Although the Calgary Flames had games canceled and the Stockton Heat were off this week, there was still lots going on in the prospect pool. On the ice, yet another big week for Connor Zary. He is currently on a two-point-per-game pace so far this season, and has been one of the best players in the Dub. There were also lots of moves happening off the ice, with signings abound. Let’s get into it!
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.
Ryan Francis- Saint John Sea Dogs
Friend of the Blog Ryan Francis has been the Flames’ most exciting pick selected outside of the first round, and their most exciting pick without an ELC (yet). He started off the week quietly, with just a goal and two assists in his first two games. Then last night, he absolutely exploded, putting up three goals and three assists, as the Sea Dogs hammered the Acadie-Bathurst Titans 9-2. With six points, he tied a franchise record for most points in a single game. He also jumped up the QMJHL scoring charts, moving up to sixth league-wide.
Each of his goals was more beautiful than the next. His first was a funny tip in front that just snuck by the goaltender.
Then his second was reminiscent of Alexander Ovechkin, a one timer from the dot that beat the goalie high and clean. His incredible celebration was almost as beautiful as the goal
Finally, hats off to Francis with his third. A shot from the point was stopped by the goalie but the rebound fell right to Francis who made no mistake and buried it for his third.
Francis has simply outgrown the QMJHL, and the Flames are almost certainly going to sign him to an ELC once the season is over. The Sea Dogs still have a few games left in the regular season, but it is entirely possible that Francis cracks the top three in scoring before the season is all done.
The big question for him won’t come this season, but next. It is a big jump from the CHL to pro hockey, and many top players in junior struggle to make it once joining their organizations at the AHL level. Francis is going to need to show that he is the real deal next season and beyond if he hopes to wear the flaming C in a couple years, if ever. However, based on his current play, and what he has demonstrated in his junior career, the odds are in his favour for continued success.
This and that
- While Francis had three goals and three assists in the 9-2 win, somehow Jeremie Poirier did not record a single point. He finished the week with two assists in three games. Nothing to worry about, he is still fifth in points among all defencemen in the Q and is above a point-per-game.
- It feels like forever since we’ve talked about Jakob Pelletier. He is still in a holding pattern, waiting for the President’s Cup playoffs to get going. Val d’Or has a bye in the first round, so the wait continues.
- Sad news out of the CHL as the Memorial Cup has been cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. With the OHL still not playing, and the numerous issues with case numbers across the country, this was not a surprise. That said, it is sad news for the Flames’ CHL prospects, especially Connor Zary, Pelletier, and Francis, who are likely in their last season of junior hockey.
- Speaking of Zary, he had a week! In the first game, Zary picked up a goal and two assists on route to a 6-1 win over Prince George. Then, he picked up an assist on each of Kamloops’ four goals, on route to a 4-3 win over Victoria. He is tied for the lead in points among the WHL’s BC teams with 14 in 7 games. In points-per-game, he is tied for first with potential top-10 pick Dylan Guenther. He is very very good.
- Staying with the WHL, Dustin Wolf had an ok week with one win and one loss for Everett. He still sits with an impressive 0.941 save percentage, good for second in the league.
- Across the pond, there is good news and bad news for Johannes Kinnvall and HV-71 in the SHL. The good news is that the Flames’ defensive prospect is back to playing, after being sidelined due to injury for a number of weeks. However, HV-71 is fighting for their lives in a relegation battle to stay in the SHL. Kinnvall will be hoping to help his team stay afloat in what is his final season in Sweden before making the jump to North America next year.
- Staying in Sweden, the newest member of the C of Red, Emil Heineman is also in the SHL playoffs for Leksands. However, they are down 2-0 in their best-of-seven series against sixth placed Orebro HK. They will be hoping to get one back on the road in their next game. We broke down everything you need to know about him here.
- The Stockton Heat had the week off this week, and will be back home against Belville for the next four games. However, there are a number of personnel changes to know about this week. The Flames have recalled Adam Ruzicka and Artyom Zagidulin to the big club’s taxi squad. Expect that the Flames will want to know how Ruzicka will perform at the NHL level.
- The team has also announced that Tyler Parsons is back with the club, after having surgery on his ankle in the off-season. He has struggled to stay healthy in his pro-career, but here is hoping he can regain his Memorial Cup winning form this season.
- The Heat also announced a new signing, bringing in Walker Duehr fresh out of his senior year of college at Minnesota State. The right shot power forward put up 17 points in 27 games as part of the Mavericks. He will finish his quarantine before joining the club.
- They also have Friend of the Blog Yan Kuznetsov and Ilya Solovyov hopefully coming before the season is up. The former is in quarantine now while the latter still is finishing his visa process to come over from Belarus.
- Finally, a very happy birthday to Rory Kerins! The Flames’ sixth round pick is with Stockton now, but has struggled to get into many games. Here is hoping he can start getting into the lineup more often.
Overall totals for all Flames prospects
|Duehr, Walker||RW||28||10||7||17||0||0||17.2||Minnesota State||NCAA|
|Francis, Ryan||C||30||16||32||48||5||2||37.3||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|
|Heineman, Emil||LW||43||7||6||13||4||0||14.8||Leksands IF||SHL|
|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||30||9||25||34||5||0||26.4||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||2||HK Ryazan||VHL|
|19||2.49||0.924||11-7-1||0||Russkie Vityazi Chekhov||MHL|
|Parsons, Tyler||G||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Wolf, Dustin||G||7||1.70||0.941||8-2-0||3||Everett Silvertips||WHL|
|Zagidulin, Artyom||G||6||2.86||0.911||3-3-0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
Which prospects are you most excited about? Let us know below in the comments or on social media.
Photo Credit: QMJHL