While the Flames will need a miracle run to make the playoffs, the same cannot be said for the team’s prospects, many of whom are primed for the post-season. The Saint John Sea Dogs started off with a win, and both Jeremie Poirier and Ryan Francis had a great first game. Jakob Pelletier is also set to go later this week. Lots of news from prospects around the world this week- 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.
Jeremie Poirier – Saint John Sea Dogs
Another week, another Sea Dog as the standout performer! The Flames have done incredibly well with their 2020 3rd and 5th round picks, but as good as Francis has been, this week is all about Jeremie Poirier. Going into the playoffs, Poirier had three assists in his final week of the regular season. He finished fourth amount QMJHL defencemen in points, fifth in points-per-game, fifth in goals and fifth in assists. The only players ahead of the 18 year-old Poirier in points were 19 year old third round pick Lukas Cormier, and 20 year-olds Jordan Spence and Nick Laaouan. He is clearly in elite company.
Poirier has also brought it in the playoffs, which started last night. He finished game one of the nine game New Brunswick round robin as the first star, with a goal and an assist in a 6-2 victory over Moncton. On the goal, Poirier entered the zone with speed, then took a no-look shot that beat the goalie clean.
His assist was almost more beautiful. He took the puck on the right dot then he found his man in tight for a beautiful slap pass that was redirected into the net.
Poirier is an interesting case going into next season. The Flames can offer him a contract at the end of the season, but he will be back in the Q for his 19-year-old season. This is good news and bad news. On the one hand, he has clearly outgrown the league on the offensive side of the game, but one more year gives him more time to work on his defensive game. And although it has made strides this season, it still can use more refinement before he is ready for pro-hockey.
This and that
- Through the regular season, both Sea Dogs prospects were incredible. Francis had two assists in his final week and finished the season sixth in league scoring. He also finished fifth in points per game. He also had one assist in his first playoff game this year, a nifty cross-ice pass that his teammate one-timed into the back of the net.
- This is not to forget about Jakob Pelletier, who also had himself one heck of a year. He finished the regular season 12th league-wide in points as well as 12th in points-per-game. He and the Val d’Or team will start their playoffs this weekend against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.
- Sad news from the OHL where reports indicate that the season will not be played. This is not great news for Rory Kerins, who was due to play his third season with the club. He has struggled to get into game action in Stockton, but featured in one contest this past week.
- Moving west, Connor Zary continues to hover around the two points per game level. He added four assists this week and sits fifth in points per game league-wide.
- South of the border, Friend of the Blog Dustin Wolf has also looked very impressive this season. This week he had two wins, and is now second league-wide in save percentage and GAA. His four lettered goaltending compatriot Braden Holt has joined Team USA and the U-18 Tournament, so Everett will be relying more heavily on Wolf going forward.
- Across the pond, there is little good news from Sweden this week as both Emil Heineman and Johannes Kinnvall’s seasons are over. Heineman’s Leksands team lost in the first round of the playoffs, while Kinnvall’s HV-71 has been relegated to the Swedish second division. Heineman finished with one playoff assist in the losing cause while Kinnvall did not manage a point.
- Kinnvall had himself one heck of a season, finishing 15th in points among SHL defencemen. However, he was injured for a good chunk of the year and finished sixth in points per game among defencemen this year. He is very offensively talented, but it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the North American game next year. Fun fact, the league leader in points in the SHL was Kinnvall’s teammate and Forever a Flame Marek Hrivik.
- Heineman still has one more year left on his Swedish contract. He will likely join the Flames at the start of the 2022 season. He has potential and early looks suggest Heineman’s a solid prospect to have in the system.
- Finally over to the Stockton Heat, who have really struggled since their hot start. Since last we wrote, the Heat picked up three more losses, each game allowing four goals. They have fallen to last in the Canadian Division, with a 10-14-1 record.
- However, their big guns have started to get points again. Friend of the Blog Matthew Phillips had three points and Glenn Gawdin had two.
- It is also great to see them getting Friend of the Blog Yan Kuznetsov into the lineup this past week. He has now played his first professional game, after signing his ELC following his sophomore season. He did not pick up any points, but did take his first professional penalty, which has to count for something, right?
- Finally, some Heat found their way up to Calgary for a couple days. Justin Kirkland and Adam Ruzicka both got the call-up to Calgary, however, neither featured in a game and have both since returned to the Heat.
- The one player who has made their way up to the Flames’ taxi squad and stuck there is Artyom Zagidulin. With David Rittich’s departure, Louis Domingue is now serving as the backup in Calgary and Garret Sparks is serving as the starting netminder in Stockton. Tyler Parsons is back on the Stockton roster, but having just returned from surgery, expect it may take time for him to be back in game form.
- The Flames also have Ilya Solovyov and Walker Duehr in the pipeline this season. Solovyov is still waiting to get his immigration papers all finished, while Walker is training with the team. Hopefully some good news on the Stockton front.
Overall totals for all Flames prospects
|Duehr, Walker||RW||28||10||7||17||0||0||17.2||Minnesota State||NCAA|
|Francis, Ryan||C||32||16||34||50||5||2||37.3||Saint John Seadogs||QMJHL|
|Gawdin, Glenn||C/RW||21||3||9||12||0||0||22.8||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||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||28||13||30||43||4||0||35.8||Val-d’Or Foreurs||QMJHL|
|Pettersen, Mathias Emilio||C||24||5||7||12||2||0||19.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Phillips, Matthew||C||25||7||12||19||2||0||30.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Philp, Luke||C||25||8||8||16||2||0||25.5||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Pospisil, Martin||C/LW||14||5||6||11||3||0||31.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ruzicka, Adam||C/RW||23||10||9||19||2||0||32.9||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||21||0||7||7||0||0||13.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mackey, Connor||LHD||25||3||12||15||0||0||23.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Poirier, Jeremie||LHD||33||9||28||34||5||0||26.1||St. John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Poolman, Colton||LHD||16||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||24||1||4||5||0||0||8.3||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||13||1.83||0.939||10-2-0||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