How did Elson, Sieloff and Kylington do against Minnesota?

Three players made their National Hockey League debuts for the Calgary Flames last night in a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Turner Elson, Patrick Sieloff and Oliver Kylington were summoned on short-notice from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat and pressed into service without so much as a morning skate.

So how did the three greenhorns do? All-in-all, they were actually pretty darn good considering the circumstances.


Making his NHL debut after 158 AHL appearances, Elson played 14:54 and had two hits and an assist for his efforts. He played a bit with everybody – likely due to Sean Monahan’s absence following the first period – and basically got his head kicked in possession-wise.

Teammate Time
on Ice
Everybody 14:54 3 16
Johnny Gaudreau 4:21 0 6
Drew Shore 4:12 2 2
Sean Monahan 3:19 0 6
Josh Jooris 2:32 0 2
Hunter Shinkaruk 2:24 0 4
Matt Stajan 2:17 0 4
Brandon Bollig 2:14 1 2
Joe Colborne 1:35 0   0
Sam Bennett 1:25 1 2
Micheal Ferland 0:55 2 1
Mikael Backlund 0:50 0 0

The numbers don’t tell the whole story – everybody had bad possession stats on the Flames – and Elson made a nice play beating the Wild defenders to a loose puck that led to Bollig’s game-tying goal. For a bottom-six player, he did just fine in a meaningless game. His play never hurt them, and he made a key play that helped them tie the game.


One of Calgary’s two second round picks in last June’s draft, the 18-year-old slotted in a bit with everybody but primarily played with T.J. Brodie. (Just typing that feels nice.)

He played 17:22 and he had a shot, a shot that was blocked, and blocked a shot.

Teammate Time
on Ice
Everybody 17:22 11 19
T.J. Brodie 11:30 7 14
Patrick Sieloff 3:35 2 5
Dougie Hamilton 0:40 0 0
Mark Giordano 0:29 2 1

He was okay possession-wise, and he really seemed to relish driving the puck up the ice and creating chances. His defensive zone play without the puck could still use some fine-tuning, but he never looked out of place and didn’t really get exposed at all. He’s 18, and as he matures physically he’ll probably figure out everything.

Dare I say it: he looked better as an 18-year-old in an NHL spot start than T.J. Brodie did as a 20-year-old in a similar situation.


The least-touted of Calgary’s three call-ups, Sieloff was a 2012 second round pick (selected after Mark “The Big” Jankowski). After playing just 98 AHL games through three seasons due to missing chunks of time to injury, he looked just fine. He played 17:59 – a little bit with everybody – and had a (game-winning) goal, a minor penalty, a shot, two shots that were blocked, three hits and two shot blocks.

Teammate Time
on Ice
Everybody 17:59 12 21
Mark Giordano 9:09 9 6
Oliver Kylington 3:35 2 5
Jyrki Jokipakka 3:21 1 9
Dougie Hamilton 0:46 0 2

To be honest? Aside from his goal, I barely noticed Sieloff. He plays a low-event game and is basically a poor man’s Deryk Engelland at this point: he’ll hit guys, try to grab the puck from them, and then dumps it into the offensive zone. It’s one game, mind you, and doesn’t suggest he’ll be an amazing NHLer, but he was perfectly fine and got rewarded with a goal.

  • MattyFranchise

    There’s alot to like about Engelland but the main reason I think “a poor mans Engelland” is a good one for Seiloff is because Engs has the one thing Seiloff will likely never have: loads of NHL experience.

    • OKG

      Pat Sieloff turns 22 in May. He has 96 AHL games and 1 NHL game (1-0-1) to his resume. His stat line in 48 AHL games of (2-9-11) is actually pretty decent. For example Kulak, same draft class, who is older and never missed any developmental time is in 57 games posting a stat line of (3-13-16) on the same team. Kulak is probably my favorite B-prospect in our system yet the younger Sieloff has a similar stat line despite being a stay at home D while Kulak is a puck mover on paper.

      Know what Engelland’s resume was at the same age? 26 AHL games (0-0-0) and 35 ECHL games (2-11-13) played.

      Sieloff is no sure thing but don’t be surprised if he’s our #7 in October 2017. He’ll never play a safe game but that’s not what they want from Patrick Sieloff. They want flashy hits to send a message, they want risky breakouts to start the rush… they want a guy who makes it known he’s on the ice. A third year of AHL development will do him a solid and no he’ll never be a top 4 defenseman, but he is a valuable prospect because he’s everything our other prospects are not

      • Christian Roatis

        I don’t think you really know what kind of player Patrick Sieloff is. Outside of the odd big hit – which have really dried up in pro as opposed to his junior days – he’s about as boring a player as you’ll find. Not an offensive defenceman by any stretch.

        • piscera.infada

          When did OKG (or anyone for that matter) ever call Sieloff an offensive defenseman? In fact, he outright says “stay at home D”. He’s simply saying that his offensive production is in line with Kulak–a similar aged prospect, many view as having an NHL ceiling. The point is, people write Sieloff off simply because he’s, as you state, “about as boring a player as you’ll find”, but if he can become a solid, low event, bottom-two/depth defenseman, is that not still an organizational need assuming he remains cost-effective? Of course it is. This false dichotomy that prospects are either top-4 D/top-6 O options, or not good enough is absurd.

        • OKG

          You may have mis-read my post, so let me say it more clearly:

          Patrick Sieloff is a defensive defenseman, except unlike Engelland types, he is a high-risk, flashy defensive defenseman, almost a poor man’s Despres. But to counter that he has a good breakout pass which means he doesn’t get hemmed in like “defensive defensemen” are supposed to.

          He’s not going to immediately drive +/- from the bottom pair – because he can be a bit of an adventure, but because he does a lot of things noticeably unique, he fills a role anyways in his own way. That in itself is a reason he could be a #7D in a year when Smid and Engelland are no longer under contract. He has better hockey skills than Engelland and Smid possess, and we’re always going to have one of those kind of guys on roster.

          However, if you think ” he’s about as boring a player as you’ll find.” then I’m not sure you watch him. He’s a guy who’s willing to skate dangerously with the puck to find his forwards on the breakout, even when it’s not the best option. He’s not an offensive defenseman but he’s a defensive defenseman who’s confident in himself, probably to an excess and gets burned often (which is why his +/- sucks, btw). What he’s not, is a robot refridgerator who’s glass and out every shift. From a bottom pair D they’re not looking for someone to shut down Getzlaf, they’re looking for a guy who’s gonna throw hits and keep the puck moving forward. Sieloff is perfect for the role.

          • Christian Roatis

            My apologies, I must’ve misinterpreted your post.

            Also by boring, I meant more uneventful, bread and butter. At least thats how I view him. Boring wasn’t the right word, though. I honestly can’t think of a good word to describe him. Hardly ever gets me out of my seat though.

      • MattyFranchise

        The reason why I say this is because I think that a player like Engelland is being passed by with the way the league is going. He’s very good for what he is and it’s a testament to his skill as a player and a mentor that he is still successful in the league today.

        It’s not meant as a slight against Seiloff but I just don’t see him being given the opportunities that Engelland was given when he started his career.

        I hope he proves me wrong, I really do, but I’m not betting on it at this point in time.

      • McRib

        Brett Kulak had 0.33 PPG, 0.61 PPG, 0.87 PPG in his 17-19 year old seasons. Patrick Sieloff had 0.08 PPG, 0.24 PPG in his 17-18 year old seasons. I honestly don’t mind your comment at all, but would point at fact that Brett Kulak likely has more offensive upside. But who knows maybe Sieloff surprises he was trending up offensively before missing all of 19 year old season. I really liked the decisions Sieloff made defensively and he showed great mobility.

  • Brodano12

    Sieloff had a lot of potential when he was drafted, and he was still a highly touted prospect in the couple years after. It was really only the knee injury and then the staph infection happening at the same time that our defensive depth was developing that made him lag behind other prospects like Kulak and Wotherspoon. However, considering how he lost over a year to injury, his development is progressing quite well this year. He could surprise us! He has solid stats for a stay at home guy in Stockton and he is apparently loved by the coaching staff.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Kylington to me looked…. skinny. He seemed to be muscled off the puck easily a time or two. Can’t disagree on the skating and I liked that he played a bit risky in that he just played his game and didn’t get too worried if he made a mistake. Beef up a bit and he’ll be a dandy.

    • Baalzamon

      The thing about Kylington for me is he’s very giveaway prone, especially in his own end. Not surprising in the least for an 18 year old offensive defenseman playing his first NHL game, but he definitely needs to tighten up his decision making. He’s still trying to force higher risk plays when he shouldn’t (that is, when trying to exit the defensive end).

      Still. Extremely impressive for an 18 year old to be playing full time in the AHL. Basically unprecedented for a defenseman (Even Julius Honka was 19 for most of his first season).

      • McRib

        “The thing about Kylington for me is he’s very giveaway prone, especially in his own end. Not surprising in the least for an 18 year old offensive defenseman playing his first NHL game, but he definitely needs to tighten up his decision making.”

        If Oliver Kylington had an above average Hockey IQ he would have remained a Top. 5 pick in the draft (still should have been long gone by 60). Hahah. When he gets good professional seasoning and coaching he can easily counteract those mediocre average natural instincts. Don’t get me wrong though Hockey IQ is overrated when you have his physical talents (Connor McDavid was the only better skater in the draft last year). He will be a good Top 4 defensemen, but if he had a legit Hockey IQ we are talking a generational talent (Erik Karlsson good). It isn’t even out of the question to think he can improve his Hockey smarts enough to think he can become a TJ Brodie over the next few years. But without a doubt he turns into a Top. 4 defender, he has raw skills people would kill for, just needs to learn how to harness them. Hockey IQ is overrated when you have Oliver Kylington’s pure talent.

        • OKG

          Pet Peeve, but you seem to be confusing understanding of fine details with hockey IQ.

          Hockey IQ is instinctual. It comes from reading the play as it develops.

          Defense can’t be measured by hockey IQ because reading the play is not the same as understanding what the best reaction to the play is. Some of the best offensive IQ players I’ve seen – Sidney Crosby and Erik Karlsson for example – were not very good defensively at the same age. The mistake here is to say they didn’t have the IQ. It’s not that they didn’t have the IQ, but rather that they didn’t apply the IQ to that end because they didn’t need to.

          BTW, when Karlsson was 18, he was in the SHL right? He put up pretty good numbers for an 18 year old but his defensive game was questioned. And… those numbers were worse than Kylington’s numbers in the same league at 17. And Karlsson is the closest thing we have to “generational” according to some. Karlsson’s defensive game didn’t round out until he was at least 21 I would wager.

          No book is written on Oliver or his IQ. They should continue to encourage him to harness his skill and be creative with it, while learning what works and what doesn’t in North America.

          • Burnward

            If you understand the game, you make the choice on how to apply that IQ.

            There is no difference.

            Pretty boy defensemen want to score.

            Real defensemen take pride in their own end too.