The Flames prospects continue to be among the best in their respective leagues. Two AHL skaters are among the top-10 in their league while two OHL skaters are among the top-10 in theirs. Both Saint John Sea Dogs skaters are above a point-per-game, and Matthew Coronato put up another point this week to keep him inside the top-20 in points in the NCAA’s ECAC. Some great individual performances from a number of other performances including last week’s standout performer Arseni Sergeev. Let’s break it all 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.
Want to see where all the Flames’ prospects are playing this year? Check out our map visualization here:
Adam Ruzicka: Stockton Heat
What a find Adam Ruzicka has turned out to be. The Slovak forward was initially drafted in the fourth round by the Flames in 2017 with few expecting him to turn into much. Fast forward a few years and he is in the top-5 in scoring in the entire AHL (naturally, leading the Heat too). This week was massive for him, putting up four points in three games, but could have had a few more as he missed a few wide open looks.
The Heat have been on a tear to start the season, and the team’s top line of Ruzicka with Mathew Phillips and Jakob Pelletier have been a big reason why. These three together are in the top-four of scoring on the team (with only Glenn Gawdin sitting in third), and Ruzicka had Pelletier are in the top-10 league-wide. This line has functioned well with Ruzicka scoring the goals while Pelletier and Phillips both play the playmaker role on the line.
There have been lots of questions around Ruzicka’s consistency since he was drafted. When he’s on, he’s really on—scoring from all angles—but when he’s off, he seems unengaged. But over the last two years, Ruzicka has turned a corner. He has developed into one of the team’s top-three prospects on the AHL to this point, and saw his first NHL action late last year. A big physical forward, Ruzicka has an incredible shot and tricky hands that allow him to generate chances in tight areas. While he is not the fastest guy on the ice, he has a way to get be in the right place at the right time when needed.
After another big week and him sitting near the top of the AHL scoring chart, the question becomes when will he get an extended look in Calgary. That day is almost certainly coming soon, and there is a lot to get excited about with him. For now, he continues to be one of the team’s most exciting prospects night-in and night-out.
This and that
- Sticking with Stockton, while the Heat’s nine game winning streak did come to an end in a 4–3 overtime loss, the team has yet to lose a game in regulation this season. They are second in the league in points percentage, behind only the unbeaten Utica Comets.
- Lots of standouts from Stockton this week alongside Ruzicka. Jakob Pelletier continues to dazzle with another four points (3 goals and an assist) this week. He is among the best in his age group in the league, and currently sits tenth in points league-wide.
- Glenn Gawdin continues to impress in a role on the Heat’s second line. He put up three more assists, and continues to be above a point-per-game. There will come a point where he will be far too good for the AHL (which he arguably already is at), but there may not be a spot for him at the NHL level as of right now. Time will tell where he ends up.
- A goal and two more assists for Matthew Phillips. He has been quietly very effective for the Heat even if he has not been putting up points like Ruzicka.
- Connor Zary recorded his first AHL goal of the season this past week. However in three games he sits with a team worst -7. Yikes!
- Huge shoutout to Walker Duehr who was called up to the big club last week and finally featured in his first NHL game this week. Duehr is the first South Dakotan to make the NHL.
- Stick taps to Justin Kirkland, Luke Philp, Eetu Tuulola, and Connor Mackey for recording points this week for Stockton. Dustin Wolf also went 1–0–1 this week.
- Matthew Coronato and Harvard have not been nearly as dominant this week as they were in their first, likely because they faced actually tough teams (with due respect to Dartmouth College and Bentley College). Coronato recorded just one assist this week as Harvard went 1–1–1. They still sit top of the ECAC with 11 points through five games.
- Josh Nodler continues to roll, putting up a goal and an assist for Michigan State. He is likely deserving of an AHL look at the end of this season.
- Stick taps for Mitchell Mattson for staying in the lineup again this week.
- Jake Boltmann did not put up any points this week but has looked good for Notre Dame. Unfortunately he has been pushed back to the third pairing on the depth chart.
- The Flames two USHL prospect continue to impress. Ilya Nikolayev has gone from the third line centre all the way to now centring the team’s top line. He put up two more goals and two more assists this past weekend and is looking like a player!
- Nikolayev has had a unique development path thus far, and it will be interesting to see what happens next to him. There is a good chance he goes right to the AHL next year or heads to college for at least a season or two. He has not committed either way to this point.
- Fellow Russian teammate Arseni Sergeev also had a big week, picking up two more wins. He is the top goalie in the USHL right now. Not bad for a seventh-round pick.
- No games this week for Emil Heineman or William Stromgren.
- Lucas Feuk featured in a couple more games in the HockeyAllsvenskan. While he did not record a point, great to see him in the Swedish second division as opposed to the third.
- Slow week in the OHL. Jack Beck is currently out with an undisclosed issue. It had been expected to be a short-term issue, but there is no timetable for return to this point.
- Rory Kerins picked up another assist for the Soo Greyhounds. They have been an offensive powerhouse but very leaky defensively.
- No news from the WHL. No points for Lucas Ciona and Cole Jordan remains on the shelf.
- The Flames have very few prospects in the WHL now as Dillon Dube, Matthew Phillips, Dustin Wolf, Connor Zary, and Glenn Gawdin have all graduated in the last few years.
- Lots to report from the Q as always.
- The Acadie Bathurst Titans have received a cash infusion from the City of Bathurst New Brunswick to keep the team in the town. On the ice, Cole Huckins put up two goals and an assist. He is on the top line, and is fourth in points on his team with 13.
- Cameron Whynot also had another assist this week.
- Over in Saint John, there’s the most Flames prospect news. Recent returnee Ryan Francis had a goal and an assist this week, putting him above the point-per-game mark.
- Jeremie Poirier had an assist this week, and he is also a point-per-game player.
- Finally, interesting news from Flames assistant coach Ray Edwards, who said that the Flames are still deciding the future of Yan Kuznetsov. Given his role in Stockton, there is a good chance he finds his way to Saint John, likely after the World Juniors where he will almost certainly be playing for Team Russia. This is an evolving story over this season, and we will keep you updated as more is released.
NHLe is a metric used to estimate a player’s offensive output at the NHL level from their point totals in their respective league. Here are the Flames current top-5:
- Adam Ruzicka (AHL): 54.2
- Glenn Gawdin (AHL): 48.6
- Jakob Pelletier (AHL): 47.0
- Rory Kerins (OHL): 39.7
- Jack Beck (OHL): 37.6
Overall regular season totals for all Flames prospects
|Jack Beck||LW/RW||12||11||6||17||1.42||6||37.6||Ottawa 67’s||OHL|
|Lucas Ciona||LW||12||2||4||6||0.5||26||12.4||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Matthew Coronato||RW||8||3||5||8||1.0||0||26.2||Harvard Crimsons||NCAA|
|Walker Duehr||RW||5||2||1||3||0.6||0||23.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mathias Emilio Pettersen||C/LW||10||0||3||3||0.3||2||12.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Lucas Feuk||C/W||8||1||1||2||0.3||0||N/A||Vasterviks IK||HockeyAllsvenskan|
|Ryan Francis||RW/C||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|RW/C||6||3||4||7||1.2||6||27.2||St John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Glenn Gawdin||C/RW||9||1||10||11||1.2||14||48.6||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Emil Heineman||LW/RW||18||5||1||6||0.3||10||16.1||Leksands IF||SHL|
|Cole Huckins||C||16||6||7||13||0.8||37||18.9||Acadie Bathurst Titans||QMJHL|
|Rory Kerins||C/LW||16||9||15||24||1.5||4||39.7||Soo Greyhounds||OHL|
|Justin Kirkland||C/W||11||3||2||5||0.5||14||17.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Demetrios Koumontzis||LW||12||2||2||4||0.3||4||N/A||Arizona State Sun Devils||NCAA|
|Mitchell Mattson||C||8||1||1||2||0.3||2||7.1||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Ilya Nikolayev||C||11||4||7||11||1.0||6||22.1||Tri-City Storm||USHL|
|Josh Nodler||C/RW||12||4||6||10||0.8||0||22.7||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Jakob Pelletier||C/LW||11||5||8||13||1.2||2||47.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Matthew Phillips||C/RW||11||4||6||10||0.9||8||36.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Luke Philp||C/RW||11||4||1||5||0.5||0||17.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Martin Pospisil||C/W||7||2||2||4||0.6||12||22.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Adam Ruzicka||C||11||9||6||15||1.4||2||54.2||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|William Stromgren||LW||20||7||11||18||0.9||4||N/A||Rogle BK J20||J20 Nationell|
|Tuulola, Eetu||RW||6||2||1||3||0.5||4||19.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Connor Zary||C||3||1||0||1||0.3||2||12.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Dmitri Zavgorodny||W/C||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jake Boltmann||RHD||11||1||5||6||0.6||10||15.0||Notre Dame||NCAA|
|Cole Jordan||LHD||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL|
|Johannes Kinnvall||RHD||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Yan Kuznetsov||LHD||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Connor Mackey||LHD||11||0||4||2||0.4||13||14.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jeremie Poirier||LHD||17||5||12||17||1.0||10||23.3||St. John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Colton Poolman||LHD||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ilya Solovyov||LHD||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Cameron Whynot||LHD||15||2||6||8||0.5||20||12.3||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL|
|Chechelev, Daniil||G||0||0||0||0-0-0||0||Kansas City Mavericks||ECHL|
|Tyler Parsons||G||0||0||0||0-0-0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Arsenii Sergeyev||G||9||1.22||0.950||8-1-0||2||Tri-City Storm||AHL|
|Dustin Wolf||G||2.25||0.930||5-0-2||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.