Keegan Kanzig Joins Flames Black Aces

In a move that will likely shock and astound hockey fans throughout the world – or not – the Calgary Hitmen announced yesterday that Keegan Kanzig is staying in town now that the Hitmen season is over. He’ll be joining the Calgary Flames as a black ace and be an extra body for the secondary practice group.

And they didn’t even need to spring for airfare, as he’s moving from just down the hall.

Kanzig, 20, was Calgary’s third round pick in the 2013 Draft. Likely due to his mammoth size and perceived NHL potential, he was signed to an entry-level contract before the calendar year was out. Standing 6’6″ and weighing in at just a smidge over 240 pounds, Kanzig has a long reach, a mean streak and a pretty good junior resume for a player that never quite achieved dominance at that level.

Given his age and other factors – like how damn many left-handed defenders the team already has on the black aces – it’s extremely doubtful he’ll join in any playoff action, but it’s at the very least a chance for him to get accustomed to the NHL systems and coaching staff before his (presumed) first pro training camp in the fall.

  • BigMcD

    A couple of years down the road could we have truculence: Kanzig, Ferland, Bouma, Wolf, Smith. Bennett should be bigger and plays with a chip on his shoulder too.

    If these players were all experienced now, I suspect we have enough size to lean on the Ducks.

      • Burnward

        You mentioned he was signed a few days ago…is this confirmed? Can’t find any news release confirming this…last I heard he was on an ATO in April. At 6’7″ he would double the Flames chances of developing a large NHL-capable defender.

        Flames must be playing the smallest defensive group in the league by far. Engelland at 6’2″, Brodie/Schlemko 6’1″, Wideman 6’0″, Diaz 5’11”, Russell 5’10”.

        Roy and Mattson are the only other large D prospects.

        Am thinking we will see Treliving try to acquire one large (skilled) UFA D-man this summer.

      • Scary Gary

        Hunter Smith is only 19, and Kanzig is 20. I’d reserve judgement for a while. Smith may eventually be a solid fourth line player if he can work on his speed but his shooting and passings skills are pretty uncommon for a guy his size. Let’s see what he looks like at 22 or 23. I’m more excited about our 3rd round pick from 2014 (Hickey).

        Wolf is 25 and doesn’t skate very well, his time is running out but is/was worth a shot.

        • Burnward

          Running out of time? He got into 3 games this season and another playoff game, all in his first year of North american hockey. Not to mention being one of the top guys in Addy in numerous offensive and physical categories. Not bad for a big plug who’s signing was basically shrugged off as inconsequential
          His year has been a definite success.
          No One thought he would do anything of significance whatsoever this year. I don’t think he’s running out of time, from what I hear everyone in the organization is quite happy with what he has brought to the Flames this year

          • Scary Gary

            He isn’t a regular NHLer and likely won’t be next year when he’s 26 so yes, he’s running out of time to be an NHLer.

            As you say he’s played three games so we’ll see.

        • Scary Gary

          Yeah Kanzig and Smith need some time. And window closing on Wolf. He was trying to make trouble in the Warmup but really didnt do anything in the game so was hardly validated as came off as irrelevant.

          Brandon Hickey..yes he could turn out to be something good. Talented, super-competitive but needs to bulk up on his 6 foot ish frame (yes yes the stats have him at 6’2″)

        • SmellOfVictory

          I understand not wanting to jump the gun on them, but by all accounts Kanzig’s acceleration and agility are so bad that he can barely keep up with junior level scorers properly – and his puck-moving abilities are so low-end that in spite of being 20 and on his team’s top pairing, he’s 5th in defensive scoring on his team (again, this is in junior, which means that’s pretty sad). I suppose Smith has a shot at making it as a 4th liner (maybe 3rd if we’re lucky), though.

          I have zero faith in Kanzig, and very little in Smith. I’d happily bet anyone $100 that neither one of those players plays more than 250 games in the NHL over the next decade.

      • Scary Gary

        What an arrogant and pretentious comment. Wolf has already played in the NHL, including playoffs and did OK, and all three are good prospects continuing to develop on their respective teams.

        Just like any young player, if they continue to develop, grow and learn they’ve ALL got a good shot at the NHL, as regular players. With a team like Calgary and its focus on player development and coaching that teaches them and continually challenges them to make the next level I would think there’s a good chance they will all be regulars within the next three years.

    • sathome

      If we liked him adequately, we might draft him this year in the later rounds or get him on as an undrafted on an AHL deal. Though if we’re drafting a 5’11 RHD, Alex Carrier seems a bit more promising than Fram.

    • Scary Gary

      JFram was at the Flames Development Camp as an invitee last year. He looked fairly solid with a couple good plays, but nothing like another kid named JJooris. We know how he turned out. I expect they’ll be talking and may give him another chance, unless Fram gets an invite from other teams…

  • sathome

    The Flames took the fewest penalties in the league this year, their top line had three potential Lady Byng candidates, and their best rookie in decades is 5′ 9″. If any of these big/heavy prospects make the team, it better be based on skill and merit, not just because they’re large.