The Stockton Heat Begin Play This Weekend

As the Calgary Flames continue to prepare for action tomorrow night in Vancouver, this weekend sees the first official on-ice game action for their new American Hockey League affiliate, the Stockton Heat.

This year’s Stockton Heat features the usual AHL mish-mash of veterans and young’uns. Let’s have a quick glance at the two goalies, nine defensemen (eight of them healthy) and 18 forwards they have on their roster right now.

GOALIES

#30 Kent Simpson
A veteran of 1 NHL game and product of Chicago’s system.
AHL back-up goalie at best right now, but could have upside.
Signed to AHL deal.

#36 Jon Gillies
Calgary’s 2012 third rounder
NCAA championship MVP last season.
Big, tall, athletic goalie.
First year pro.

DEFENSEMEN

#3 Ryan Culkin (Injured)
Calgary’s 2012 fifth rounder
Good skater, good passer.
Arguably the best AHL defender last year, but got hurt late in season.
Played in Adirondack last yea.
Second year pro.

#4 Oliver Kylington
Calgary’s 2015 second rounder
Insanely good skater.
First year pro.

#5 Tyler Wotherspoon
Calgary’s 2011 second rounder
Good 200-foot player.
Played in Adirondack last year.
Third year pro.

#6 Dustin Stevenson
Stay-at-home depth defender.
Played in Adirondack last year.
On AHL deal (again).

#7 Kenney Morrison
Highly-touted college signing.
Strong skater, great shot.
Played (briefly) in Adirondack last year.
First year pro.

#8 Keegan Kanzig
Calgary’s 2013 third rounder
Tall. Big. Skating needs work.
First year pro.

#10 Patrick Sieloff
Calgary’s 2012 second rounder.
Big hitter, strong, but mobility’s not amazing.
Struggled with injuries the last couple seasons.
Played in Adirondack last year.
Third year pro.

#33 Jakub Nakladal
Czech veteran brought in to add depth.
Nearly made Flames if not for an injury in pre-season.
Meat and potatoes player; solid stay-at-home blueliner.
Played in World Championship last year.

#45 Aaron Johnson
Longtime NHLer brought in for leadership.
Team captain.
Former Flame and Oiler, among others.
Signed to AHL deal.

FORWARDS

#9 Garnet Hathaway
Signed after having great season on AHL deal.
Physical, energy guy. Likely bottom-sixer in NHL.
Alternate captain.
Second year pro.

#11 Freddie Hamilton
Acquired in trade from Colorado.
Dougie Hamilton’s brother.
Fourth year pro.

#13 Turner Elson
Signed after a summer try-out.
Former Red Deer Rebel.
Heart & soul player (basically the AHL’s Lance Bouma).
Alternate captain.
Third year pro.

#15 Kenny Agostino
Former NCAA stand-out.
Acquired in the Jarome Iginla trade.
Underrated; good skater, decent shot, physical game is weakness.
Second year pro.

#18 Morgan Klimchuk
Calgary’s 2013 first rounder
Acquired in the Jarome Iginla trade.
Very good junior player; strong 200-foot presence.
First year pro.

#20 Austin Carroll
Calgary’s 2014 seventh rounder
Big, physical, right-handed shot.
Likely projects as an energy/role guy.
First year pro.

#21 Emile Poirier
Calgary’s 2013 first rounder
Acquired in the Jay Bouwmeester trade.
Offensively talented, good skater, defensive game is his weakness.
Played in Adirondack last year.
Second year pro.

#22 Mitchell Heard
Former OHLer turned depth center.
Signed to AHL deal.

#23 Drew Shore
College star turned fringe NHLer.
Plays smart, physical, 200-foot game.
Played in Adirondack last year.
Fourth year pro.

#25 Blair Riley
Nearly 30, depth forward.
Lots of experience from seven different pro teams.
Alternate captain.
Signed to AHL deal.

#26 Markus Granlund
Calgary’s 2011 second round pick.
Former Finnish pro, Mikael’s brother.
Smart, fast player. Face-offs need work.
Played in Adirondack last year.
Third year pro.

#27 Derek Grant
AHL veteran, former college player.
Responsible, no-frills 200-foot player.
Fifth year pro.

#28 Colton Orr
NHL veteran. Token enforcer.
Signed to AHL deal.

#32 Ryan Lomberg
Smaller player, some offensive upside.
Signed to AHL deal.

#34 Hunter Smith
Calgary’s 2014 second round pick
Big, physical player.
Won Memorial Cup last season.
First year pro.

#40 Garet Hunt
Stockton Thunder alum, local favourite.
In camp on a try-out, might eventually be victim of numbers game.

#46 Bill Arnold
Calgary’s 2010 fourth round pick
Decorated college player.
Intelligent 200-foot player.
Played in Adirondack last year.
Second year pro.

#48 Bryce van Brabant
Big-bodied college free agent signing.
He’s big, but everything else is a work in progress.
Played in Adirondack last year.
Second year pro.

FOR THE CURIOUS

Players on entry-level deals (who can be sent to the ECHL): Gillies, Culkin, Kylington, Wotherspon, Morrison, Kanzig, Sieloff, Nakladal, Hathaway, Klimchuk, Carroll, Poirier, Granlund and Smith.

Players with NHL experience: Simpson, Wotherspoon, Johnson, Hamilton, Agostino, Poirier, Shore, Granlund, Grant, Arnold and Van Brabant

Waiver-Exempt Players (can be recalled and returned without waiver issues): Gillies, Culkin, Kylington, Wotherspoon, Morrison, Kanzig, Sieloff, Nakladal, Hathaway, Agostino, Klimchuk, Carroll, Poirier, Granlund, Smith, Arnold and Van Brabant.

GUESSWORK LINES

Not based in reality in any way, but how I’d throw a line-up together with the players they have there.

Agostino – Arnold – Poirier
Klimchuk – Granlund – Hamilton
Carroll – Grant – Hathaway
Van Brabant – Elson – Smith

Wotherspoon – Nakladal
Kylington – Morrison
Kanzig/Sieloff – Johnson/Stevenson

Gillies
Simpson