The month of December was pretty tough for a lot of Calgary Flames prospects between injuries, suspensions, and World Junior struggles. But while last month we praised Pavel Karnaukhov almost by default – everyone else struggled – the month of January saw a lot of really good performances from players on Calgary’s reserve list.
And, as usual, a pair of players from the OHL’s Barrie Colts were leading the way.
The story of January for Flames junior-aged prospects was the dynamic duo they have on the Barrie Colts. Andrew Mangiapane had 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points in just 13 games. He put 47 shots on net – an average of about 3.6 shots per game – and had a 27.6% shooting percentage. Simply put: he good. Rasmus Andersson had no goals in January, but he had 17 assists in 13 games. He put nearly as much rubber on net as Mangiapane – 41 shots – but as a defender was shooting from lower-percentage areas.
The Flames’ two junior goalies have had up-and-down seasons, but both were pretty solid this past month. Over in Charlottetown, Mason McDonald seems to have shaken off the pre-World Junior jitters: he went 5-3-0 with a 3.24 goals against average and a .907 save percentage (and earned his first two shutouts of the season). Closer to home in Medicine Hat, Nick Schneider got the lion’s share of the starts for the Tigers and went 5-5-0 with a 3.68 goals against average and a .908 save percentage.
Providence College senior Mark Jankowski – a 2012 Flames first round pick, if you had forgotten – continues to chug along at a point-per-game pace or thereabouts. He had four goals and five assists over nine games for the Friars in January. He had 19 shots, about 2.1 per game, and scored on 21% of his shots. I wouldn’t use the phrase “sustainable” to describe his production, but he’s managed to keep getting points on the board regardless.
The Stockton Heat had 10 wins heading into January. They got eight wins this past month, dragging themselves kicking and screaming back into the playoff picture. Their biggest star of the month was 25-year-old Derek Grant, who had 19 points in 10 games, including a pair of game-winners. It’s probably not a shock that Calgary’s pair of 2013 first rounders – Emile Poirier (nine points) and Morgan Klimchuk (four points) – had pretty good months while getting time on Grant’s wings. Kenny Agostino also has made a good case for himself with a 12-point, seven-goal month.
The Heat played well early in the year but were frequently sunk by bad goaltending. This month, both Joni Ortio and Kevin Poulin were pretty strong. Ortio went 4-1-0 with a 3.13 goals against average and a .905 save percentage, but Poulin sparkled with a 4-1-1 record, a 2.12 goals against average and a .929 save percentage.
If Stockton can keep this momentum going, we may actually have some pro playoff hockey to discuss on this site in the spring.