th in points league-wide and 10th in points-per-game. The Sea Dogs still have a handful of games left in their schedule because of COVID-19 shutdowns, so there is still time for him to climb up the scoring charts.
- Francis sits just four points back of Jakob Pelletier in Q scoring. Pelletier potted two powerplay goals and added an assist in his final week of the regular season. This will be his final season, and he will be hoping to win the President’s Cup to cap off an impressive junior career.
- Moving west, there is no news on a hard start date for the OHL. This really impacts Rory Kerins, who has struggled to hold a roster spot in Stockton this season. Kerins has only played two seasons of junior hockey so far, so this should not come as a surprise, but undoubtedly practicing with a professional team can only be good for his development. He likely has another season in the OHL before he makes his way back to the AHL.
- Speaking of the AHL, Friend of the Blog Yan Kuznetsov has signed his ELC. He will report to the Heat once he completes his mandatory quarantine, and becomes one of just ten NCAA defencemen to turn pro after their sophomore year. It is clear that the Flames value him very highly to offer him a contract at this point.
- Sticking with the Heat, it has been a rough week for them, and their top players have especially struggled. No points this week for Glenn Gawdin or Matthew Phillips, and just one goal each for Luke Philp and Mathias Emilio Pettersen. The team needs to find a way to get their best players going, and fast.
- Artyom Zagidulin has continued to take strides this season. His GAA and save percentage have both gotten better over the last few weeks. While the team has struggled to score, he has at least tried to keep it close.
- Speaking of goalies, Tyler Parsons is apparently almost ready to play again. He will join the team as early as the end of this week.
- Continuing our journey west, Connor Zary had a goal and two assists this week. He has been a difference-maker for the Blazers this season, and sits 13th in points-per-game league-wide. He has only played five games, while most of the rest of the league has already passed the ten-game mark. Expect this to rise as the season goes on.
- Dustin Wolf continues to be Dustin Wolf. The Friend of the Blog was named the WHL’s Goalie of the Month for March, and although he picked up his first loss, he continues to be the best goalie in the league. He also picked up a primary assist in Everett’s comeback win last night.
- Going across the pond westward, the Flames have signed seventh-round pick Ilya Solovyov to a three-year ELC. He will likely report to the Stockton Heat once his work visa is sorted out. He will have to quarantine for a week prior to getting on the ice.
- Elsewhere in Europe, Johannes Kinnvall had returned from injury but was held out of HV-71’s first playoff game likely as a precaution. He has played few minutes since he returned.
- Finally, a very big Happy birthday to Friend of the Blog Matthew Phillips, who celebrated his 23rd birthday yesterday!
Overall totals for all Flames prospects
|Francis, Ryan||C||27||12||27||39||4||2||33.6||Saint John Seadogs||QMJHL|
|Gawdin, Glenn||C/RW||18||2||8||10||0||0||23.4||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||17||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||28||13||30||43||4||0||35.8||Val-d’Or Foreurs||QMJHL|
|Pettersen, Mathias Emilio||C||21||5||6||11||2||0||21.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Phillips, Matthew||C||22||6||10||16||2||0||30.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Philp, Luke||C||22||8||8||16||2||0||30.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Pospisil, Martin||C/LW||14||5||6||11||3||0||31.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ruzicka, Adam||C/RW||21||10||9||19||2||0||36.1||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||20||0||7||7||0||0||14.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mackey, Connor||LHD||19||3||11||14||0||0||22.8||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Poirier, Jeremie||LHD||27||9||23||32||5||0||27.6||St. John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Poolman, Colton||LHD||13||1||3||4||0||0||10.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Solovoyov, Ilya||LHD||41||2||7||9||0||0||14.5||Dynamo Minsk||KHL|
|Yelesin, Alexander||RHD||21||1||4||5||0||0||10.0||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||7||1.12||0.961||7||1||0||Everett Silvertips||WHL|
|Zagidulin, Artyom||G||6||2.86||0.911||3||3||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
Which prospects are you most excited about? Let us know below in the comments or on social media.
Photo Credit: Saint John Sea Dogs