Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck
The Calgary Flames initially got Patrick Sieloff when they traded down in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, getting them back a second round pick they had previously lost in an effort to ditch Ales Kotalik’s contract. The Flames were excited about him – and there had even been some talk about taking him in the first round, should Mark Jankowski have been taken before the Flames had a chance to pick him.
… Even when you factor in Sieloff’s lost season due to staph infection, that still might have been a tad too optimistic on the player’s abilities. Though he did get in his first NHL game to close out the 2015-16 season – and with it came a goal.
Sieloff was called up to play in the Flames’ meaningless regular season finale. It was his first NHL game; in it, he scored his first NHL goal. He also played 17:59, including 2:34 of penalty kill time, mostly alongside Mark Giordano. His 5v5 CF in that game was 52.17%; and yeah, he can thank Giordano for that (60% with him, 37.50% without). He also threw three hits and blocked two shots.
In the AHL, Sieloff dressed for 52 games for the Stockton Heat: the third-most dressed defenceman on the team. He scored two goals and had nine assists for 11 total points over that time, placing him sixth in defensive scoring. He only amassed 44 shots on net throughout the year, though. Just a small handful of players had fewer than him, and they all played in way fewer games. (Ryan Culkin, who played in 27, had 24 shots; that’s probably it for anybody of note who put the puck on net less than Sieloff.)
Impact on team
In his one NHL game, he had a pretty noticeable impact when he scored his first NHL goal, which just so happened to be the game winner. He obviously isn’t ready to play at that level, though: while he was entrusted with decent minutes and a fair amount of time on the kill, he was carried by Giordano. Which is to be expected – he’s a rookie who was given a cup of coffee with no expectations.
In the AHL, Sieloff played with a lot of different defencemen, but of particular note was frequent interesting partner (and rookie) Oliver Kylington. Kylington is noted to have much greater offensive potential, but the two did score at a similar clip; on the flip side, Sieloff, a pure defensive defenceman, noted his defensive play improved over the course of the year.
In turn, Sieloff felt he improved offensively – and while he matched a career high in points he first got when playing for the Windsor Spitfires, as noted above, he still didn’t actually shoot the puck much at all, at least not on net.
What comes next?
Sieloff still has another year on his contract before he hits RFA status. He’ll most likely be spending his season back in Stockton, hopefully building on this year – both from the experiences of one of his better seasons to date, as well as that taste of the NHL he got.
With the Flames so crowded on the blueline at the NHL level, however, it’s unlikely we see Sieloff back in the big league any time soon. Even if Jakub Nakladal isn’t brought back, Tyler Wotherspoon and Brett Kulak are both ahead of him on the depth chart, Rasmus Andersson will likely force his way into the conversation, and Kylington likely has a brighter future. It’ll take a lot to see Sieloff back in the NHL: either on his part (and he’ll have to have a monstrous season to accomplish this), or if basically the entire Flames blueline implodes with injuries.
It’s a contract year for him, though, and he’s only 22 years old (happy birthday!). There’s still some potential in there – but his ceiling is probably that of a handy role player.