The Calgary Flames started their playoffs off yesterday with a 1–0 shutout win over the Dallas Stars, and the Flames’ prospects are mostly in playoffs of their own. Three of the Flames’ four prospects in the WHL and OHL are through to the second round and the Flames’ four QMJHL prospects are all set for the first round of their playoffs. Only Jack Beck and the Ottawa 67’s are out of the playoffs, but Beck will join the Stockton Heat to start their playoffs.
The Stockton Heat finished off their regular season as the Pacific Division Champions and will have a bye in the first round of their playoffs. Dustin Wolf and Jakob Pelletier picked up all-star nods in the AHL, but probably should have earned more. Needless to say, there is a lot to get into this week. Let’s dive right 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.
What a week for Ilya Nikolayev. The 2019 third-round pick was on fire in the first two games of the playoffs picking up two goals in each game and adding two more assists as the Tri-City Storm knocked off the Omaha Lancers in straight games to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Take a look at his goals here:
The last goal was particularly important as it starts with Nikolayev making a great defensive play in his own end and then finding his teammate streaking up ice. Nikolayev then goes for a skate with the play and finds himself right in the play for a beautiful goal to put his team up by four. This goal would go on to be the game winner as the Storm won 7–4 over Omaha.
Nikolayev has had a bit of an odd path to this point. He started in Russia being a good MHL (Russian Junior hockey) player but a middling VHL (Russia’s second-highest league) player. After not earning a contract in Russia, he went to Belarus for a short stint before coming across the pond to play in the USHL as an older player.
What’s next for Nikolayev is a bit uncertain. He is a bit old to go the college route, and is not a commit of any team. Smart money says he joins the Heat next year, but with the number of contracts they will have on the books, it is likely he gets an AHL-only deal for the year as a show-me deal.
The Flames own Nikolayev’s rights in perpetuity given he was drafted from Russia, and despite him having an excellent year in the USHL, it does not mean he is ready for the AHL. There is a huge gap between the two leagues, and were there a better place for him to go as a stopgap, odds are he would be there instead.
Do not expect him to really light it up next year like he did this. If he can take a step in the AHL and even hit a half-point-per-game in that league in what will likely start as a small role, he could find his way into the conversation for a bigger role the season after. He is a high-pedigree prospect, having been taken in the third round in 2019, but will have his work cut out for him if he wants to make the NHL down the road.
This and that
- Arseni Sergeev played in both of the Storm’s two playoff games. He recorded one shutout and finished with a 0.900 save percentage.
- He has been and continues to be the best goalie in the USHL. Sergeev will join the UConn Huskies (Go Ice Bus) next season.
- Rory Kerins and the Soo Greyhounds are through to the next round of the OHL playoffs. They will face off against either the Owen Sound Attack or Flint Firebirds, whose series will go the distance currently tied 3–3 going into Game 7. Kerins has five assists through five games thus far.
- Jack Beck and the Ottawa 67’s crashed out of the first round of the playoffs in four games to the North Bay Battalion. Beck had three goals and an assist in the series.
- As we predicted last week, Beck has since signed an amateur try-out with the Stockton Heat for presumably as long as they are in the playoffs. The Heat have a lot of bodies, so it will be a fight for Beck to get much if any ice time. However, the reps with the pro team in practice will be more than worth it.
- The QMJHL Playoff bracket is set. The Saint John Sea Dogs will face off against the Rimouski Oceanic while the Acadie Bathurst Titan will play the Halifax Mooseheads in the first round. At least one Flames prospect will be knocked out of the playoffs as Cam Whynot of Halifax faces off against Cole Huckins of Acadie.
- Huckins continues to bounce up and down the lineup. He played on the top line and the bottom line this week but had no points again.
- Cam Whynot continues to be injured.
- However, it was a huge week for the Flames’ Sea Dogs’ prospects, who all recorded points. Ryan Francis notched two assists and Yan Kuznetsov did the same.
- The star of the Sea Dogs was Jeremie Poirier who had two goals and two assists this week. Take a look at one of his goals here:
- The Sea Dogs also broke a team record in a massive 14–2 win over the Cape Breton Eagles (where Ryan Francis played the first bit of his QMJHL career). The Eagles are home to legendary broadcaster Pat McNeil.
- Stockton finished their regular season this week after clinching the Pacific Division last week.
- The one notable goal came from Matthew Phillips, who unsurprisingly continues to be excellent for the Heat. Take a look at it here:
- Dustin Wolf earned another call-up to Calgary, but did not start in any games. He earned the call-up based on his impressive body of work this year. He’s been having one of the best rookie seasons in the AHL in the last decade.
- Wolf was a first team AHL All-Star this season, the first rookie netminder to be named to the team since Matt Murray in 2015–16.
- Both he and Jakob Pelletier were named to the AHL’s first all-rookie team, but both were snubbed for the AHL’s Rookie of the Year Award.
- Lucas Ciona and the Seattle Thunderbirds are through to the next round of the WHL Playoffs. Ciona had three goals through the four game sweep. They’ll faceoff against the Portland Winterhawks in round two. Take a look at one of his goals here:
- The Moose Jaw Warriors are through to the next round of the playoffs as well. They beat the Saskatoon Blades 4–1 in the first round, and will faceoff against the Winnipeg ICE in the second round of the playoffs. Cole Jordan did not record any points in the first round.
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): 46.6 (Same)
- Matthew Phillips(AHL): 41.8 (Same)
- Jakob Pelletier (AHL) 37.4(Same)
- Glenn Gawdin (AHL): 32.3 (Same) (Tied)
- Jack Beck (OHL): 32.3 (Same) (Tied)
Overall regular season totals for Flames prospects
|Jack Beck||LW/RW||36||22||22||44||1.2||14||32.3||Ottawa 67’s||OHL|
|Lucas Ciona||LW||53||17||18||35||0.7||77||16.3||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Matthew Coronato||RW||34||18||18||36||1.1||14||24.3||Harvard Crimsons||NCAA|
|Walker Duehr||RW||59||11||12||23||0.4||28||15.5||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Mathias Emilio Pettersen||C/LW||59||13||13||26||0.4||20||17.5||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||54||25||40||65||1.1||34||27.9||St John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Glenn Gawdin||C/RW||62||15||35||50||0.8||75||32.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Cole Huckins||C||41||12||14||26||0.6||61||14.6||Acadie Bathurst Titans||QMJHL|
|Rory Kerins||C/LW||67||43||75||118||1.8||49||46.6||Soo Greyhounds||OHL|
|Justin Kirkland||C/W||65||25||22||47||0.7||75||29.1||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||58||23||49||72||1.2||83||27.5||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||66||27||35||62||1.0||22||37.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Matthew Phillips||C/RW||65||31||37||68||1.1||16||41.8||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Luke Philp||C/RW||66||21||23||44||0.7||16||26.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Martin Pospisil||C/W||47||7||18||25||0.5||95||21.1||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||61||14||11||25||0.4||50||16.3||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Connor Zary||C||53||13||12||25||0.5||36||18.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Dmitri Zavgorodniy||W/C||12||0||1||1||0.1||4||3.2||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jake Boltmann||RHD||40||1||12||13||0.3||28||9.0||Notre Dame||NCAA|
|Cole Jordan||LHD||36||2||9||11||0.3||40||7.7||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL|
|Johannes Kinnvall||RHD||19||0||8||8||0.4||8||16.7||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Yan Kuznetsov||LHD||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|LHD||25||2||11||13||0.5||14||12.1||St John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Connor Mackey||LHD||53||5||31||36||0.7||83||27.1||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jeremie Poirier||LHD||67||16||41||57||0.9||38||19.8||St. John Sea Dogs||QMJHL|
|Colton Poolman||LHD||62||0||13||13||0.2||16||8.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Ilya Solovyov||LHD||51||3||5||8||0.2||22||6.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Cameron Whynot||LHD||45||4||13||17||0.4||48||8.8||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL|
|Daniil Chechelev||G||30||3.64||0.880||12-12-5||1||Kansas City Mavericks||ECHL|
|Tyler Parsons||G||0||0||0||0-0-0||0||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Arseni Sergeev||G||41||2.08||0.918||30-6-2||6||Tri-City Storm||USHL|
|Dustin Wolf||G||47||2.35||0.924||34-8-5||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.