Another huge week for the Calgary Flames’ prospects, as four prospects had at least four points this week. This includes five more points for Ryan Francis, who quite simply won’t stop scoring. Connor Mackey, Juuso Valimaki (technically not a prospect anymore), and Adam Ruzicka all earned call-ups to Calgary this week, while Josh Nodler found himself a new home across the country for next season.
The injuries and absences are starting to creep upwards for the prospect pool particularly in the QMJHL, which ended a team record ironman streak. Finally, we have some movement on the NHLe Board, with a different prospect taking the second spot from Matthew Phillips. 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.
Dustin Wolf – Stockton Heat
Dustin Wolf just continues to pick up wins for the Heat. He allowed just three goals on just under 100 shots in three games, and won two of the three games he played. He sits third in save percentage in the entire league, behind two goalies who combined have not started as many games as he has. Even more impressive but somewhat unfortunate for him, he has these numbers without picking up a single shutout this season.
Wolf has broken the Stockton Heat’s record for wins in a season by a goalie earlier this season, then became the first rookie goalie to break 29 wins in a season since Juuse Saros last week. His league-leading 30th and 31st wins make him the fifth rookie netminder since 2000 to reach this mark, joining just Pekka Rinne, Ondrej Pavelec, Alex Stalock, and Niklas Svedberg. All four played NHL games, with three becoming regulars.
It’s worth remembering that Wolf was selected with the fourth-last pick of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, with his size being a key factor for this. However, he has continued to prove doubters wrong through his whole career.
Watching Wolf, it’s clear that size is not a concern. His speed and agility on the ice allow him to constantly be in the right place at the right time. Unlike with bigger goalies who can just move little and allow the puck to hit them, it feels like nothing Wolf does is by accident—everything is intentional.
His trajectory probably sees him spending a good chunk of next season in Stockton again to really force the Flames to give him a look at the NHL level. A competitive player, Wolf will no doubt continue to prove that he deserves a look, and I’d expect the Flames to give him one the minute there’s an injury in the Calgary crease. It’s probably too early to start penciling him in as the next “goalie of the future” but he is definitely a top prospect that many teams would have regretted letting slip away.
This and that
- The Heat played three games of hockey this week. They won two, both against the San Jose Barracuda, and lost one to the Colorado Eagles.
- Aside from Wolf, Connor Zary had himself a heck of a week putting up two goals, including one just seconds after the Flames had scored their first against San Jose. Take a look at both here:
- These two pull Zary up to a half-point-per-game this season. A lot was expected of him this year, but between injuries and moving to centre, it’s understandable why his point production has dropped off. Expect him to have a bigger season next year.
- The other player who continues to put points on the board is Matthew Phillips, who had two goals and an assist. Take a look at both here:
- Phillips hit 60 points this week, breaking a Heat record for points in a season, and sits 8th in AHL scoring this season. At some point he deserves a look with the Flames.
- They have officially used one recall on Connor Mackey and have also summoned Adam Ruzicka on an emergency basis. Both remain with the team. Hopefully Phillips gets a couple games before the season ends.
- Stick taps to Emilio Pettersen (1 goal, 1 assist) Justin Kirkland (2 goals, 2 assists), and Eetu Tuulola (2 goals) for multi-point weeks this week. All three have been hot of late, but particularly Kirkland, who now sits fifth in team scoring with 40 points.
- Two prospects to keep an eye on as the season comes to an end: Dmitri Zavgorodniy and Johannes Kinnvall. Zavgorodniy spend the majority of the season in the KHL with HC Sochi, putting up 3 points in 10 games, but has struggled to get into the lineup.
- Kinnvall meanwhile has been nearly a three-quarter-point-per-game guy in Stockton but has only featured in 14 games. Kinnvall had another assist this week, but it’s not too farfetched to wonder if he stays in North America after this season. He still has another year under contract, but if he’s not getting games for one reason or another, it may be a mutual decision to part ways. He’s a great power play quarterback for the Heat but not much more.
- Injuries galore in the QMJHL this week. Cam Whynot, Yan Kuznetsov, and Jeremie Poirier all missed games due to illness or injury while Cole Huckins continues to be away from his team.
- Jeremie Poirier did come back and had an assist this week. Unfortunately, his absence snapped a team record 197-game ironman streak. He had not missed a game since November 2018.
- Ryan Francis continues to be very hot, recording two goals and three more assists this week. Both goals came against his former team, the Cape Breton Eagles. Take a look at one of the two here:
- After a very slow start, Francis is up to 33rd in the league and 4th on his team. He does not have an entry-level contract with the Flames yet, but expect him to earn one before his rights expire.
- All the Flames’ NCAA prospects are done for the season, but there is still some news this week.
- Josh Nodler entered the NCAA’s Transfer Portal to move from Michigan State. He will play next season with the University of Massachusetts Amherst Minutemen. This is where Cale Makar, Jonathan Quick, and others played their college hockey.
- Nodler probably needed a fresh start as Michigan State has struggled to be competitive in the Big-10. He has a lot of work to do to justify an ELC, but playing on a bigger team under a better coach in Greg Carvel can do nothing but good for him.
- Ilya NIkolayev just won’t quit. He recorded a goal and an assist for the Tri-City Storm, who are playoff bound. He sits 12th in league scoring.
- Arseni Sergeev featured in just one game this weekend, and picked up the win. This is really good for him as he has played 36 games so far this year, fifth in the league.
- He sits third in save percentage in the USHL right now. The two goalies ahead of him have combined played fewer games than him.
- The Flames’ two OHL picks have been absolutely flying this season. Jack Beck popped in two more goals and added two helpers this week. Both goals came on the power play, take a look here:
- Were it not for his injury earlier this season, it’s hard to imagine Beck not challenging for a top spot in the OHL’s scoring race. He sits 25th in the league in points-per-game, and third on the team in points despite having played in 33 games.
- The Barber Poles are playoff bound this season!
- On the other side of the province, Rory Kerins continues to challenge for the top spot in the OHL’s scoring race. He added a goal and four assists this week for the playoff-bound Soo Greyhounds. Take a look at the goal here:
- Kerins sits second in scoring and third in points-per-game in the league. He’s just over a 1.70 ppg, which puts him among very esteemed company.
- No points this week for Stromgren in the J-20 Playoffs in Sweden.
- Lucas Feuk picked up one assist in the HockeyEttan playoffs.
- Daniil Chechelev played one game of hockey this week, but was unable to win it. His numbers took a small step backwards, but not much.
- Hello Cole Jordan! The struggling blueliner picked up a big goal for the playoff-bound Moose Jaw Warriors. Take a look here:
- It’s so easy to look at Jordan’s numbers and criticize him as a bust, but he has had an incredibly unlucky season with illness and injury. Expect him to rebound substantially next season.
- Lucas Ciona is back from the IR this week, but did not record any points. Seattle will be heading to the playoffs as well.
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) 49.8 (Same)
- Rory Kerins (OHL): 45.0 (+1)
- Matthew Phillips(AHL): 44.2 (-1)
- Jakob Pelletier (AHL) 39.0 (Same)
- Glenn Gawdin (AHL): 32.5 (Same)
Overall regular season totals for Flames prospects
|Jack Beck||LW/RW||33||19||21||40||1.2||14||32.0||Ottawa 67’s||OHL|
|Lucas Ciona||LW||50||17||15||32||0.6||77||15.8||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Matthew Coronato||RW||34||18||18||36||1.1||14||24.3||Harvard Crimsons||NCAA|
|Walker Duehr||RW||49||9||10||19||0.4||26||15.5||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mathias Emilio Pettersen||C/LW||50||9||12||21||0.4||16||16.7||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||42||19||33||52||1.2||32||28.9||St John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Glenn Gawdin||C/RW||55||14||32||46||0.8||71||33.5||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Cole Huckins||C||28||12||13||25||0.9||51||20.7||Acadie Bathurst Titans||QMJHL|
|Rory Kerins||C/LW||63||40||67||107||1.7||43||45.0||Soo Greyhounds||OHL|
|Justin Kirkland||C/W||56||18||22||40||0.7||67||28.3||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||51||21||41||62||1.2||67||27.0||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||57||26||30||56||1.0||22||39.1||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Matthew Phillips||C/RW||55||27||34||61||1.1||16||44.2||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Luke Philp||C/RW||56||21||19||40||0.7||10||28.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Martin Pospisil||C/W||37||7||13||20||0.5||71||21.5||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Adam Ruzicka||C||16||11||9||20||1.3||2||49.8||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|William Stromgren||LW||44||13||23||36||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||51||13||10||23||0.5||44||17.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Connor Zary||C||46||11||12||23||0.5||28||19.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Dmitri Zavgorodniy||W/C||10||0||1||1||0.1||4||4.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jake Boltmann||RHD||40||1||12||13||0.3||28||9.0||Notre Dame||NCAA|
|Cole Jordan||LHD||32||2||7||9||0.3||36||6.9||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL|
|Johannes Kinnvall||RHD||14||0||8||8||0.6||4||22.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Yan Kuznetsov||LHD||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|LHD||19||2||6||8||0.4||8||10.2||St John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Connor Mackey||LHD||53||5||31||36||0.7||83||27.1||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jeremie Poirier||LHD||55||13||36||49||0.9||36||20.7||St. John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Colton Poolman||LHD||52||0||11||11||0.2||16||8.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ilya Solovyov||LHD||46||3||4||7||0.2||22||6.0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Cameron Whynot||LHD||43||4||13||17||0.4||46||9.3||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL|
|Daniil Chechelev||G||29||3.51||0.897||12-11-5||1||Kansas City Mavericks||ECHL|
|Tyler Parsons||G||0||0||0||0-0-0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Arseni Sergeev||G||36||1.96||0.922||27-6-1||6||Tri-City Storm||USHL|
|Dustin Wolf||G||41||2.23||0.927||31-6-3||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.