Calgary has a really deep prospect pool. The cream on the prime of their pool is stable with Connor Zary and Jakob Pelletier. Both may simply be the top-ranked man.
General I needed to scale back my checklist of prospects for consideration for this rating from 25 to simply ten, and it was not simple.
Past the highest 5, it begins to get very muddy and gamers similar to Connor Mackey, Glen Gawdin, and Matthew Phillips all on the cusp of constructing the roster in a now. They might make the crew, be buried within the AHL or misplaced on waivers.
Some gamers have had years the place they didn’t develop, and even regressed dropping on the depth chart, however have proven up to now their potential. Eetu Tuulola, Dmitry Zavgorodny, Tyler Parsons, and Martin Pospisil come to thoughts.
There is no such thing as a roster spots obtainable this season after the Flames added Blake Coleman, Trevor Lewis, Tyler Pitlick, Erik Gudbranson, and Nikita Zadorov. Their AHL roster needs to be loaded and steeped in competitors for prime taking part in time.
2021-22 Prime 10 Calgary Flames Prospects
- Connor Zary, LW/C – Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Drafted: 2020 spherical one, twenty fourth total by Calgary Flames
Zary had a glimpse of the AHL to begin final yr whereas ready for the WHL to renew. In his nine-game audition, he posted seven factors displaying he’s prepared for the problem. He was returned to junior and completed his profession within the dub with 24 factors in 15 video games as captain of the Blazers earlier than an damage ended his yr. Zary additionally made Group Canada for the WJC and had a pair of factors in seven video games as a depth participant.
Whereas Zary has performed middle in junior, search for him to maneuver to the wing on the professional stage, a minimum of to start his profession. It’s a better place to play in making the transition to professional. His shot and aggressive model of play possible interprets higher on the wing at the next stage. Zary may very well be known as as much as the NHL if accidents mount on the Flames roster, however anticipate a full season within the AHL earlier than he makes the bounce to the NHL.
- Jakob Pelletier, LW – Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)
Drafted: 2019 spherical one, twenty sixth total by Calgary Flames
Pelletier had a monster last season of junior. Whereas a number of junior gamers performed within the AHL as a result of their CHL leagues weren’t obtainable, the Q was an choice for Pelletier. He posted over 1.5 factors per sport on a brand new crew in Val-d’Or, resulting in the QMJHL Championship the place they fell quick to Victoriaville. Pelletier additionally made an influence on Group Canada on the WJC, however once more fell quick and earned the Silver Medal.
Along with his junior profession within the rearview mirror, Pelletier will make his professional debut and play a season within the AHL, making the adjustment to an even bigger, stronger, and quicker sport. Lauded for his character, drive, and dedication, he might not develop right into a top-six offensive star on the NHL stage, however his flooring is a helpful and versatile participant with offensive upside.
- Matt Coronato, LW – Chicago Metal (USHL)
Drafted: 2021 spherical one, thirteenth total by Calgary Flames
As a member of the vaunted Chicago Metal, Coronato lit the lamp for 48 objectives in 51 video games. That’s a gaudy and spectacular stat to make sure, however take into accout he’s on a extremely proficient crew that performs an offense model at a decrease stage. His 21% capturing proportion is unlikely to hold over to the NCAA stage the place he can be a freshman at Harvard in his D+1 season.
He owns a laser of a snapshot and bugles the twine from contained in the blueline. Numerous objectives come from simply outdoors the crease as nicely, displaying he’s not a one-dimensional sniper. His playmaking capacity confirmed indicators of enchancment because the season wore on. His power and defensive play might want to develop and he might require a couple of years earlier than he’s NHL prepared. His upside is promising proper now as purpose scoring is a premium commodity and he’s a purpose scorer.
- Dustin Wolf, G – Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Drafted: 2019 spherical seven, 214th total by Calgary Flames
Wolf might find yourself being the Flames all-time finest worth draft decide in franchise historical past. The fourth final total choice from the 2019 draft has posted unbelievable stats in his WHL profession with a 1.84 GAA, .935 SV% 106-34-6 file with 24 shutouts. Wolf was a member of the Gold Medal successful USA crew on the 2020 WJC as again as much as Spencer Knight. His ice time was restricted, however he was by no means scored on splitting time in two video games and taking part in a full 60 minutes in opposition to Austria.
His season started within the AHL ready for the Dub to renew. Wolf surrendered 5 objectives in his first sport however returned to kind permitting solely three in his subsequent two earlier than returning to junior. Along with his junior profession now over he’ll play his rookie season within the AHL if he can win a roster spot there in opposition to the competitors of Adam Werner, Tyler Parsons, and Daniil Chechelev. It isn’t unusual or alarming for goalies to see some ECHL time as 20-year-olds. If that seems to be the case for Wolf, it might provide him essentially the most taking part in time. With incumbent, Jacob Markstrom signed via 2025-26 and the addition of Dan Vladar, the Flames might be affected person with Wolf.
- Adam Ruzicka, C/RW Stockton Warmth (AHL)
Drafted: 2017 spherical 4, 109th total by Calgary Flames
The bruising Slovakian was one of many few Flames prospects to point out indicators of enchancment in Stockton final yr. Ruzicka’s 11 objectives and 21 factors in 28 video games was a team-leading manufacturing that earned him a call-up for his NHL debut. He noticed ice in three video games with the massive membership and had one level even seeing some taking part in time with Matt Tkachuk.
Ruzicka has the scale NHL groups covet and he has proven some offensive chops within the OHL, internationally, and now on the AHL stage. The place he wants to enhance is in his skating. If he can grow to be a median NHL skater he may grow to be a Milan Lucic substitute in a couple of years.
- Jeremie Poirier, D – Saint John Sea Canine (QMJHL)
Drafted: 2020 spherical three, 72nd total by Calgary Flames
The offensive defenseman posted 20 objectives in his draft yr, and in final yr’s quick season, he scored at 1.12 factors per sport tempo! So how is he not inside the highest 5 on this checklist, and even additional down on different lists? He additionally recorded a minus -41 as a rookie, a minus-25 in his draft yr, however was solely a minus -3 in his D+1 yr. Poirier is a legal responsibility in his personal zone and a piece in progress defensively to be well mannered. Nonetheless, he’s displaying indicators of enchancment in that division, however nonetheless has lots of positive factors to make earlier than he can be thought of for a NHL job. Poirier has a yr of junior to play, and can observe that up with one or two years the AHL proving he’s defensively prepared for the NHL.
His offensive imaginative and prescient and ability ought to have had him as a first-round expertise. It’s simpler to show the abilities and skills Poirier lacks than the property he possesses and the Flames could possibly develop their third-round decide right into a first-round participant.
- Connor Mackey, D – Stockton Warmth (AHL)
Drafted: Signed as a free agent in 2021 by Calgary Flames
Mackey handed via the NHL Draft, however not underneath the radar of the Flames. The Minnesota State College alumni was invited to the Flames growth camp again in 2017 and so they have stored a watchful eye on his growth since. Mackey developed right into a stable two-way defender with a bodily edge and an offensive upside. Posting back-to-back seven objectives seasons and 20+ factors in his sophomore and junior years. The Flames put pen to paper with him and he made his professional debut.
Mackey had a stable rookie yr with 16 factors and 33 PIM’s and was recalled to the Flames to make his NHL debut the place he had a purpose and three factors in six video games. Already 25-years previous and on the cusp of graduating as a prospect, Mackey may cut up time between the NHL and AHL primarily based on numbers as he’s waiver exempt nonetheless. Mackey seems to be to be discovered cash as a legit NHL participant with center six upside potential, an incredible discover by the crew.
- Ryan Francis, C Saint John Sea Canine (QMJHL)
Drafted: 2020 spherical 5, 143rd total by Calgary
The undersized playmaking pivot has first-round draft ability stage however plummeted in his draft due to measurement. Craig Button as soon as advised me “Don’t scout gamers with a measuring tape.” That’s nice recommendation for the path the NHL is headed. Large gamers that may play and small gamers that may is the occasions we’re in now. And Francis can play!
He posted 72 factors in 61 video games in his draft yr after which 50 in 32 final yr splitting video games between Cape Breton and the Sea Canine the place he joined fellow Flames prospect Poirier. The 19-year-old has a late birthday and now accomplished 4 seasons within the QMJHL. He’s presently turning heads on the Flames rookie camp and is sure for a season within the AHL as a professional rookie.
Francis is very expert, has fast silky fingers, and has fast ft to match. His reads, positioning, and puck assist present he has good hockey sense. He’s very misleading along with his intentions and is a fast-rising prospect to observe within the Flames system.
- Johannes Kinnvall, D – HV71 (SHL)
Drafted: Signed as a free agent in 2020 by Calgary Flames
One other free agent gem uncovered by the Flames is the Swedish defender who has three seasons of SHL growth underneath his belt. Kinnvall has proven to be a dependable offensive producer whereas remaining sound defensively.
The Flames will convey Kinnvall over to North America and permit him a full season with Stockton to regulate to North America and the smaller ice. He ought to stroll right into a prime pairing function with the Warmth, and run the powerplay as nicely. He may show to be a stable free agent discover, however already at 24-years-old, he must strike shortly to safe an NHL place.
- Mathias Emilio Pettersen, C – Stockton Warmth (AHL)
Drafted: 2018 spherical six, 167th total by Calgary Flames
The Norwegian Wayne Gretzky has his work lower out for him to dwell as much as that moniker. He has spent the seven seasons in North America taking part in his strategy to the NHL via the USPHL, USHL, NCAA and AHL. After scoring 35 factors in 36 video games on the College of Denver, his AHL rookie season was considered one of adjustment with simply six objectives and 14 factors in 29 video games.
Stockton struggled offensively final yr however needs to be on an improved crew and MEP ought to see a major uptick in manufacturing in his sophomore yr. At 21-years-old and getting into his fourth season within the Flames system, he wants to maneuver the needle this yr or threat being overtaken on the depth chart.
There are a number of for the Flames because the crew boasts a deep pool of prospects, however lots of the gamers outdoors the highest ten are actually trending down.
Glenn Gawdin and Matthew Phillips – They’re each now not waiver exempt and to be assigned again to the AHL must be uncovered. After the Flames rounded out the NHL roster with free brokers, it seems as these prospects are now not within the Flames image. They’ve each confirmed to be outstanding AHL producers however have didn’t crack the NHL. Maybe a contemporary begin in a brand new group is their finest probability.
Martin Pospisil – The pesky winger wants to remain wholesome! Restricted to a complete of 40 video games up to now two seasons resulting from accidents he’s simple to miss. Nonetheless, he’s arduous to overlook when within the lineup. His 21 factors within the AHL are good, however his bodily play regardless of being solely 172 kilos is spectacular. No stranger to the sin-bin he can influence the sport in quite a lot of methods and was on the cusp of the highest ten rankings.
Eetu Tuulola – A favourite of mine resulting from his mixture of measurement and a fast shot, has failed to point out sufficient growth for consideration to the highest ten and desires a monster season to stay a related prospect.
Tyler Parsons – As soon as thought of to be the Flames future beginning goalie, Parsons has struggled on the professional stage. The emergence of Wolf and the additions of Dan Vladar and Adam Werner point out the Flames religion in him.
Dan Vladar – Made expendable in Boston by Jeremy Swayman will get a second probability in Calgary and has the door open to be the backup to Jakob Markstrom.
Adam Werner – Made expendable in Colorado by Justus Annunen. Werner will get a second probability in Calgary and is anticipated to be the beginning goalie in Stockton and sure the primary name as much as the massive membership if there may be an damage.
Dmitry Zavgorodiny – Was lights out taking part in with Alexis Lafreniere within the QMJHL, and was spectacular taking part in with Russia on the WJC. His transition to the AHL was much less spectacular. Hope stays.
Emil Heineman – Acquired within the Sam Bennett commerce with Florida, the two-way ahead is growing within the SHL. An extended-term venture with promise.
Yan Kuznetsov – The massive Russian defender is a throwback to the old fashioned – an enormous, defensive defenseman. His lack of offensive upside retains him outdoors the highest ten.
Rory Kerins – Don’t overlook about me! Performed solely 4 video games within the AHL with no OHL to play in. The season prior he posted 30 objectives with the Soo. Search for Kerins to have an enormous season in his last yr within the OHL.