The Calgary Flames’ top prospects are clearly smelling an opportunity for a call-up, as they all had an enormous week. Connor Zary, Jakob Pelletier, Matthew Phillips, and Cole Schwindt all had massive weeks, hoping to earn themselves a look in the NHL. Outside of the Wranglers, Coronato continues to shine at Harvard, and is one of the best players in the entire NCAA, not just in the ECAC. We also have a brand new standout prospect this week, someone we haven’t spent nearly long enough talking about both last season and this. Let’s get 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: Cole Huckins- Sherbrooke Pheonix (QMJHL)
Cole Huckins is probably the most curious prospect in the Flames’ system. He started last season on an absolute tear with the Acadie Bathurst Titan, sitting around a point-per-game for the first half of the season.
He then slowed down substantially, bouncing up and down the lineup, before mysteriously being sent away from the team. This lasted for about a month for reasons that were never disclosed. He then returned to the team, spending time again bouncing up and down the lineup with little success.
This summer he was traded to the Sherbrooke Phoenix to hopefully give him a new fresh start to the season, and it seems to have worked to this point. Huckins has been very productive while playing mostly on the team’s second line on the right side. He even saw some time on the top line on both the left and right sides.
This week he had four goals and an assist to bump him up to the 0.80 point-per-game mark, which is quite good relative to the rest of the prospect pool. The 2021 Flames draft class is very suspect, with Matt Coronato being the one standout, Jack Beck and Arseni Sergeev both looking decent to this point, but the rest of the class looking somewhere between fine, questionable, and not-so-goood. Having Huckins turn into at least an AHLer is a huge step in the right direction for this group.
Flames prospect happenings
- Ben Jones has been an exceptional story to follow for the Wranglers. The forward signee had four more assists and is quietly entering call-up territory for the Flames. He is still behind the Flames’ big three, but for an unknown commodity going into this season, he is looking like a heck of a find for this team.
- Both Jakob Pelletier and Connor Zary had huge weeks with Zary netting two goals and two assists and Pelletier netting three goals and three assists. Zary sits 17th in the league in points while Pelletier sits 22nd. Both have been excellent to start the year.
- Five more points for Matthew Phillips this week. His NHLe continues to climb up to the high 40s. Adam Ruzicka earned a call-up last season when his was at 49.9, and Phillips has been very close to that of late. It may be finally time to call him up. Take a look at one of his goals here:
- Another goal and an assist this week for Jeremie Poirier who has been excellent for the Wranglers. Take a look at his goal here:
- Poirier is probably the Flames’ top defensive prospect in the system at this point, and there is a large gap between him and those behind him. Not a great sign for the health of the team’s prospect pool.
- Two goals and an assist for the red hot Cole Schwindt, who has been excellent of late. He had four goals last week, and is hovering around a point-per-game at this point.
- Yan Kuznetsov added a goal and two assists this week to more than double his season total with five. Great to see from the very defensive defenceman. Take a look at his goal here:
- Stick taps to Emilio Pettersen, Walker Duehr, Adam Klapka, and Martin Pospisil for recording an assist each this week.
- Dustin Wolf had two more games this week, and saw his numbers continue upwards. He sits at the top of the league in save percentage among goalies who have played at least 10 games.
- Cade Littler had three goals this week for Wentachee in the BCHL. He remains a point-per-game player in the league, but the real test for him will be how he does next season in the NCAA.
- No points for Lucas Feuk this week in the ECHL, but Ilya Nikolayev has really started to heat up. The centre had four assists this week, and has really been a difference-maker in the last couple weeks.It took him some time to really get going, but now that he has, he’s showing no signs of slowing down. He and Rory Kerins are probably too good for this league.
- Speaking of Kerins, the forward had a goal and an assist this week for Rapid City after being sent back down. It was a bizarre decision to send him back to the ECHL as he looked very good in his time with the big club.
- While I can understand the desire to skate an older, more mature AHL team in Calgary in the team’s first season, I simply do not understand doing so at the expense of developing really good prospects who could be NHLers down the line. Kerins had an otherworldly OHL season last year and Nikolayev had an exceptional year in the USHL, and it’s hard to see either of them having a lower season than a player like Alex Gallant who has zero points and 26 penalty minutes in six games this season.
- In net, Daniil Chechelev has been looking better and better as the season has worn on. He played in two more games and is the only goalie to have played in 10 games this season in the ECHL. His 0.921 save percentage puts him tenth among goalies who have played at least five games this season.
- Jack Beck is still injured. Boo!
- A goal this week for Cameron Whynot in Halifax. Not bad at all.
- No points this week for Lucas Ciona. He only appeared in one game for the Seattle Thunderbirds.
- One game for Cole Jordan in Moose Jaw and he was held out of the other as a healthy scratch. The Warriors have four overagers on their roster currently, and can onyl ice three, so expect there to be some movement on that front quickly. Jordan has been a top defenceman for the team this season, and should be back in the lineup soon.
- Two assists this week for Parker Bell in Tri City. Good to see!
- Another game another goal for Matthew Coronato at Harvard. The forward has 11 points in seven games and leads his team in scoring. He is also third in points-per-game in the entire NCAA at this point. It is clear he’s too good for the NCAA.
- No points for Demetrios Koumontzis, Jake Boltmann, or Josh Nodler in the NCAA. All three have looked very pedestrian to start the year.
- Arseni Sergeev has continued to impress this year, and has recorded another win this week. UConn has four goalies in their system right now, but he has been splitting games almost evenly with sophomore netminder Logan Terness, with the other two not even geting into a single game. This is a really good sign from the rookie.
- William Stromgren doubled the number of SHL goals he has scored in his career by potting his second this week. SHL experience is probably a good sign for the prospect, but more minutes in a larger role would be even better. Progress takes time.
- No points for Topi Ronni this week, but he did appear in two games in the Finnish Liiga, which is better than playing junior. Trending in the right direction.
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: 48.2 (Same)
- Connor Zary: 45.4 (Same)
- Jakob Pelletier: 42.6 (+2)
- Ben Jones 37.6 (New)
- Matthew Coronato 36.0 (-2)
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||18||6||13||19||1.06||22||26.2||Tri-City Americans||WHL|
|Lucas Ciona||LW||16||7||15||22||1.38||20||34.2||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Matthew Coronato||RW||7||5||6||11||1.57||0||36.0||Harvard Crimsons||NCAA|
|Walker Duehr||RW||15||3||3||6||0.36||6||14.3||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Mathias Emilio Pettersen||C/LW||11||2||5||7||0.70||4||27.9||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Lucas Feuk||C/W||8||0||1||1||0.13||4||N/A||Rapid City Rush||ECHL|
|Cole Huckins||C||20||9||7||16||0.80||31||18.6||Sherbrooke Phoenix||QMJHL|
|Ben Jones||C||15||3||10||13||0.93||11||37.6||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Rory Kerins||C/LW||10||5||6||11||1.1||0||N/A||Rapid City Rush||ECHL|
|Adam Klapka||RW||8||1||3||4||0.50||8||29.9||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Demetrios Koumontzis||LW||12||3||1||4||0.33||8||N/A||Arizona State Sun Devils||NCAA|
|Cade Littler||C||18||10||8||18||1.00||14||10.7||Wenatchee Wild||BCHL|
|Ilya Nikolayev||C||13||2||5||7||0.54||14||N/A||Rapid City Rush||ECHL|
|Jakob Pelletier||C/LW||15||6||11||17||1.17||2||42.6||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Matthew Phillips||C/RW||15||11||8||19||1.27||4||48.2||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Martin Pospisil||C/W||11||0||3||3||0.27||13||10.8||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|2||1||4||5||2.50||2||N/A||Tappara U20||U20 SM-sarja|
|Cole Schwindt||C/RW||15||6||7||13||0.86||4||34.3||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||15||8||8||16||1.14||19||45.4||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jake Boltmann||RHD||14||1||0||1||0.07||25||1.9||Notre Dame||NCAA|
|Cole Jordan||LHD||17||2||5||7||0.41||15||10.2||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL|
|Yan Kuznetsov||LHD||14||1||4||5||0.23||4||6.0||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Jeremie Poirier||LHD||15||2||8||10||0.66||8||25.5||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Ilya Solovyov||LHD||14||0||2||2||0.15||10||6.0||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Cameron Whynot||LHD||19||2||7||9||0.47||8||10.9||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL|
|Daniil Chechelev||G||10||2.77||0.921||Kansas City Mavericks||ECHL|
|Arseni Sergeev||G||7||2.69||0.917||University of Connecticut||NCAA|
|Dustin Wolf||G||12||2.39||0.922||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 from CalgaryWranglers.com.