Flames Weekly Prospect Update: Klimchuk comes alive

We’re back again with another prospect update for you guys, the final one for the month of October. It’s been a pretty eventful week (and month) for some Flames prospects, as you’ll find out after the jump.

You can check out our previous installment here, and our big fancy table here. Our pal Taylor is back, giving you guys Stockton updates again. You should also click here for some great coverage of the farm team.

Forwards

  • Let’s get the big name out of the way first and talk about Morgan Klimchuk, who has scored eight points in five games. Last year, he scored nine points in 55 games. He’s started off hot.
  • But don’t expect it to continue. I do believe he’s taken a step forward from last year, but he’s also shooting at a 36.36% clip. That’s not going to hold up in the immediate future, but it’s still positive to see Klimchuk remake his case to be a Flames prospect. He’s going to stick in the Heat roster, which is nothing but good news.
  • The other 2013 first rounder, Emile Poirier, is also fighting to stay off the fringe list. He’s starting to pick up the scoring again, but he’s kind of found a niche role as a powerplay specialist. Gonna have to see more of him as a 5v5 threat before coming to a conclusion about him.
  • I guess there’s also Hunter Shinkaruk in the 2013 first round category, though he wasn’t Flames’ property until last year. He and Poirier need protection for the Expansion Draft, and Shinkaruk is pulling further and further away as the one who deserves it. 
  • Daniel Pribyl has also come alive the past week. He was plugging away at the net constantly, but hasn’t found much luck until recently. Still early in the season, but hopefully a sign of good things to come. He’s still my dark horse candidate as a Flames midseason call-up.
  • Andrew Mangiapane is a point per game player as a 20-year-old in his first ever pro season of hockey. He was healthy scratched last Heat game for Austin Carroll, who is two years older and has eight more AHL points than Mangiapane in 50 more games. Those who are vocally against Ryan Huska may actually be onto something.
  • For non-AHL stuff, let’s go to Matt Phillips. He slowed down the past week, but is still a PPG player and, more importantly, has still only scored primary points. He’s an exciting one.
  • Eetu Tuulola is currently contributing to 37.5% of ES goals for Everett (while healthy), so that’s really promising. He also dressed up as a penguin for Halloween. He rules.
  • Dillon Dube is still injured (no word as to when he’s returning) and Brett Pollock has been held out of the past three Adirondack Thunder games with an undisclosed injury, though he was reactivated last night.

Defenders

  • Rasmus Andersson has also woken up, adding four assists this week. He’s now the highest scoring Flames defensive prospect.
  • Adam Fox and Harvard finally played games that counted in the standings: a two-game sweep of the brand new Arizona State Sun Devils. Fox contributed three assists in the wins, and is looking primed to be a top contributor for Harvard. It’s easy to get optimistic early, but remember that not all opponents come as easy as what Fox faced last weekend.
  • Keegan Kanzig was demoted to the ECHL so he can at least play hockey somewhere. The Stockton defence is clogged up, but for a guy who only has five shots on goal and not much else, it isn’t looking like he’ll be there on merit anytime soon.
  • Nothing spectacular to report outside of that. Brandon Hickey didn’t play this week and Ryan Culkin has been dealing with some sort of day-to-day injury.

Goalies

  • Jon Gillies’ SV% slipped a bit after a few weird games against San Diego (7-5, Stockton) and Tuscon (6-5 Tuscon). It went down from .944 to an even .900. While we all still have faith that this is not the true Gillies, it’s still a wee bit concerning (though a .944 is a hard SV% to sustain over any significant period of time).
  • David Rittich made his first appearance, another high scoring 4-3 loss to Tuscon. That is also not indicative of who he is a goaltender, though I doubt he would put up anything higher than a .910 if he gets regular time.
  • Mason McDonald has been yanked from the net in Adirondack due to the return of starter Ken Appleby. Take what you will from this, but since switching goaltenders the Thunder have only allowed one goal in two games started by Appleby. Otherwise, they have allowed 12 in the four games started by McDonald (including a bad 5-2 win over Elmira where McDonald allowed two goals on 15 shots).
  • Nick Schneider continues to impress down in the Dub, and it’s not just because he has a great team playing in front of him. He’s faced the sixth most shots out of any goaltender (about ~31 per game) and has the sixth most saves out of any goaltender (28 per game). I’m not convinced quite yet, but he is looking more and more like found money.
  • Tyler Parsons is still hurt.

Prospect of the month

Seeing as this is the final prospect update covering October, let’s go ahead and award the Prospect of the Month “Award” to Morgan Klimchuk. It’s a sentence I never thought I would ever write, but it’s hard to give it to anyone else considering how well he’s been playing. Hopefully he can keep up the pace. The Stockton Heat are loaded with Flames talent, so if he can find a way to stand out, it’s a very, very good sign.