Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames’ top 10 prospects going into 2023–24

Prospects are crucial for any team in any league. They form the team’s future and a piece of their current plan. For a team like the Calgary Flames who seem to be losing players left and right and are in need of getting younger, having good prospects is important. These prospects can range from ready to make the jump or still being multiple years out, as long as potential is there. So, let’s take a look at who are the Flames’ 10 best prospects heading into the new season.

10. Topi Ronni

Finnish centre, Topi Ronni was picked by the Flames late in the 2022 second round with the 59th overall pick. Something about Ronni is that it seems he can produce in the U20 leagues, but struggles to when playing pro. In his draft year he scored a point shy of point per game for Tappara’s U20 team, but only put up four points in 19 games for their pro team. His D+1 year followed similarly: over point per game for U20, 5 points in 22 games for the pro team. This upcoming season will be big for Ronni—a full year on the pro team and likely a top-six centre on Finland at the World Juniors with good production would go a long way for Ronni’s development.

9. Arsenii Sergeev

Arsenii Sergeev was taken in the final round of the 2021 draft and he has become an under the radar prospect for the Flames. Before being drafted, Sergeev had great numbers as a backup in the NAHL for the Shreveport Mudbugs and won the league. He then made the jump to the USHL with Tri-City Storm. With the Storm, Sergeev became a starter and while his numbers weren’t as good as the season prior, they were amazing amongst the rest of the USHL as he had the best save percentage, lowest goals against average, and was named goaltender of the year.

After his singular season in the USHL, Sergeev committed to the University of Connecticut this past season. He was in a 1A/1B tandem and played as the one 1A. In his 19 games, he collected a .912 SV% and a 2.61 GAA. Sergeev’s season in the USHL and season in the NCAA has earned him a lot of hype amongst the Flames fanbase and has seen him climb the Flames depth chart.

8. Aydar Suniev

Selected 80th overall in the latest draft, Aydar Suniev is a underrated prospect in this pool. Suniev is coming off his first full year with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL and he was great. He played on a line with first round pick, Bradly Nadeau and the two had very good chemistry. In 50 games, he had 45 goals and assists for 90 points. Suniev brings a lot to the table including strength, great hands, a hard and accurate shot, and some very solid passing skills.

His skating is something to watch as it was enough to keep up in the BCHL but in harder leagues, he may not be mobile enough. He’s committed to the University of Massachussets so this season will be huge in terms of showing how good he truly is.

7. Etienne Morin

Etienne Morin recently joined the Flames organization as he was selected in the second round during the latest draft. Morin has plenty of promise due to his offensive skills and physical potential. His heavy shot and solid playmaking skills led him to having 72 points in 67 games this past season. He does have struggles when it comes to the defensive end but his drive to compete adds hope that he should be able to round them out before making the jump. It’ll be quite a few years before we see Morin with the Flames, but if he develops correctly, he’s another potential offensive weapon for the blueline.

6. Jeremie Poirier

Jeremie Poirier was supposed to be a late first-, early second-round selection in the 2020 draft, but due to some concerns with defence he fell down the rounds and the Flames were able to pick him up in the third round. The Flames were betting on his offensive talent and it has paid off so far. Poirier’s D+1 season was shortened by the pandemic just like Zary’s. Poirier only got to play 33 games but his offence shined as he put up 37 points.

The QMJHL was his home for one more season and it was another solid one with 57 points in 67 games. Poirier was finally able to join the AHL and was very impressive as a 20 year-old. His 41 points in 69 games placed him 16th in defencemen scoring and second in rookie defencemen. He still needs work in the defensive end, but he put some focus on improving and it was obvious. Poirier will need at least one more season with the Wranglers before we can see if he’ll become an offensive weapon on the backend for the Flames.

5. Connor Zary

Connor Zary has had a roller coaster of a development path since being drafted in 2020. The season following him being drafted was heavily impacted by the global pandemic and injury. To start, the Kamloops Blazers season was limited to 22 games, but Zary’s limited even more to 15 games due to an ankle injury. He was strong in the 15 games though scoring 24 points.

He also played for Canada at the World Juniors that year and claimed a silver medal. After his junior season was over he joined the Stockton Heat for a nine-game stint and looked promising with seven points.

Then in 2021-22 he had his first full AHL season and was disappointing. He only put up 25 points in 53 games and it was easy to tell he was a rookie. This past season started and Zary needed to prove himself, which he did. He scored 58 points in 72 games and looked like a veteran player. Zary will likely spend one more year with the Wranglers but one day he should be an impactful piece for the Flames.

4. Samuel Honzek

The newest top Flames prospect, Samuel Honzek became a member of the Flames family when he was taken 16th overall in this past draft. Honzek was playing pro hockey in his home country of Slovakia in his D-1 season and had a solid stat line for a 17-year-old with 14 points in 49 games. He decided for his draft year he would come play in North America and joined the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. When looking at his draft spot, he obviously impressed. He had 56 points in 43 games which was enough for second in team scoring despite facing injury. It’ll take Honzek a few years to make the Flames due to his raw skill but he has potential to do some damage when he does.

3. Jakob Pelletier

Jakob Pelletier became a top prospect in the Flames’ pool as soon as he was drafted in 2019. Something very impressive about Pelletier is he was never under a point-per-game in the QMJHL despite entering league as a 16 year-old. He received the honours of being captain of the Moncton Wildcats in his D+1 season and when he was traded in the following offseason, Pelletier continued to be captain for his new team, the Val-d’Or Foreurs. His awards case isn’t as full as the other two prospects mentioned, but he does a have World Juniors silver medal from 2021.

Pelletier joined the AHL in 2021 where he continued to standout as he scored 62 points in 66 games. This past season he started in the AHL with the Calgary Wranglers but received a call-up after an over point-per-game pace to start. Pelletier didn’t look out of place in the NHL and brought many things the Flames needed including optimism. Pelletier is a lock for the Flames’ roster and it will be exciting to see how well he does in his rookie season.

2. Matt Coronato

The 5’10” winger entered the Flames organization when he was selected 13th overall back in 2021. Ever since being selected Coronato has continued to shine. He hasn’t had a season under point per game while being a Flames prospect and has also picked multiple awards. Some major awards he’s won include USHL Forward of the Year, the Clark Cup, the ECAC Championship, ECAC Tournament MVP, and NCAA Ivy-League Rookie of the Year. Coronato was a stand out for team USA at the 2022 World Juniors being second on team scoring. Coronato has his eyes on earning a spot with the Flames this season which he very likely will, but if he doesn’t some time in the AHL won’t hurt.

1. Dustin Wolf

After being selected late in the 2019 NHL Draft, Dustin Wolf has made his climb to becoming arguably the best goalie prospect in hockey. For the past four years, Wolf has been named the best goalie in his league, claiming the title twice in the WHL and AHL. He’s also received a ton of other awards in both leagues including the Les Cunningham as AHL MVP. Becoming AHL MVP came with leading the league in every goalie stat and being the backbone to the top team in the league. Wolf’s next step is obviously making the NHL and playing with the Flames which we should see this upcoming season.

Solid pool of prospects for the Flames

The Flames are in good hands when it comes to their prospects. Led by a possibly a future elite NHL goalie in Dustin Wolf, the pool has players with ranging potential and upside that will help fill the Flames roster one day. It may not have crazy amounts of highly praised guys like top prospect pools do, but it’s depth makes it solid and underrated throughout the league.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

Back to top button