Calgary Flames hockey is officially back for 2022–23! We will have to wait until preseason games start on September 25 before we see the NHL regulars in action, but for now, we tune into the Young Stars Classic. This tournament will feature plenty of action over the next few days.
The Young Stars Classic is held in Penticton, and features prospects from Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Calgary playing against each other. Names such as Dustin Wolf, Jakob Pelletier, and Connor Zary are among those taking part in this year’s Young Stars Classic.
The Flames lose Game 2 by a score of 3–0
After Winnipeg and Edmonton kicked off the first game, we saw the Flames prospects take on the Canucks prospects in the second bout of action of the day. The Canucks beat the Flames by a score of 3–0.
The Flames iced the following lineup, which featured a mixture of first-round picks, free agent signings, and camp invites:
That end result of 3–0 Canucks may look like the game wasn’t close, but the game had no score through two periods. The Flames definitely had their chances and had the better of the play in the first two periods, but faltered in the third, where the Canucks took advantage.
You don’t expect the first prospect game to feature cohesivity, but the Flames did look pretty messy, as passes didn’t connect and players were out of position at times. Things should begin to gel as the team plays more games together, and the next two games of the Young Stars Classic should showcase a better performance.
Flames that stood out
There were several noticeable players in the first game, starting with Adam Klapka. The 22-year-old, 6’7″ winger did not look out of place as he adjusts to the North American game. He definitely stood out every shift, and gave an effort on every shift. The net front seems to be Klapka’s office, and he surely made himself known to the Canucks defenders.
Dustin Wolf also looked quite solid in the pipes, making several key saves at crucial times to keep the Flames in this game. One play that stood out to me was Wolf blocking a pass from a Canucks player who tried to feed it to the slot.
The way Wolf is able to read the game in front of him and be dialed in at all times is so impressive. Not too shabby for a seventh-round draft pick acquired in the Eddie Lack trade, huh?
Jeremie Poirier stood out to me with his fluid skating and passing ability. As the game continues to evolve, so does defending. The Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche showed that having defencemen that can skate well and transition the puck up the ice is crucial to maintain pressure and wear down the opponent.
I see so much resemblance to Oliver Kylington and his abilities in Poirier, and he should be an effective power play quarterback for the Calgary Wranglers.
Hockey is back
The Flames prospects are keeping busy over the weekend in Penticton, playing three games in four nights. The first game was close through two periods, but the Canucks finally made way and snuck a couple past goaltender Dustin Wolf. They added an empty-netter to beat the Flames 3–0.
Adam Klapka, Dustin Wolf, and Jeremie Poirier stood out for good reasons, and will all look to build upon that success in the coming days.
The Flames have two more games to play in Penticton, against the Oilers at 8:30pm MDT September 17, and against Winnipeg at 3:30pm MDT on September 19.
Photo by Marissa Baecker via NHL.com