The Calgary Flames’ prospects around the world continue to put points on the board. Matthew Phillips added four more points this week, and Jakob Pelletier and Connor Zary continue to be red-hot. Matthew Coronato had three assists for Harvard this week, and Dustin Wolf picked up a big shutout for the Wranglers. So much to talk about as always, 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.
Standout Performer: Rory Kerins – Rapid City Rush (ECHL)
Rory Kerins is coming off of yet another big week down in the ECHL. The forward from the OHL added a goal and an assist to bring his point total up to 18 in 16 games on the year. He sits second in points in the league among U20 skaters and is showing he is probably too good for the ECHL. Take a look at his goal here:
Coming off a season in which he had 118 points in 67 games, the expectations were sky-high for Kerins. He was not expected to put up over 1.70 points-per-game by any stretch of the imagination, but he was expected to be a decent AHL rookie this season.
Instead, he has featured in just three AHL games, adding a goal in that game and generally looking very good. Apparently that was not good enough and he has been languishing in the ECHL ever since.
Here’s the problem for Kerins: Last season showed he was far too good for the OHL, so sending him back to junior would be a disservice for him. Getting him into game action is the key for his development, but it’s hard to see him playing in the top-six or even top nine with Phillips, Pelletier, Zary, Schwindt, Duehr, Peterssen, Jones, Klapka, Zohorna and Pospisil in the lineup. The Wranglers also want to have grit in their lineup likely to boost ticket sales in their first season in Calgary, so this keeps Alex Gallant in the lineup. Then there’s the team captain Brett Sutter who has an automatic spot, and that’s 12 spots right there.
It does not make sense to have Kerins taking practices with the Wranglers and not getting into games, and with no spot for Matthew Phillips in Calgary despite every conceivable reason to give him one, it seems unlikely that he sees sustained time in the AHL this season. This is a disservice to a player who is showing that he deserves a bigger role in a tougher league.
For now, Kerins is going to continue to learn to play among bigger men in the ECHL, and hopefully bulk up for a season in the AHL next year. For now, he continues to put points on th board and look good doing so.
Flames prospect happenings
- The Wranglers’ top players continue to be their top players. Matthew Phillips had two goals and two assists to bring him up to 30 points in 20 games. Take a look at this filthy goal from him here:
- His 15 goals on the year is the most in the entire league, and his 30 points are also the most in the league. He is very clearly far too good to be playing in the AHL
- Connor Zary and Jakob Pelletier both had big weeks. Zary had three assists for the Wranglers, while Pelletier had two of his own. Both continue to be above a point-per-game so far this season.
- Pelletier is tied for the league lead in points among U21-year-old skaters with 23, and Zary is just two back with 21.
- It is worth talking about just how far Zary has come from last season. He struggled mightily both in his own zone and in the offensive end, and is now among the Wranglers’ most productive players. He currently sits third on the team in points, and while his team-worst -6 is something to work on, 21 points is not bad at all.
- Two goals this week for Martin Posipisil who is really finding a groove of late.
- Two assists as well for Ilya Solovyov. The well-rounded defenceman has quietly been impactful for the Wranglers this season.
- On the injuries front, Yan Kuznetsov has been out of the lineup because of an injury. Cole Schwindt missed a game this week due to a knock, but did play in the other game.
- It was also a huge week for Dustin Wolf, who picked up two wins including a shutout against the San Diego Gulls. Take a look at this huge stop he made:
- A big week for Cade Littler in the BCHL. The forward had two goals and four assists for Wenatchee, and continues to be a bright spot for the team. Littler is 14th in scoring in the league.
- Once again, it is worth noting that the BCHL is not a great league in terms of quality, and while he is above a point-per-game, the real test of Littler’s ability will be next season in the NCAA when he joins Minnesota State Mankato.
- Ilya Nikolayev also had a big week, recording two goals and an assist. Take a look at one of his goals here:
- He started off slow, but has really picked it up of late. Again, it’s hard to see him earning a call-up unless the Wranglers either make space in their lineup for him and demote/rotate out some of their grinders or someone earns a long-term call-up.
- The one player who probably deserves the call-up more than all is Daniil Chechelev, who has been among the best netminders in the league. He has started 14 games so far, the most in the ECHL, and his 0.914 save percentage is seventh among goalies with at least 10 starts. With Oscar Dansk putting up sub-0.900 numbers, it’s time to see what the Flames have in Chechelev at the next level.
- Two assists for Lucas Feuk this week for Rapid City. Decent!
- Jack Beck is still injured. Boo!
- Beck would have been on the shortlist for Team Canada, and likely would have had a shot at the main roster this season if he wasn’t injured.
- Another goal and two assists for Cole Huckins in the QMJHL. His numbers have been very consistently just under the point-per-game mark. There have been questions about his character, but you cannot fault his production.
- Another assist for Cam Whynot in Halifax. Not bad for the second pairing guy.
- One player who has been flying under the radar is Parker Bell, who has been a point-per-game player over the last few years. He added two goals and an assist this week for the Tri-City Americans, who are a 0.500 team this season.
- Bell is fourth on his team in points and 60th in the league in points, but his production has been remarkably consistent all season long.
- The same cannot be said for Lucas Ciona who started exceptionally hot, but has really slowed down of late. The forward had one assist this week for Seattle, who continue to be among the top teams in the entire league.
- Although he did earn an entry-level contract (ELC), I’m still not sold on Ciona as an excellent prospect for the Flames down the road. He seems very similar to to 2014 seventh-round pick Auston Carroll , who was over a point-per-game player in the WHL, but struggled to be more than a depth AHLer.
- It was just announced today that Cole Jordan will miss the rest of the season with the Moose Jaw Warriors as he’s undergoing surgery. This caps off his WHL career.
- Three more assists for Matthew Coronato, who is up to 15 points for Harvard this season. He sits second among U21 skaters in terms of points-per-game (due to the wild swings in games played across the NCAA’s multiple leagues). He is sixth in the league in points-per-game, which is just incredible.
- Coronato will almost certainly finish his NCAA career at the end of the season, and will join the Flames’ organization from there. He has been Harvard’s top line centre, playing both sides of the special teams battle, and has been among the team’s best players’ this season.
- No games for Jake Boltmann this week.
- No points this week for Demetrios Koumontzis, who is in his fifth season in the NCAA. It’s hard to see him earn an ELC from the Flames at this point.
- I was very hopeful that Josh Nodler was better than his numbers at Michigan State showed over the past three years. MSU is a not-great program in the Big-10, and I was hopeful that if he was with better teammates at a stronger program, he could be better. That has not been the case. He has been demoted from the first to third line at UMass, and has no points this week.
- Arseni Sergeev again saw his numbers go up yet again. He has been the best goalie for UConn, and has been slowly stealing the net.
- Last season, he was the best goalie in the USHL by some distance, but the question remained whether that would translate over to the NCAA. The results are looking very good so far in his first season, but he probably needs a couple more after this one before he makes the jump to the AHL.
- Sergeev has a lot of potential at this point, and so far is trending in the right direction. However, as we all know, goalie development is wacky, and anything can happen with this one. For now, let’s just enjoy the ride.
- One assist this week for Topi Ronni. He has been playing for the Liiga side as opposed to being in junior, which is great for his development.
- No points this week for William Stromgren, but he did play on the team’s second line for a game. And while that may have been because of a very depleted lineup, it was great to see him earn added responsibility and minutes in the SHL.
- Stromgren was indeed named to Team Sweden’s roster, and Ronni has a shot when Finland announces theirs later this week.
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: 59.8 (Same)
- Jakob Pelletier: 45.8 (Same)
- Connor Zary: 41.8 (Same)(Tie)
- Ben Jones 41.8 (Same)(Tie)
- Jack Beck: 34.4 (Same)
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||23||10||14||24||1.04||24||25.8||Tri-City Americans||WHL|
|Lucas Ciona||LW||21||8||19||27||1.29||20||31.9||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Matthew Coronato||RW||11||6||9||15||1.36||6||31.25||Harvard Crimsons||NCAA|
|Walker Duehr||RW||20||7||4||11||0.55||10||21.9||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Mathias Emilio Pettersen||C/LW||15||4||8||12||0.80||8||31.9||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Lucas Feuk||C/W||12||0||3||3||0.25||8||N/A||Rapid City Rush||ECHL|
|Cole Huckins||C||26||10||12||22||0.85||31||19.8||Sherbrooke Phoenix||QMJHL|
|Ben Jones||C||19||5||15||20||1.05||15||41.8||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Rory Kerins||C/LW||16||8||10||18||1.13||0||N/A||Rapid City Rush||ECHL|
|Adam Klapka||RW||12||1||3||4||0.33||10||13.2||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Demetrios Koumontzis||LW||16||4||2||6||0.38||10||N/A||Arizona State Sun Devils||NCAA|
|Cade Littler||C||23||12||14||26||1.13||16||12.07||Wenatchee Wild||BCHL|
|Ilya Nikolayev||C||19||4||10||14||0.74||23||N/A||Rapid City Rush||ECHL|
|Jakob Pelletier||C/LW||20||9||14||23||1.15||4||45.8||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Matthew Phillips||C/RW||20||15||15||30||1.50||6||59.8||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Martin Pospisil||C/W||16||2||3||5||0.31||19||12.4||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|2||1||4||5||2.50||2||N/A||Tappara U20||U20 SM-sarja|
|Cole Schwindt||C/RW||18||6||7||13||0.72||4||28.7||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||20||8||13||21||1.05||21||41.8||Stockton Heat||AHL|
|Jake Boltmann||RHD||16||1||0||1||0.06||27||1.6||Notre Dame||NCAA|
|Cole Jordan||LHD||17||2||5||7||0.41||15||10.2||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL|
|Yan Kuznetsov||LHD||17||1||4||5||0.29||4||11.6||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Jeremie Poirier||LHD||20||3||13||16||0.80||10||31.9||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Ilya Solovyov||LHD||19||0||5||5||0.26||12||10.4||Calgary Wranglers||AHL|
|Cameron Whynot||LHD||24||2||9||11||0.46||10||10.7||Halifax Mooseheads||QMJHL|
|Daniil Chechelev||G||14||2.98||0.915||Kansas City Mavericks||ECHL|
|Arseni Sergeev||G||9||2.51||0.920||University of Connecticut||NCAA|
|Dustin Wolf||G||16||2.45||0.915||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 on Twitter.