If you thought things with the Calgary Flames were good this past week, things with the young guns have been somehow even better. The Stockton Heat are flying, thanks to some nifty work up front from the top line of Jakob Pelletier, Matthew Phillips and Adam Ruzicka, as well as dynamite goaltending from Dustin Wolf. The Flames’ OHL prospects have been among the best in the league, and Jeremie Poirier had yet another monster week in the Q. All this without two of their three first-round picks—Connor Zary and Matthew Coronato—not featuring in a single game. Let’s break all the action down.
Welcome to the TWC Calgary 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.
Rory Kerins – Soo Greyhounds
Holy moly, Rory Kerins had himself a week. After falling off the radar due to the OHL not operating last year, Kerins has come back with a vengeance. Already with four points in week one, Kerins put up a massive ten-point week to help the Soo Greyhounds claim first in their division to start the year. The undersized sixth-round pick has a nose for the net and just found himself consistently in the right place at the right time to elevate his team this week.
The Greyhounds started the week with a 4–3 win over the Sudbury Wolves. Kerins had two goals and two assists, including the opener here:
After getting hassled off the draw by the defender, Kerins uses his feet and instincts to pull away and get open right in front of the net for a rebound right into the open net.
They then played North Bay, where Kerins absolutely went on a tear picking up six points, a hat trick and three assists, as the Greyhounds won 8–5. Here are all three of his goals:
His first came off a nice rush by the Greyhounds in which his teammate Tye Kartye drew both defenders to him, leaving Kerins open for the nice goal.
His second, again, came off the rush, but this time it was all Kerins. He beat the goalie five-hole to put the Hounds up 6–5, and this goal would go down as the winner.
Right from the dot! Kerins seals the hat trick with a one-timer right from the office to put this one away for the Greyhounds.
Kerins has absolutely burst onto the scene this season. He leads the OHL in points with 14, which is no small feat considering expected first overall pick Shane Wright plays in the league for the Kingston Frontenacs. Only time will tell whether this is sustainable, but if Kerins can continue to perform at this level, he could find himself in the conversation for the Flames’ best CHL prospect.
This and that
- Sticking with the OHL, Jack Beck also had himself one heck of a week. He put up three goals and and assist, and leads the OHL in goals this season. Not bad for yet another undersized sixth-round selection.
- In the Q, Jeremie Poirier had himself a huge week. He is now back to a point-per-game pace, having put up a goal and four assists in three games this week. However, the real story with him has been his defensive game for the Sea Dogs. Poirier has been tracking back much more smartly, and has been effective in his own zone. We all know how talented he is offensively, but having him improve his defensive game is enormous for his potential. Fresh off of signing his ELC, Poirier is looking like a real steal for the Flames in the third round.
- Fellow third-round pick Jake Boltmann is also off to a good start this season at Notre Dame. While the rookie defenceman has mostly played on the third pairing, he has three assists to start the season through five games. He has a lot of runway left and a lot of growth still to go, but an encouraging sign for the Flames’ off-the-board pick.
- Elsewhere in the States, Ilya Nikolayev has been quietly effective for Tri-City in the USHL. Playing mostly on the third line, he has three assists in five games, and is +3 to start the season. For a player adapting to North America, this isn’t bad at all.
- Also in Tri-City, Arseni Sergeev picked up his first loss of the season, and drops to a 0.935 save percentage. The former Shreveport Mudbug has started four games for the Storm and looks quite good.
- Back on this side of the border, Cole Jordan is out currently with an undisclosed illness. There has been little new information on this recently. He joins Johannes Kinnvall and Connor Zary in the IR category for the prospects.
- Finally, down in Stockton, the Heat’s big line has been incredible. Jakob Pelletier had a goal and three assists this week, and sits second among U-21 skaters in the entire league. He also leads the Heat in points, and sits 15th league-wide. Not bad for a player once deemed to have an 8% chance of cracking the NHL by some models.
- Pelletier’s linemates Phillips and Ruzicka both had big weeks as well. Phillips put up a goal and two assists while Ruzicka had one of each.
- Luke Philp also had himself a goal and an assist, Martin Pospisil had his first assist, and Camp Standout Justin Kirkland had two goals this week. Lots of points from the Heat, who are 3–0–1 to start this season.
- Backstopping the Heat has been (unsurprisingly) Dustin Wolf, who is off to a fantastic start to the season. He currently boasts a 1.65 GAA and a 0.951 save percentage through three games. He’s 13th in save percentage league-wide, but among goalies with at least three starts, he sits second.
- There remains a question around whether Friends of the Blog Yan Kuznetsov and Ryan Francis are better served in depth roles in Stockton this season or in major roles in Saint John of the QMJHL. Both are without a point to start this campaign, and if they head to the Sea Dogs, they will be featuring in the Memorial Cup as Saint John has been selected to host the tournament in the spring. The Dogs have room for Francis, who is an over-ager this season, but would need to make a roster move for Kuznetsov as he would be an import player. Something to monitor as the season goes on.
Overall regular season totals for all Flames prospects
|Jack Beck||LW/RW||8||8||4||12||1.5||6||39.7||Ottawa 67’s||OHL|
|Lucas Ciona||LW||5||1||1||2||0.4||26||9.9||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Matthew Coronato||RW||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Harvard Crimsons||NCAA|
|Walker Duehr||RW||4||2||0||2||0.5||0||19.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mathias Emilio Pettersen||C/LW||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Lucas Feuk||C/W||3||1||0||1||0.3||0||N/A||Vasterviks IK||HockeyAllsvenskan|
|Ryan Francis||RW/C||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Emil Heineman||LW/RW||13||2||0||2||0.15||8||7.3||Leksands IF||SHL|
|Cole Huckins||C||10||3||6||9||0.9||18||21.0||Acadie Bathurst Titans||QMJHL|
|Rory Kerins||C/LW||8||6||8||14||1.8||2||46.4||Soo Greyhounds||OHL|
|Justin Kirkland||C/W||4||3||0||3||0.8||10||29.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Demetrios Koumontzis||LW||8||2||1||3||0.4||4||N/A||Arizona State Sun Devils||NCAA|
|Mitchell Mattson||C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Ilya Nikolayev||C||5||0||3||3||0.6||4||13.3||Tri-City Storm||USHL|
|Josh Nodler||C/RW||6||1||3||4||1||0||18.3||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Jakob Pelletier||C/LW||4||2||3||5||1.2||0||49.8||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Matthew Phillips||C/RW||4||2||2||4||1||2||39.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Luke Philp||C/RW||4||1||2||3||0.8||0||29.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Martin Pospisil||C/W||4||0||1||1||0.25||8||10.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Adam Ruzicka||C||4||1||3||4||1||0||39.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Pospisil, Martin||C/W||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|William Stromgren||LW||15||4||7||11||0.7||4||N/A||Rogle BK J20||J20 Nationell|
|Tuulola, Eetu||RW||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Connor Zary||C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Dmitri Zavgorodny||W/C||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jake Boltmann||RHD||5||0||3||3||0.8||8||16.4||Notre Dame||NCAA|
|Cole Jordan||LHD||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL|
|Yan Kuznetsov||LHD||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Connor Mackey||LHD||4||0||1||1||0.3||2||10.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jeremie Poirier||LHD||10||4||6||10||1.0||8||23.3||St. John Sea Dogs||AHL|
|Colton Poolman||LHD||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ilya Solovyov||LHD||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Cameron Whynot||LHD||8||1||2||3||0.4||10||8.8||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL|
|Chechelev, Daniil||G||0||0||0||0-0-0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Tyler Parsons||G||0||0||0||0-0-0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Arseni Sergeyev||G||4||1.51||0.935||3-1-0||1||Tri-City Storm||AHL|
|Dustin Wolf||G||3||1.65||0.951||2-0-1||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
Want to know more?
Still want to know more about the Flames prospects? Check out our interviews with a number of prospects down below:
Which prospects are you most excited about? Let us know below in the comments or on social media.
Photo Credit: Soo Greyhounds