The 2015 NHL draft was a really exciting time for the Flames. Not only did they acquire Dougie Hamilton for just a handful of picks, but they were even able to pick up Oliver Kylington: he who was originally projected to be taken in the first round, but fell into the Flames organization all the way at 60th overall.
But it was especially exciting for two other reasons, and their names are Rasmus Andersson and Andrew Mangiapane. Selected in the second and sixth rounds respectively, both have put themselves right at the top of the Flames’ prospect pool by virtue of the great seasons they’re having.
Their abilities aren’t just recognized by us out west, though. Some of the people who see them most – OHL coaches, both their own and the ones who have to plan against them – really like what they see in the two 19-year-olds.
As such, they both garnered recognition in multiple areas in the annual OHL coaches poll.
Let’s start with he who drew in the most votes. To date, Mangiapane has 102 points in 58 games this season: two points short of his career high that saw him get drafted last year, all in 10 fewer games played. He’s sixth in overall OHL scoring.
In the OHL’s Eastern Conference, Mangiapane was voted:
- Most Underrated Player
- He finished with 28 points; second place was Jordan Maletta with 16.
- Best Skater
- He finished with 18 points; second place was a three-way tie between Sean Day, Mitchell Vande Sompel, and Jonathan Ang with 17 each.
- Best Shootout Shooter
- He finished with 29 points; second place was Alexander Nylander with 20. He finished third in this category in 2014-15.
This season, Andersson has 60 points over 63 games: four back of last season’s career high in four fewer games played. He leads all OHL defencemen in scoring.
In the OHL’s Eastern Conference, Andersson was voted:
- Third Hardest Shot
- He finished with 10 points; ahead of him were Kyle Wood (41) and Lawson Crouse (23).
- Best Offensive Defenceman
- He finished with 31 points; second place was Mitchell Vande Sompel with 23 points. Andersson finished third in this category in 2014-15.
What comes next?
So it’s pretty safe to call the Barrie Colts Calgary’s OHL team, is it not? With just three games remaining in the regular season, Barrie has clinched the OHL’s Central Division, and are behind only the uncatchable Kingston Frontenacs in the Eastern Conference.
They look to be primed for a great playoff run, and with two Flames prospects leading the team, we can only hope they go all the way. After all, with the Memorial Cup in Red Deer, wouldn’t it be awesome to catch glimpses of Mangiapane and Andersson in person?
Should the Colts fall short, though, they may get to play more hockey yet. If the Stockton Heat’s season lasts longer than Barrie’s, then both Mangiapane and Andersson are likely to sign PTOs and join the team for the remainder of their year.
And since both prospects are eligible to play in the AHL next season, it’s probably a safe bet that this is the end of their days in Ontario, and next season, they’ll be off to California. One thing’s for sure, though: if this is it for them in the OHL, they’re leaving with the respect of the league.