Like all NHL teams, the Calgary Flames constantly strive for long-term success. The upcoming 2023–24 season is poised to be thrilling for the organization, with numerous promising prospects on the cusp of NHL action.
The Calgary Flames have a rich pool of prospects, including names like Jakob Pelletier, Matthew Coronato, Dustin Wolf, Connor Zary, Yan Kuznetsov and Jérémie Poirier. These talented people, a mix of homegrown talent and recent draft picks, are eager to make their mark and contribute to the team’s success.
This comprehensive analysis delves into their potential impact, strengths and how they align with the team’s long-term plans. For NHL betting enthusiasts, having insights into the Flames’ prospects is vital for predicting the team’s performance and understanding their potential influence on the league.
Jakob Pelletier – Forward
Jakob Pelletier, the Flames’ first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, has been on the radar of Calgary fans for a few years now. The talented French-Canadian forward possesses a keen hockey IQ, impressive playmaking skills and a natural goal-scoring touch.
Although he appeared in 24 NHL games last season, Pelletier is still considered a rookie by league standards. It makes him eligible for the Calder Trophy in the upcoming season, having honed his skills in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Pelletier’s development could take a significant leap forward under the tutelage of new associate coach Marc Savard, known for his offensive expertise. His power play proficiency to create high-danger scoring chances make him a potential offensive difference-maker for the Flames.
Matthew Coronato – Forward
Matthew Coronato, the Flames’ first-round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft, is a highly skilled forward with an exceptional scoring touch. With his lethal shot and knack for generating offence, Coronato is a prized asset for the Flames.
Before joining the Flames organization, Coronato enjoyed a standout career in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and excelled at Harvard University. After signing his entry-level contract with the Flames in 2023, he experienced his first NHL game against the San Jose Sharks.
Coronato’s versatility as a centre and wing provides valuable depth to the forward lines. It gives the Flames more flexibility in their lineup combinations. Coronato’s presence could prove crucial in filling that void as the Flames seek to bolster their offensive output.
Connor Zary – Forward
Connor Zary, the Flames’ first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, is another prospect destined for a prominent role in the Flames’ future. Zary has excelled in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and represented Canada internationally as a gifted forward with natural scoring ability.
Zary’s game is a testament to his strong two-way play, where his defensive acumen is as impressive as his offensive prowess. This well-rounded skill set makes him a valuable asset for the Flames as they seek players who can impact the game at both ends of the ice.
While he may not make an immediate splash in the NHL, Zary’s potential as a future top-six forward will be essential to the Flames’ long-term success.
Dustin Wolf – Goaltender
In recent years, the Flames have focused on fortifying their goaltending pipeline and Dustin Wolf stands out as one of the most promising prospects. Selected in the seventh round of the 2019 NHL Draft, Wolf has been an absolute force in the AHL, earning multiple accolades for his stellar performances with the Calgary Wranglers.
This accomplishment also builds upon his previous recognition as the AHL’s top netminder in 2021–22 and his impressive record as the WHL’s top goaltender in the preceding 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons. Wolf’s record speaks for itself, with an outstanding 42 wins, only 10 losses and two overtime losses.
Despite Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar being the current NHL goaltending tandem, Wolf’s exceptional talent and potential have ignited discussions about his future in Calgary’s crease.
Yan Kuznetsov – Defenceman
Defence is crucial in any successful team, and the Flames are fortunate to have a promising prospect in Yan Kuznetsov. Selected in the second round of the 2021 NHL Draft, Kuznetsov is a towering Russian defenseman with impressive mobility and poise on the blue line.
Currently honing his skills in the AHL, Kuznetsov’s development will be closely monitored by the Flames’ coaching staff. His size, skill and skating ability make him a formidable presence in his zone and a threat on the offensive end. As he adjusts to the North American game, Kuznetsov could emerge as a cornerstone defenceman for the Flames.
Jérémie Poirier – Defenceman
Jeremie Poirier, an offensive defenceman, was selected by the Calgary Flames in the third round of the 2020 NHL Draft. He had an impressive junior career with the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL. He led all QMJHL defencemen in goals in his draft year and ranked second in points.
In his first professional season with the AHL’s Stockton Heat, Poirier has been impressive, leading all rookie defensemen in scoring 39 points in 57 games and excelling on the power play.
Having a defenceman who can contribute to the man advantage can be a game-changer for a team, and Poirier’s offensive skills on the power play could help boost the Flames’ scoring opportunities.