How did Kenny Agostino’s NHL return go?

After two seasons (and 117 games) in the American Hockey League, Kenny Agostino made his return to the National Hockey League last night as the Calgary Flames lost 4-1 to the Arizona Coyotes.

How was Agostino’s performance in his first NHL contest since April 11, 2014?

It was okay.

Flames head coach Bob Hartley made that assessment following the game. Here’s the rest of his remarks regarding the 23-year-old:

“He had a few good shifts early on and then we had to make a push and they were really sitting back, so there was not much room out there. I felt that he was okay.”

Agostino was summoned on short-notice and on an emergency basis to sub in for an injured Sam Bennett on the second line. Aside from a third-period shift where Joe Colborne rotated in, he spent the entire game stapled to the left side of Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik, including 1:55 of power-play time.

Here’s how his forward line-mates broke down tonight:

(All situations) Time
on Ice
Kenny Agostino 14:20 11 7
Mikael Backlund 11:40 7 5
Michael Frolik 10:56 9 6
Josh Jooris 1:52 3 1
Garnet Hathaway 1:45 1 1
Micheal Ferland 0:54 0 0
Lance Bouma 0:39 1 0
Sean Monahan 0:38 1 1
Joe Colborne 0:32 1 1
Matt Stajan 0:10 0 0
Johnny Gaudreau 0:06 0 0

Agostino had a few nice chances, particularly later in the game as he began a couple offensive rushes by driving into the offensive zone, but his line failed to capitalize on anything. It was one of those nights where pucks went into feet or behind players rather than going tape-to-tape, rather than a reflection of Agostino’s execution or effort.

Following the game, Hartley made the following assessment:

Based on that, I wouldn’t be shocked if Agostino got a second game with the Flames when they host the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

  • RKD

    Well it’s almost 2 years between NHL starts, need to see him play more. I thought as the game wore on he was finding guys like Frolik for some offensive chances.

    • McRib

      When a top WHL FA like Dryden Hunt chooses to sign with Florida (I repeat a kid from Nelson, BC chose to sign with Florida) instead of Calgary this is exactly what goes through my head. Wonder if Dryden Hunt talked to Corbin Knight (I believe they both train at Crash Conditioning) at all about how much opportunity Calgary gave him to be an NHLer….

      Proper player development is as or even more critical than drafting legitimate talent. Detroit is always seen as the “best drafting team”, which isn’t necessarily true. They draft well don’t get me wrong, but most people following the draft wouldn’t initially consider their overall haul every year to be in the Top. 5. They just give players a chance (more than two games) to prove themselves as NHLers.

      Honestly for this reason alone I am so done with Bob Hartley, he just doesn’t trust young players (who aren’t all world talent no brainer NHLers like Gaudreau, yet is good with playing Egelland 18+ minutes a night). Not to mention if your first NHL coach doesn’t trust you, you obviously are going to play tentative and not be yourself.

  • deantheraven

    He made 1 really sweet play that showed his hockey sense when he deflected a pass from Backlund into his skates right onto Frolik’s stick for a good chance from the high slot.I watched on replay a few times and it was subtle but very skilled.