Good news everybody! It’s August, and the Flames have apparently signed somebody!
Haha, no, of course it wasn’t Johnny Gaudreau or Sean Monahan. Are you kidding? Why would it be those guys? It wasn’t even Tyler Wotherspoon or Freddie Hamilton. No, they’re locked up in limbo since signing their qualifying offers and not much else. Even Jakub Nakaldal still remains unsigned.
It’s Roman Dyukov: a 20-year-old Belarusian defenceman who stands at 6’2, 203 lbs., and was a late addition to the Flames’ development camp last month.
Congratulations to our client Roman Dyukov on signing 1 year contract with Calgary Flames Organization https://t.co/upTu0MNM0U
— GoldStarHockey (@GoldStarHockey) August 2, 2016
Dyukov primarily played for Yunost Minsk in Belarus through the 2015-16 season. Over 32 games, he scored one goal and seven assists for eight total points as the sixth-highest scoring defender on his team.
He also played seven games for Belarus during the World Championships, during which time he put up no points. Dyukov averaged 16:48 a game for the Belarusians, which was fifth out of all defencemen (albeit mere seconds separated him from the fourth most-used defender).
Via the article linked in the tweet, Dyukov wants to play in North America. He attended the Chicago Blackhawks’ camp as well, but preferred the Flames when it came to actually signing.
But where in North America? He expects to play in Stockton, which is probably the best fit for him at this point in time. The Flames already have a ton of NHL-level bodies on defence – bodies that are already limiting opportunities, really – so there’s really no room, especially not for a rookie with unimpressive numbers. (He does have the size, though.)
In addition to Dyukov, the Stockton Heat could also have Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Brett Kulak, Ryan Culkin, Kenney Morrison, and even Wotherspoon and possibly Stepan Falkovsky playing for them, to say nothing of Keegan Kanzig, who looks increasingly ECHL-bound. That’s now nine possible bodies on the blueline for the Heat, the most veteran of whom is the 23-year-old Wotherspoon.
UPDATE: Based on Dyukov’s age and the terms of the CBA, if he’s signed a one-year deal it has to be an American League contract. Entry-level NHL contracts for 20-year-olds would be for three years.