This is the week of threes! The Calgary Flames’ prospects absolutely lit it up with three named stars in their respective leagues—including Connor Mackey who was the AHL’s Player of the Week. Three more had at seven-point weeks including Rory Kerins of the Soo Greyhounds. And three more prospects found new homes, one for a short stint, and two for the rest of the season. 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:
Connor Mackey – Stockton Heat
Holy moly, what a week for Connor Mackey. The former college signee out of Minnesota State University recorded three goals and two assist in the team’s first two games this week, then finished with two more assists in last night’s contest. Of his three goals, two were shorthanded markers, which is enormous. For those first five points, Mackey was named the AHL’s Player of the Week
Let’s go to the tape. Check out one of the two shorthanded goals right here:
And here is the second shorthanded goal for Mackey:
Finally, take a look at this incredible pass, which led to a goal for Eetu Tuulola streaking in.
Both of Mackey’s goals were great, but his vision is next-level. The Heat’s top defenceman this season has really shown what he brings to the table this season, and while his point totals do not leap off the page, it is the details in his game that really stand out.
At the beginning of last season, Mackey earned a lot of high praise from his teammates and coaches, with many thinking he could be an NHLer sooner than later. However, his first few games were pretty forgettable, leading him to be sent down to the AHL. Since then, he has diligently worked on his game, and has found his way to being quietly elite at the AHL level, and even looking better than Juuso Valimaki in the Finn’s time in Stockton this past week.
Is it time to give Mackey a shot back in the NHL? After the abysmal performances of Erik Gudbranson and Nikita Zadorov last night for the Flames, and the struggles that Juuso Valimaki has had in the lineup, it may be time for a change. Mackey has taken a huge step forward in his development this season, and deserves a look at the next level.
This and that
- Holy Heat what a week! The Flames’ AHL affiliate picked up three wins including a 10–1 drubbing of the San Jose Barracuda last night.
- Aside from Mackey, Glenn Gawdin also had seven points this week, which included a hat trick last night. He is quickly showing that he’s too good for the AHL yet again.
- Welcome back Matthew Phillips. After spending the last couple weeks in COVID-19 Protocol, the forward came back for the Heat’s big win, and recoded two goals and an assist. He has been overshadowed this season by his linemates but has been incredibly effective for the Heat. Expect him to earn a call-up this season.
- Check out Phillips’ second goal of the night, and take a peek at the incredible work by Pelletier to create the chance:
- While Adam Ruzicka continues to be with the Flames (and recorded his first NHL goal last night), the other member of the Heat’s top line, Jakob Pelletier recorded five assists this week. It’s probably time to give him a stint in Calgary.
- Speaking of firsts, a big congratulations to Friend of The Win Column Ilya Solovyov who recorded his first AHL point. It is not his first professional point, as he had a number last season in the KHL.
- Stick taps as well to Eetu Tuulola and recent returnee Walker Duehr on getting a point each this week.
- Other Heat who had multi-point games: Luke Philp, Martin Pospisil, and Connor Zary. Philp is likely in his last year to show the Flames that he can be more than an AHLer, while Pospisil has quietly put up numbers in an injury plagued season. Zary has struggled in his second AHL stint, but seems to be getting the hang of playing centre at the pro level. He had two goals this week.
- Here is Zary’s second goal of the week:
- The Heat very briefly also had Juuso Valimaki on their roster. In two games, he recorded three assists, but looked good-not-great in his return to Stockton. He clearly needs more playing time, but the hope is that he will get more minutes in Calgary going forward.
- The Heat said goodbye to Valimaki last night, and also said goodbye to Yan Kuznetsov (heading to the Saint John Sea Dogs) as well as to Dmitry Zavgorodniy, who is heading to HC Sochi of the KHL. He has not played much this season, so getting him into game action is key for his development. He is expected back when the KHL season ends in the spring.
- Finally, this section would not be complete without taking about the excellent play of Dustin Wolf, who continues to be among the Heat’s best players. The 20-year-old is the top goalie in the AHL by some distance, and is starting to enter the conversation for the Flames’ crease down the road.
- Jeremie Poirier continue to light the lamp for the Sea Dogs. They played three games back-to-back this weekend, and Poirier recorded a goal and four assists in that time. He has played alongside Christopher Innis, a more defensive defenceman, which has allowed him to put up strong offensive numbers. For his strong numbers, Poirier was named to the QMJHL’s Team of the Week.
- His goal was remarkable this past week. Check it out here:
- Expect Yan Kuznetsov to make his Q debut soon, and for him to likely be Poirier’s linemate to start. He makes this Sea Dogs team much better.
- Ryan Francis also had a goal for the Sea Dogs this week. He has bounced around the team’s middle-six as they try to get scoring from across their lineup.
- Elsewhere in the Q, Cole Huckins had a goal and an assist this week, but then was sidelined for the Titans’ last game. Hopefully it’s just a small injury and he’s back on the ice soon.
- Sticktaps to Cam Whynot for putting up another assist this week. He’s sitting around the half-point-per-game mark so far this season, which is very respectable.
- It’s no surprise that Matthew Coronato is very good at hockey, but I think it’s a bit of a surprise that he has been this good already this season. The Harvard Crimson forward notched two goals and recorded fourteen shots on net to be named the Rookie of the Week in the ECAC.
- Here is one of his goals:
- Coronato sits ninth in points-per-game among under-20-year-old skaters in the NCAA, while playing by far the least number of games (11) this season. With the way he has been able to shoot and the consistency with which he plays, expect these numbers to continue to climb this season.
- Stick taps to Demetrios Koumontzis for recording another assist for ASU this week. He’s showing he still has more to give now that he’s back healthy this year, and has found a home on the team’s top line.
- No points for Josh Nodler through two games, but stick taps to Mitchell Mattson for featuring in a game this week.
- One more assist as well for Jake Boltmann of Notre Dame. He sits second on the team in points this season despite being a rookie. Not bad for a completely unknown commodity.
- The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (yes that is their real name) sit eighth in the USCHO Rankings this week, exactly where they were last week. Harvard falls down a few spots, clinging to 20th.
- Daniil Chechelev picked up a win for the Mavs this week, and saw his save percentage go up a touch. Always good to see for a netminder who has received limited support from the team in front of him to this point.
- Emil Heineman has been quietly very very good for Leksands in the SHL. He recorded another two assists this week in league-play, but could not find the scoresheet as they lost to Frolunda in the first leg of the Champions League yesterday. They play again tomorrow to see if they can reach the semis.
- Heineman sits first among 2020 draft picks in the SHL and fourth among under-21-year-old skaters this season.
- No points for William Stromgren this week, who’s surprisingly not on Sweden’s roster for the World Juniors.
- No points in just one game this weekend for Ilya Nikolayev. He sat out the first game to Omaha, but was back for the second. Looks like just a slight nagging injury kept him out.
- The Storm really could have used Nikolayev in that game, as they were handily beaten. Arseni Sergeev was pulled for the first time in his USHL career in the loss, but then came back to win the second game against the Lancers. His numbers dropped marginally this week, but having ridden sky-high numbers this far, that is not a huge surprise. He remains the best goaltender in the league by some distance.
- Another assist for Lucas Ciona. He still remains on the Thunderbirds’ top line.
- Cole Jordan remains injured, which is a shame as there were such high hopes for him this season. Hopefully he is back in the lineup soon.
- Jack Beck continues to be out of the lineup for Ottawa.
- However, how much more can you say about Rory Kerins and the Soo Greyhounds. Kerins had two points and five assists for seven points this week. A mammoth week for the Flames’ sixth round selection two seasons back. He is fourth in scoring in the OHL right now and somehow was not selected for Team Canada.
- Check out this sweet goal from Kerins this week:
- Kerins is sitting just over par at +2 in plus/minus, which is the one note. Soo has had a hard time keeping the puck out of their own net, although they do score a lot. They made a change in that department, acquiring goaltender Tucker Tynan from the Niagara IceDogs. Brett Ritchie played his junior hockey with them.
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 (bracketed numbers denote movement from the previous week)
- Glenn Gawdin (AHL): 52.3 (+2)
- Jakob Pelletier (AHL): 51.8
- Adam Ruzicka (AHL) 49.0 (-2)
- Rory Kerins (OHL): 45.0
- Matthew Phillips (42.7) (NEW)
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||20||3||7||10||0.5||42||12.4||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Matthew Coronato||RW||11||6||6||12||1.1||2||25.0||Harvard Crimsons||NCAA|
|Walker Duehr||RW||10||2||3||5||0.5||6||19.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mathias Emilio Pettersen||C/LW||15||0||4||4||0.3||4||10.8||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Lucas Feuk||C/W||10||1||1||2||0.2||0||N/A||Vasterviks IK||HockeyAllsvenskan|
|Ryan Francis||RW/C||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|RW/C||14||6||9||15||1.1||10||24.9||St John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Glenn Gawdin||C/RW||16||8||13||21||1.3||18||52.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Emil Heineman||LW/RW||25||8||3||11||0.4||14||21.5||Leksands IF||SHL|
|LW/RW||8||4||1||5||0.6||0||N/A||Leksands IF||Champions HL|
|Cole Huckins||C||22||10||10||20||0.9||41||21.2||Acadie Bathurst Titans||QMJHL|
|Rory Kerins||C/LW||23||13||26||39||1.7||10||45.0||Soo Greyhounds||OHL|
|Justin Kirkland||C/W||18||3||3||6||0.4||24||13.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Demetrios Koumontzis||LW||15||4||4||8||0.5||8||N/A||Arizona State Sun Devils||NCAA|
|Mitchell Mattson||C||9||1||1||2||0.2||2||6.1||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Ilya Nikolayev||C||16||5||11||16||1.0||25||22.1||Tri-City Storm||USHL|
|Josh Nodler||C/RW||16||4||7||11||0.7||4||18.8||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Jakob Pelletier||C/LW||17||7||15||22||1.1||6||51.8||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Matthew Phillips||C/RW||15||7||8||16||1.1||8||42.5||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Luke Philp||C/RW||18||7||5||12||0.6||6||25.6||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Martin Pospisil||C/W||12||5||4||9||0.6||25||29.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Adam Ruzicka||C||13||10||6||16||1.2||2||49.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|William Stromgren||LW||26||8||14||22||0.9||8||N/A||Rogle BK J20||J20 Nationell|
|LW||1||1||2||3||3.0||0||N/A||Rogle BK||Champions HL|
|Tuulola, Eetu||RW||12||3||1||4||0.3||17||13.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Connor Zary||C||10||3||0||2||0.3||4||12.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Dmitri Zavgorodny||W/C||6||0||0||0||0||2||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jake Boltmann||RHD||15||1||7||8||0.5||14||14.5||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||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Connor Mackey||LHD||18||3||8||11||0.6||18||24.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jeremie Poirier||LHD||26||7||20||27||1.0||20||24.2||St. John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Colton Poolman||LHD||15||0||3||3||0.2||10||8.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ilya Solovyov||LHD||10||0||1||1||0.1||0||4.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Cameron Whynot||LHD||23||2||10||12||0.5||30||12.1||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL|
|Chechelev, Daniil||G||5||2.92||0.909||2-2-1||0||Kansas City Mavericks||ECHL|
|Tyler Parsons||G||0||0||0||0-0-0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Arseni Sergeev||G||14||1.57||0.937||12-1-0||3||Tri-City Storm||AHL|
|Dustin Wolf||G||12||1.98||0.937||10-0-2||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.