2023 Calgary Flames Prospect Rankings: #8 Parker Bell

With Arseni Sergeev and Lucas Ciona picking up the 10th and ninth spots respectively in our 2023 Calgary Flames prospect rankings, we turn to another WHLer, who picked up the eight spot in this year’s rankings. That prospect is none other than 2022 fifth-round pick Parker Bell, who had a huge D+1 season this year. Let’s dive in.

Bell’s development so far

Drafted last season, the Flames picked up Bell following a big step-up season in 2021-22, putting up 18 goals and 49 points in 64 games. When the Flames took him in the 2022 NHL Draft, the Flames felt at the time that he was a very raw prospect with a huge ceiling, but would need more regimenting and consistency to reach that level.

This season, he took an enormous stride forward, moving above a point-per-game with 25 goals and 64 points in 55 games. This was good for second on his team and 41st in the league by points-per-game. The Tri-City Americans were a mid-tier team this season, with expected first round selection Lukas Dragicevic leading the team in points, but Bell was a key cog in the team’s offence all season long, playing big minutes most of the season.

Unfortunately, he did suffer a horrendous injury towards the end of the season that landed him in the hospital, but he made a full recovery and returned for the playoffs. The Ams did lose in the first round to the Prince George Cougars, but Bell had six points in six games to keep his team in the fight.

Following the season, he joined the Wranglers for the end of their season. In two games with the team he had one assist.

Bell’s strengths and weaknesses

Just like Ciona, Bell is a very large man, standing a whopping 6’4″ and weighing just shy of 200 pounds. But unlike other big men in the league, he has a good amount of footspeed that allows him to beat opponents down the wing. A creative player, Bell uses his great hands and hockey smarts to make plays in the offensive zone, and has had an enormous year due to a huge jump in confidence with the puck.

What stands out with Bell is his shooting; the prospect loves to score goals. He had 25 this season alone, including this one:

This goal shows off exactly what I love about Bell. He reads the play well, turns on the jets to get clear of back-checkers, anticipates the defender’s movement, and finishes clinically. An absolutely stunning goal.

On top of that, Bell has really good hands, and is able to use them to beat opponents out of the corners to find clear space. Take a look at this goal, in which he beats three defenders to score:

Finally, Bell is really effective at using his size to create space in front of the net. Add that into his already incredible arsenal of tools and the Flames look to have a really good player in Bell. Take a look at this goal that he scored in the playoffs.

Bell’s next steps

While he did play a handful of AHL games this year, expect Bell to be back in the WHL next year, likely again with Tri City. As mentioned, Bell is a longer-term prospect, and will need more seasoning before he is ready for full-time pro hockey. That being said, to see him put up the numbers he did this season is really encouraging.

The hope is that next season Bell continues to put up big numbers in the WHL, hopefully finishing with a 1.30 point-per-game or higher then earns an entry-level deal with the Flames. He likely will take a few years at the AHL level, but my bet is he projects to be at best a bottom six scoring winger at the NHL level. For a fifth round pick, if the Flames can get NHL games out of him, that would be enormous. For now, the sky’s the limit for the young prospect, who quietly looks like the best player the Flames took in the 2022 draft.

Calgary Flames 2023 Top 10 Prospects

Honourable Mentions | #10 Arseni Sergeev | #9 Lucas Ciona | #8 Parker Bell | #7 Walker Duehr | #6 Matthew Phillips | #5 Jeremie Poirier | #4 Connor Zary | #3 Jakob Pelletier | #2 Matt Coronato | #1 Dustin Wolf

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