The Calgary Flames may be struggling on the ice, but the prospects are firing on all cylinders. While there weren’t a ton of goals outside of the Wranglers, many Flames prospects recorded assists, including Lucas Ciona with three, Matthew Coronato with four, and Jeremie Poirier with five. All of the Flames’ prospect netminders saw their numbers get better, including Dustin Wolf who has finally cracked the 0.900 save percentage. So much to talk about and so much to get excited about. 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.
Standout Performer: Matthew Phillips – Calgary Wranglers
It is yet another week of another month of another season where Matthew Phillips looks too good to be in the AHL. The forward prospect had a hat trick against the San Jose Barracuda on Sunday and added an extra goal and assist this week for five points in just three games.
While the Wranglers did not post highlights of his goals, it’s incredible to watch him play live. He is very visible given how much smaller he is than everyone else, but his compete level is through the roof. He is constantly in the middle of the scrums, battling hard behind his own net and in the corners to create plays. While he has been the most prolific player for the Wranglers so far this season, he has been very responsible defensively, not allowing opposing teams to create chances against.
It seems as though we have been arguing for the Flames to call up him for years, with how the Flames have looked of late, it’s almost irresponsible not to try Phillips out. The team called up Ruzicka while he was on a heater in Stockton and was rocking a 49.9 NHLe—Phillips is at 57.4. Phillips leads the AHL in goals and in points, and is among the best in points-per-game among players who have played at least seven games. It is time to call him up.
Flames prospect happenings
- As good as Phillips has been and as many headlines as he has earned, one prospect who has not gotten nearly enough credit is Ben Jones, who has been among the Wranglers’ best players this season. Acquired this summer, the defence-first forward is a point-per-game player so far with nine points in nine games.
- The other Wrangler to really watch is Jeremie Poirier. He is probably the Flames’ best defensive prospect in the system now, and were it not for him having just nine AHL games under his belt, the Flames would have almost certainly called him up over Nick DeSimone or Dennis Gilbert. He is just about a point-per-game guy right now, and had a whopping five assists this week.
- Rory Kerins earned himself a call-up from the ECHL this week, and recorded his first ever AHL goal. He was clearly too good for the ECHL.
- Dustin Wolf is starting to see his numbers improve. He is now above a 0.900 save percentage, and with how good he is, expect those numbers to only go up.
- Only one point for Cade Littler this week. Being around a point-per-game in the BCHL is a bare minimum expectation this season.
- No points this week for Lucas Feuk, but he did add a number of penalty minutes. That counts for… something?
- Better than Ilya Nikolayev who still has not seen the scoresheet in the ECHL. One of the most prolific scorers in the USHL last season, the former third round pick has not been great so far this season. If he wants to see time in Calgary, he is going to need to find a way to put the puck on net this season.
- Jack Beck continues to be injured for the Ottawa 67s.
- One point this week for Cole Huckins, who has found a nice home on the right side of the Sherbrooke second line.
- A goal and an assist for Cam Whynot and the Halifax Moosehead.
- Both of the Flames’ QMJHL prospects have been very fine this season, and will need to do much much more if they want to earn an ELC at the end of the season.
- Three more points for Parker Bell this week for the Tri City Americans. He hasn’t earned much in the way of praise, but those numbers are nothing to sneer at.
- Lucas Ciona also recorded three points this week and continues to be one of the top point producers in the league. The Seattle Thunderbirds acquired Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop to shore up their blueline. They are one of the best teams in the WHL right now, and could challenge for the Memorial Cup at the end of the season.
- What a week for Matthew Coronato. He added four more points this week—all assists—as Harvard beat Brown and Yale this weekend.
- One assist for Josh Nodler this weekend for UMass. He’s been a good defence-first centre playing on the team’s top lines.
- Arseni Sergeev appeared in one game for UConn (Go IceBus!) and saw his numbers improve. The team has been very good, but has four goalies so his icetime is pretty minimal.
- Topi Ronni is back from injury, and recorded his first goal in the Finnish Liiga this season. He’s probably too good for the J20 SM-Sarjaa, and hopefully will spend the rest of the season in the higher league.
- No points for William Stromgren in the SHL. On the one hand, it’s great that he’s in the SHL, but on the other hand, three points in 17 games while playing on the team’s fourth line is not great.
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)
- Matthew Phillips: 57.4 (Same)
- Lucas Ciona: 41.4 (Same)
- Matthew Coronato 40.2 (Same)
- Connor Zary: 39.9 (Same)
- Ben Jones: 39.9 (New)
Overall regular season totals for Flames prospects
|Jack Beck||LW/RW||10||2||11||13||1.30||4||34.4||Ottawa 67’s||OHL|
|Parker Bell||LW||14||6||9||15||1.07||20||26.5||Tri-City Americans||WHL|
|Lucas Ciona||LW||12||7||13||20||1.67||12||41.4||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Matthew Coronato||RW||4||3||4||7||1.75||0||40.2||Harvard Crimsons||NCAA|
|Walker Duehr||RW||9||2||1||3||0.33||4||13.2||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Mathias Emilio Pettersen||C/LW||5||0||3||3||0.60||2||23.9||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Lucas Feuk||C/W||6||0||1||1||0.17||14||N/A||Rapid City Rush||ECHL|
|Cole Huckins||C||14||5||5||10||0.71||14||16.5||Sherbrooke Phoenix||QMJHL|
|Ben Jones||C||9||3||6||9||1.00||2||39.9||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Rory Kerins||C/LW||7||4||4||8||1.14||0||N/A||Rapid City Rush||ECHL|
|Adam Klapka||RW||7||1||2||3||0.43||8||17.1||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Demetrios Koumontzis||LW||9||3||1||4||0.44||6||14.3||Arizona State Sun Devils||NCAA|
|Cade Littler||C||14||6||5||11||0.79||6||8.4||Wenatchee Wild||BCHL|
|Ilya Nikolayev||C||7||0||0||0||0||8||N/A||Rapid City Rush||ECHL|
|Jakob Pelletier||C/LW||9||3||4||7||0.78||2||31.1||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Matthew Phillips||C/RW||9||8||5||13||1.44||2||57.4||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Martin Pospisil||C/W||7||0||2||2||0.29||11||13.3||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|2||1||4||5||2.50||2||N/A||Tappara U20||U20 SM-sarja|
|Cole Schwindt||C/RW||9||0||6||6||0.66||2||26.6||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|William Stromgren||LW||1||3||0||3||3.00||0||N/A||Rogle BK J20/Brynas IF J20||J20 Nationell|
|Connor Zary||C||9||6||3||9||1.00||7||39.9||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jake Boltmann||RHD||10||1||0||1||0.10||8||2.7||Notre Dame||NCAA|
|Cole Jordan||LHD||13||2||4||6||0.46||8||11.4||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL|
|Yan Kuznetsov||LHD||8||0||1||1||0.13||0||5.2||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Jeremie Poirier||LHD||9||1||7||8||0.89||6||35.5||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Ilya Solovyov||LHD||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Cameron Whynot||LHD||14||1||7||8||0.37||8||13.3||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL|
|Daniil Chechelev||G||5||3.24||0.912||Kansas City Mavericks||ECHL|
|Arseni Sergeev||G||5||2.19||0.930||University of Connecticut||NCAA|
|Dustin Wolf||G||7||3.10||0.906||Calgary Wranglers||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.
Photo by Candice Ward/Calgary Wranglers