Calgary Flames

Flames Sunday Census: Which Calgary prospect will play the most NHL games in 2022–23?

It’s an exciting upcoming season for the Calgary Flames. Not only for the massive offseason additions made, but also because of the many rookies who may make the team out of training camp. Injecting some youth into the lineup is never a bad thing, especially when they have the ability to improve the roster and give the team an even better chance to win.

Though the Flames rookies who may make the team this year might not be finalists for the Calder Trophy (although who really knows), Flames fans everywhere are looking forward to see what they can bring. However, players need to earn their spot on the team, and no matter the promise, a rookie needs to earn making the roster as there are limited openings.

Which rookie will play the most NHL games in 2022–23? We asked, you answered.

Want to take part in Sunday Census polls? We send them out every week on our Twitter at @wincolumnCGY. Follow along or send in ideas for the next poll!

Spots on the Flames roster are available

With the current status of the roster, there are maybe one to two spots available for a rookie to secure on the Calgary Flames roster. However, even with the multiple spots that might be available, there is no guarantee that a rookie might play for a long period of time, That leads to the question, which rookie will play the most games with the C of Red on their chest?

Let’s take a look and see what our readers think.

Jakob Pelletier

Pelletier was the overwhelming favourite in this poll, and, through being ranked as The Win Column’s second best prospect in the Flames organization, it’s tough to see why he shouldn’t be. In just his first year playing professional hockey, Pelletier took the AHL by storm and was a massive factor in the Stockton Heat’s success. He is a great two way player, always competes, is a playmaker, and seems to always play at a 100% level. He seems like the perfect fit for a bottom-six spot on the Flames.

Pelletier also brings a lot of leadership to the table already, as Pelletier has been the captain for both the Moncton Wildcats, and the Val D’Or Foreurs. Pelletier is a player who knows what a team needs from him.

Cole Schwindt

Though Cole Schwindt might be a prospect that’s brand new to the Flames system, he is a lot closer to NHL ready than some may realize. Drafted in 2019, Schwindt was acquired by the Flames in the summer in the Jonathan Huberdeau trade. While Schwindt was a member for the Panthers, he managed to play three NHL games in the 2021–22 season.

At 6’3″ and 175 pounds, Schwindt is a big body who is also able to both the centre and the wing. He is also a right-shot who can penalty kill. I wouldn’t expect Schwindt to be an offensive specialist for the Flames by any means, however, if the Flames see a need for Schwindt’s qualities that help them match up strategically, he could see a good amount of NHL games.

Matthew Phillips

Can this finally be the year? It feels like it has been decades since Flames fans have been begging the organization to give Matthew Phillips a chance and have him on the roster. He might be a little undersized, but he is a shifty, dynamic, and speedy player who has fantastic playmaking abilities. Remind you of a certain former Flame anyone?

On a line with Pelletier, Phillips had a great year once again with the Heat in the AHL. Phillips has only played one NHL game, however, I truly believe that Phillips would be a very valuable addition to the bottom-six for the Flames. They just have to give him a chance.

Dustin Wolf

This would be extremely surprising. Though in my opinion, Wolf won’t see much NHL action this year (or any at all), his AHL season last season was too good to ignore. Somehow, Wolf has managed to show that he is too good for any league that he has played in. However, despite his skill right now, there is just no room for him on the roster with Markstrom and Vladar being ahead of him. On top of that, it is never a good idea to rush goalies into the NHL, especially when they are only 21 years old.

It would be a better idea to let Wolf play in the AHL again, and let him dominate and develop. I really think that the only way Wolf plays NHL games this year, is if somehow both Markstrom and Vladar get hurt, or if their playoff fate has been decided, and the Flames want to see how Wolf would do.

The kids are talented

All four options listed just show how much talent on the brink of the NHL there is in the Flames organization. Although fans would love to see all four of these rookies make the team, it will likely only be one of them (if any at all). It will be very interesting to see who makes the roster once training camp gets underway, as we are getting closer and closer to the start of the NHL season.

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