While the Flames picked up a loss in what felt like a must-win game against the Canadiens earlier in the week, the prospects across North America have been buzzing. This was probably the hardest week to pick a Standout Perfomer, as there were so many players over a point-per-game in their respective regular season or playoff weeks. All three prospects in the QMJHL have at least four points, while Dustin Wolf picked up his fourth shutout. 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.
Connor Zary- Kamloops Blazers
With each passing week, GM Brad Treliving’s decision to trade down in the draft and still acquire Connor Zary looks more and more like highway robbery. Zary on his own has been phenomenal. He leads the WHL’s BC Hub in points right now, and sits fifth in points-per-game league-wide. With the wide difference in games played between different teams, standings are a bit funky to look at, but what really matters is just how much of an impact Zary has had on his team. Let’s look at some video.
Zary picks up the puck at the line, beats not one, not two, but three opponents to get right to the slot, but then finds his teammate open in front of the net who puts it home. It is incredible just how strong he is on the puck. With the three Giants’ skaters doing everything they can to knock him off the puck, he somehow manages to get by all of them to get to the front of the net.
Then there’s this. I don’t know what’s more impressive- his hands, his strength, or his speed. He gets away from the defender while still keeping his feet then absolutely roofs it up high on the backhand. The sheer amount of talent he has is unbelievable.
Zary falls into the category of being too good for junior hockey. Heck, we knew this months ago when he was playing for the Stockton Heat, where he put up seven points in nine games at the ripe age of 19. He still has a handful of games left this season, and he will likely finish in the top ten of points-per-game league-wide. The big question if if he’s ready for the NHL yet. He has excelled at the WHL level, and has done really well in the AHL, but in a very small sample size. He likely starts in the A alongside Jakob Pelletier, Ryan Francis, and if he performs as well as he did this year, expect the Flames to give him a look.
This and that
- We are slowly reaching the end of the season for most of the Flames’ prospects. The QMJHL is in playoffs, WHL still remains, and there is just one more game for the Stockton Heat this year.
- Let’s start with the Heat, who have been ice cold this season. They are 11-17-1 this season, and picked up eight of their wins on an early winning streak. Not great.
- This week, the Heat got a beautiful breakaway goal from Mathias Emilio Pettersen, who hasn’t looked too bad in his first season with the Heat. He is putting up a half-point-per-game so far this season, similar to Matthew Phillips in his rookie season.
- Phillips also had a goal and an assist this week. A paywalled article on the Athletic has the Kraken opting to select Phillips in the expansion draft this year. This would be bad news bears for the Flames, who would likely rather lose anyone else.
- Like Pettersen, the Flames are also seeing a lot of growth from fellow former NCAA-er Colton Poolman, who had two more assists this week. While he has flown under the limelight this year, he has been a reliable defensive option for the Heat.
- As we discussed in last week’s Sunday Census, the Flames called up Connor Mackey to the taxi squad. With Noah Hanifin done for the season, it will be interesting to see if the Flames can get him in a game or two before the golf bags are brought out.
- Ilya Solovyov signed his ELC last week with the Flames, but will not make it over to North America this season, unfortunately.
- Some good news and bad news on the Tyler Parsons front. The good news, he played in his first game this season, but the bad news is he allowed five goals against and is back on the IR. He is suffering from an illness that the team notes is not COVID-19. Not good for a guy who is slowly getting passed over by the next crop of prospects.
- Speaking of goalies, Dustin Wolf continues to be excellent. He picked up three wins this week including his fourth (!) shutout of the season. He sits second in the Dub in save percentage with a 0.945%, and leads the league with four shutouts. A strong honourable mention for this week’s Standout Performer.
- Also in the running for Standout Performer were all three of the Flames’ prospects in the Q. Let’s start in Quebec, where Jakob Pelletier has a goal and four assists in three playoff games so far this week. Val d’Or are just one win away from the next round of the playoffs and Captain Pelletier has been right in the thick of it.
- In New Brunswick, the Saint John Sea Dogs are 2-2 in their nine game play-in series. Ryan Francis has a goal and four assists while Jeremie Poirier has three goals and two assists. They have five games left to play, and will be looking to pick up a few more wins in order to advance to play the Charlottetown Islanders in the next round.
Overall regular season 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||22||4||9||13||0||0||23.5||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||28||6||8||14||2||0||19.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Phillips, Matthew||C||29||8||13||21||2||0||28.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Philp, Luke||C||29||8||8||16||2||0||22.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Pospisil, Martin||C/LW||14||5||6||11||3||0||31.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ruzicka, Adam||C/RW||27||11||10||21||2||0||28.9||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||22||0||7||7||0||0||12.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mackey, Connor||LHD||27||3||13||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||20||1||5||6||0||0||12.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Solovoyov, Ilya||LHD||41||2||7||9||0||0||14.5||Dynamo Minsk||KHL|
|Yelesin, Alexander||RHD||27||2||4||6||0||0||8.9||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||1||5.00||0.800||0-1-0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Wolf, Dustin||G||16||1.67||0.945||13-2-0||4||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: Kamloops Blazers