Hunter Shinkaruk the Flames’ lone emergency recall still up

On Friday, April 1, the Flames returned Brett Kulak, up on emergency recall, to the Stockton Heat. Kulak last played on March 30, against the Anaheim Ducks, before Jyrki Jokipakka returned to the lineup.

Now, Emile Poirier has been returned to the AHL. Poirier, also previously up on emergency recall, also last played on March 30, before Johnny Gaudreau returned to the lineup. 

This leaves Hunter Shinkaruk, who was recalled at the same time as them, still up in the NHL. Michael Frolik is the Flames’ lone injured player, but we don’t know just what the extent of his injury is. All we knew was that he wouldn’t play on the rest of the road trip, and now, the road trip is over.

Shinkaruk is still up, though. And he’s earned it.

In the two games Kulak played for the Flames this spring, he had three shots on net. Against the Coyotes, he played 14:55; in the blowout against the Ducks, 17:54. Poirier, meanwhile, played 14:03 against the Coyotes and 13:44 against the Ducks. Like Kulak, he was held off the scoresheet, but had three shots on net.

Shinkaruk, meanwhile, has worked his way up in terms of minutes. Against the Coyotes, he played 14:56, pretty similar to Poirier. And while he had no shots on net, he did pick up his first career point: an assist.

Then his ice time started to go up. Against the Ducks, he played 17:02 (three shots, and scored his first NHL goal). Against the Kings, he played 17:50 (just one shot). And against the Oilers, he dipped as he was taken off of the top line with Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, playing just 15:12 as he was moved to Sam Bennett’s line (who is still a pretty good centre to have).

Shinkaruk’s playing status with the Flames relies on Frolik staying out of the lineup, or another forward getting injured should Frolik return. There are only three games left in the season, though, so depending on the severity of Frolik’s injury (or even just how sore he is), it’s possible Shinkaruk could close out the Flames’ season, but not a guarantee by any means.

In the four games he’s played so far, he’s shown glimmers of hope for the Flames’ future on the wing. With 49 points through 59 AHL games this season, Shinkaruk is the Flames’ leading AHL scorer – though most of those points came with the Utica Comets, and it should be noted Kenny Agostino has 48 points through 58 AHL games played himself. (Derek Grant still takes the crown for being a 1.25 point-per-game player in the AHL, though he has just one assist with the Flames so far; it’s far more likely Grant is a bottom six player while Shinkaruk and maybe even Agostino could be higher up in an NHL lineup should they meet their potentials.)

Shinkaruk is still a very green player, and he’s hardly a lock to be on the NHL team next season in any capacity. (Remember Poirier had a great rookie professional season, but this season hasn’t quite matched expectations. Patience is essential.) But over the course of this season, and through the couple of games he’s played with the Flames, he may be one of the better emergency recalls we’ve seen up with the team to close out this season.

The Flames still need help on the wing, but hopefully, they need a little less help than we thought now.

  • OKG

    We’ve gone through most of Stockton, but I would still like to see Patrick Sieloff, Oliver Kylington, and Turner Elson rewarded with cups of coffee. They’ve had nice years.Kevin Poulin too though he would be the fourth goalie on roster haha.

  • TurkeyLips

    This guy has the will and drive to be something special, you can tell by the overwhelming positivity he exudes when the puck goes in. A great contributor last night and in other games.

    Seeing the Oil lay a diarrhea covered goose egg in front of their fans was golden. It’ll never get old.

      • freethe flames

        I’m not sure Hamilton is a the true number one (that would have been Grant) and I personally would like to see if Agostino/Janko/Poirier is a fit. Janko is supposed to be a very good play maker and the other two are finishers; it might be an excellent line.

        • everton fc

          Jankowski may turn out to be a second version of Backlund. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but I also think this may be his ceiling.

          Hope I’m wrong…

          Agostino needs regular NHL minutes. He’s not getting any younger. Grant may be a 4th liner, at best. Freddie Hamilton may also need more regular minutes in the NHL to make a determination of his role in the organization, but he seems to have potential, and like Agostino, he’s only 23.

        • Baalzamon

          But why break up Agostino – Hamilton – Hathaway? That line has been rolling, and if there’s one thing the Heat need it’s consistent offense.

          Also, Jankowski just played his second ever pro game. What’s the rush?

          If you must see what he can do with more skilled linemates, what about Klimchuk – Jankowski – Poirier?

          • freethe flames

            The only problem is that Klimchuk has not yet produced, but I would be fine with that. Barring Shinkaruk making the Flames out of camp; I would like to see Shinkaruk/Janko/Poirier. As for those who wanted to see Agostino; I’m with you and he should have been given a longer look but I doubt this will happen now.

  • KiLLKiND

    Kulak with 2 apples, Hamitlon with an assist Wotherspoon with a goal and Agastino with the other 2-1 Stockton win. Schneider did pretty well for his 2nd AHL game. I’m not sure why Shinkarauk is up instead of Agastino. Agastino has been great for the Heat all season and we need to see more of him in the NHL before we can ake a decision what to do with him.