It’s playoff time for teams in the NCAA. Two Calgary Flames prospects have already advanced to the next round while two saw their seasons come to an end. On this side of the border, the Saint John Sea Dogs picked up three massive wins on the back of Jeremie Poirier and Ryan Francis’ offensive production. Lucas Ciona continues to put points on the board, despite what was expected at the time of his draft, and the Tri-City Storm welcomed back Arseni Sergeev from suspension. Let’s dive into it!
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:
Ryan Francis – Saint John Sea Dogs
What a week for the Flames’ 2020 fifth-round pick. Francis picked up two big goals and added two helpers this week to help his team pick up three blowout wins. The Sea Dogs beat their three opponents by a combined score of 24–6 this weekend, and Francis’ fingerprints were all over that. Check out his two goals here:
The first came in the Sea Dogs’ first game against the Halifax Mooseheads, where Cameron Whynot plays, and the second came against his former club, the Cape Breton Eagles. He also picked up a primary assist in each of those contests, but did not his the scoresheet in the Sea Dogs’ 10–2 victory in the weekend’s third game against Halifax again.
Francis has found a home on the team’s second line playing right wing. The Sea Dogs are an incredibly stacked team right now, so don’t be worried that he is not playing top line. The team is hosting the Memorial Cup this year and will be hoping to ice a very competitive roster to compete against the best in the nation.
Francis has had a very good, but not excellent season in what is his over-age year. He was expected, at the very least, to be a point-per-game player this season which he is, but he has not imposed himself on the scoresheet the way that was perhaps expected of him. The hope was he would be inside the top 10 in league scoring, but is currently 56th in points and 36th in points-per-game. Not bad, but not great.
To be honest, Francis is too good for the QMJHL right now, but don’t expect him to have a smooth transition to the AHL next season. He will almost certainly earn an entry-level contract this summer if not sooner, but may struggle to adapt to the new league even though he has played a handful of games with Stockton already this season. However, he is expected to be a slow-burn prospect, one who take a little longer to develop but has the skills to be an NHLer down the road.
His closest comparable is former Flame Paul Byron, who developed into a very good bottom-six forward who could play up the lineup as needed. If the Flames can get something similar out of Francis, that would be a heck of a win.
This and that
- As good a week as Francis had, Jeremie Poirier had an even bigger one. He officially broke the all-time Sea Dog point record for defencemen, beating Thomas Chabot‘s total in one fewer game. He put up three assists, including this one which broke the record:
- No points for Yan Kuznetsov in spite of the number of goals the Sea Dogs’ scored. Kuznetsov has been more offensive of late, firing more shots on target, and it is only a matter of time before the very defensive defenceman hits the scoresheet more regularly. He continues to be a strong defensive performer.
- Cameron Whynot was back in the lineup this week, and picked up a primary assist in his first game this weekend. Unfortunately the Mooseheads lost 10–2 to Saint John, but Whynot was one of two players above water in plus-minus.
- He then picked up a primary assist and the game winning goal in last night’s victory over the mighty Charlottetown Islanders. Take a look at this incredible breakaway:
- Whynot has been in and out of the lineup with injuries but has looked good when he’s in. The tough part is he hasn’t really separated himself from the pack to this point.
- Some very very bad news emerging about Cole Huckins. He has apparently been sent away from the team for reasons unknown. The team has been very tight-lipped to this point, but it does not look good.
- Huckins was pretty steadily a top line player, that to have him not in the lineup does not help the team, but it is especially bad for the player who is missing time on the ice.
- Tough end to the season for Josh Nodler, Mitchell Mattson, and the Michigan State Spartans. The team was beaten by a combined score of 12–1 in a two-game sweep by University of Michigan.
- This is likely the end of the road for Mitchell Mattson who is a senior this season. He finishes with among the prospect pool’s worst NHLe in limited games. He may be back for a fifth year, but seems unlikely.
- Josh Nodler started the season decently well, but struggled in the back half of the year. He will be back as a senior next season, barring a contract from the Flames. It seems elusive at this point. He had no points in either playoff game.
- Good news for Jake Boltmann and Notre Dame. They lost their first game, but won the next two to beat Wisconsin in the first round of the playoffs. They will play Michigan in the semis. Boltmann had no points this weekend.
- No games this weekend for Matthew Coronato at Harvard. They had a bye in the first round, but will face Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the second round. RPI is where Hall of Famer Adam Oates played his college hockey.
- Unfortunately, Coronato was not a finalist for any major ECAC awards this season, and was particularly snubbed for the Rookie of the Year nomination.
- As a consolation, he did earn this month’s ECAC Rookie of the Month award for March and was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year this year. You love to see it!
- It was a relatively quiet weekend for Jack Beck, who recorded just one assist for Ottawa this weekend.
- However, it was not quiet for Rory Kerins, who recorded four assists of his own for the Soo Greyhounds. He sits second in scoring in the OHL with 88 points in 52 games. Not bad for a sixth-round pick from 2020.
- The Stockton Heat played two games of hockey this week, picking up one overtime win over San Jose and losing also in overtime to Bakersfield.
- The big news this week: The Flames acquired netminder Michael McNiven from Montreal for furture considerations. He has joined the Heat, likely as their third goalie. There’s logic behind acquiring McNiven.
- The team got scoring from down the roster, with the top line combining for one point, an assist for Matthew Phillips.
- Walker Duehr, Emilio Pettersen, and Luke Philp all recorded goals this week. The Pettersen goal was assisted by Luke Philp after a great play by returnee Dmitri Zavgorodniy. Take a look here:
- This was Zavgorodniy’s first point of the season for the Heat after putting up three points in ten games for HC Sochi in the KHL.
- Dustin Wolf played in one of the two games—the overtime win over San Jose. His numbers dropped a touch, but the win is what matters.
- The Heat are dealing with injuries to Eetu Tuulola and Martin Pospisil at this point, but hope to have both back soon.
- The Flames may not be able to hold the rights of Glenn Gawdin, Luke Philp, Justin Kirkland, or Adam Werner beyond this season. The four have not accrued enough NHL games for the Flames to keep their rights, and they will all become Group 6 UFAs. This is not great for the Heat in particular who see their depth fall substantially if all four go on to new homes, but likely does not impact the Flames much as none are likely to become impact NHLers in Calgary.
- With the way the Flames are playing right now with two roster players in the press box, it seems unlikely that anyone will earn a call-up barring an injury. Adam Ruzicka has been very good, making it hard to justify sending him back to Stockton, while the team seems unwilling to risk losing Brett Ritchie, Brad Richardson, or Dillon Dube on waivers for nothing.
- The Heat’s prospects will likely need to keep performing in sunny Stockton waiting for their chance.
- Finally, a very special happy birthday shoutout to Jakob Pelletier, who turned 21 this week!
- Welcome back Arseni Sergeev. After serving a six-game suspension for firing a puck at an official, Sergeev was back in the Tri-City Storm’s crease and picked up a win.
- Ilya Nikolayev had a quiet week for the Storm, but recorded an assist. He continues to be around a point-per-game, and still plays on the team’s top line.
- William Stromgren did not record any points in the J-20 this week, but did earn two call-ups to the SHL. He was on the bottom line for the first then skated as the 13th forward in the game yesterday. Still looking for his first point in the SHL.
- Lucas Feuk put up three more assists this week in the HockeyEttan. Unfortunately, it’s still the HockeyEttan. More on the Swedish leagues here.
- Daniil Chechelev played in one game of hockey this weekend, but was unable to pick up the win.
- While he has played the lion’s share of games so far this season, his numbers have not been nearly as good as his partner Matt Greenfield’s, who sits at a 0.923 through 10 games.
- Lucas Ciona is emerging as one of the top picks from this year’s draft for the Flames. He recorded another two goals and one assist to push himself closer to the 0.75 points per game mark.
- The Thunderbirds clinched a playoff spot this weekend in the Dub! You love to see it.
- Cole Jordan has had a very rough year and again recorded no points. The team has been playing him primarily as their sixth defenceman on a very stacked blueline, and have given him minimal easy minutes. This is likely to allow him to slowly recover from his numerous ailments that he has faced.
- It is still too early to write him off. Jordan has a lot of promise, and once he gets into a more regular run of games and gets his body back to 100%, he should start to really rip it. Unfortunately, I would be surprised if this happens before next season.
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)
- Adam Ruzicka (AHL) 49.0 (Same)
- Matthew Phillips(AHL): 45.4 (Same)
- Rory Kerins (OHL): 44.8 (Same)
- Glenn Gawdin (AHL): 37.9 (Same)
- Jakob Pelletier (AHL) 37.1 (Same)
Overall regular season totals for all Flames prospects
|Jack Beck||LW/RW||22||16||13||29||1.3||8||35.0||Ottawa 67’s||OHL|
|Lucas Ciona||LW||48||17||15||32||0.7||77||16.6||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Matthew Coronato||RW||28||13||12||25||0.9||14||20.4||Harvard Crimsons||NCAA|
|Walker Duehr||RW||37||6||10||16||0.4||18||17.1||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mathias Emilio Pettersen||C/LW||38||5||9||14||0.4||8||14.7||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||30||9||24||33||1.1||20||25.6||St John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Glenn Gawdin||C/RW||42||12||28||40||1.0||55||37.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Cole Huckins||C||28||12||13||25||0.9||51||20.7||Acadie Bathurst Titans||QMJHL|
|Rory Kerins||C/LW||52||33||55||88||1.7||22||44.8||Soo Greyhounds||OHL|
|Justin Kirkland||C/W||43||14||13||27||0.6||51||25.1||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Demetrios Koumontzis||LW||23||4||7||11||0.5||18||N/A||Arizona State Sun Devils||NCAA|
|Mitchell Mattson||C||23||1||2||3||0.1||16||3.5||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Ilya Nikolayev||C||41||13||31||44||1.1||55||23.7||Tri-City Storm||USHL|
|Josh Nodler||C/RW||36||7||8||15||0.4||4||11.5||Michigan State Spartans||NCAA|
|Jakob Pelletier||C/LW||44||16||25||41||0.9||18||37.1||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Matthew Phillips||C/RW||42||20||28||48||1.2||10||45.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Luke Philp||C/RW||43||17||13||30||0.7||10||27.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Martin Pospisil||C/W||30||6||9||15||0.5||55||19.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Adam Ruzicka||C||13||10||6||16||1.2||2||49.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|William Stromgren||LW||43||13||22||35||0.8||18||N/A||Rogle BK J20||J20 Nationell|
|LW||1||1||2||3||3.0||0||N/A||Rogle BK||Champions HL|
|Eetu Tuulola||RW||38||8||6||14||0.4||38||14.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Connor Zary||C||33||5||9||14||0.4||24||16.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Dmitri Zavgorodniy||W/C||8||0||1||1||0.1||4||5.2||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jake Boltmann||RHD||37||1||12||13||0.4||28||9.6||Notre Dame||NCAA|
|Cole Jordan||LHD||23||1||4||5||0.2||30||5.4||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL|
|Johannes Kinnvall||RHD||9||0||6||6||0.7||0||26.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Yan Kuznetsov||LHD||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|LHD||18||2||6||8||0.4||6||10.2||St John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Connor Mackey||LHD||44||5||22||27||0.6||66||24.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jeremie Poirier||LHD||44||11||32||43||1.0||28||22.8||St. John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Colton Poolman||LHD||39||0||7||7||0.2||14||7.2||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ilya Solovyov||LHD||37||3||3||6||0.2||14||6.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Cameron Whynot||LHD||34||3||13||16||0.5||36||10.9||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL|
|Daniil Chechelev||G||25||3.52||0.895||11-10-3||1||Kansas City Mavericks||ECHL|
|Michael McNiven||G||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Tyler Parsons||G||0||0||0||0-0-0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Arseni Sergeev||G||39||1.77||0.927||24-4-1||6||Tri-City Storm||USHL|
|Dustin Wolf||G||30||2.33||0.923||23-4-3||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.