Once again, a Calgary Flames prospect has been named to the AHL All-Rookie team, and this year it’s defenceman Jeremie Poirier. The former Saint John Sea Dog was named to the team after putting up nine goals and 32 assists in 66 games. This was the best among all defenceman under-21 in the league.
Poirier’s development path
A projected first-round pick, Poirier was described in his draft year as having the best hands among all prospects in his year, but fell to the third round due to concerns about his two-way game. He has taken major strides in that department over the last three years, and has developed into an offensie-minded defenceman who can use his 6’1″ frame to his advantage to close down opponents.
Poirier is joined this year by forwards Georgii Merkulov, Ethen Frank, and Tye Kartye, defenceman Ryker Evans, and goalie Brandon Bussi. Merkulov, Frank, and Bussi are all college signees, and all five are older than Poirier.
This is the second year in a row that a Flames’ prospect has been named to the team. Last year, both Jakob Pelletier and Dustin Wolf were named to the team, with Wolf also being named to the AHL’s first all-star team and winning the AHL’s Goalie of the Year Award as well. Previous Flames draft picks that have made the team include Mark Jankowski and Joni Ortio. With just six players per year named to the team per year, it is a special achievement.
What’s next for Poirier
Poirier still has some work to do to develop his two-way game for the NHL, but he is probably the most exciting prospect who has not made his NHL debut as of yet (given Dustin Wolf and Matt Coronato are set to make their debuts tonight as planned). There is a chance he earns a few games next season, but it’s likely he will need much of next season to develop further.
However, expect his game to continue taking steps forward and for him to be a stalwart on the Flames’ blueline for years to come. He is a key part of this team’s young core, and should be a big part of their future.
Photo from @CalgaryWranglers on Twitter.