Flames Weekly Prospect Update: Potential call-ups and other stuff

If the current state of Flames hockey has you in the dumps, we’ve got something to cheer you up.

Fancy table, last update, yadda yadda.

Since Ryan wrote an article on the Flames calling folks up, that’s our focus for today’s article. I’ll provide some of my thoughts on who could potentially come up soon.

Forwards

  • Morgan Klimchuk and Mark Jankowski are still the key play drivers and scoring leaders in Stockton, each with 10 points apiece. With Hunter Shinkaruk being called up, these two will see more time together which is only good news for a dominant Stockton team.
  • However tempting it may be, I would leave the toys in their packaging for now. It’s not scientific, but Jankowski and Klimchuk have pushed their offensive motors all the way to the max, and it seems that a (likely) dry spell in the NHL could hamper momentum and confidence. Let’s not mess with a good thing.
  • My choice for right now is Linden Vey, someone who has NHL experience and is producing in California. He went on quite a tear the past week, lifting himself above the point-per-game mark. A good philosophy for AHL development is to let the kids play while keeping vets at a minimum. At 25, Vey is, honestly speaking, only getting in the way in Stockton. Give him some 12/13F minutes in Calgary, and all will be fine.
  • Another option is Emile Poirier, who has been a quiet producer. He has the most shots of any Flames prospect (Matt Frattin leads the Heat with 25, Poirier has 22), and that is starting to reflect in his points totals. I know I just said to let the kids play, but considering Poirier’s contract is expiring and the fact that he requires protection at the expansion draft, I say it is time for him to receive a fair chance at the big league.
  • Andrew Mangiapane proved to Ryan Huska that it was wrong to healthy scratch the diminutive winger earlier by answering with four points in two games. He’s really going to be something special. From Byron:
  • Matt Phillips is back over a point-per-game. He still has not scored a point that isn’t primary.
  • Czech import Daniel Pribyl is currently riding the prospect rollercoaster. He was invisible for the first two weeks, broke out the third week, and then slowed right down again. I’m still convinced he sees the big team this year, but it’s going to be a post-trade deadline thing.
  • Eetu Tuulola scored a penalty shot goal. He’s looking really good in North America so far.
  • Pavel Karnaukhov is coming back to North America for the Canada-Russia series. Dillon Dube was supposed to attend, but is still recovering from a lower body injury that he suffered before the season began.

Defenders

  • Oliver Kylington scored his first goal of the season this past week. It was a long time coming, but any reason to celebrate Ollie is a good reason.
  • As did Kenney Morrison. The Heat defence is one of the most impressive units in the AHL right now.
  • Keegan Kanzig had an odd week. He was sent down to the ECHL last week, only to be called up by the Heat when Colby Robak was released, and then sent back down because the team signed Keith Aulie. As a result, he played zero games last week. Shame.
  • Adam Fox is rewarding fans’ faith with some impressive performances in ECAC play this past weekend. He put up two assists in two games, bringing his total to five on the year. He appears to be one of Harvard’s top defenders based on his usage numbers, which is nothing but good news.
  • Brandon Hickey was also back in action this weekend, potting an assist. He’s working his way back to the top of BU.
  • Ryan Culkin is still week-to-week with an undisclosed injury.

Goalies

  • Jon Gillies has remained more-or-less Jon Gillies. The past two weeks haven’t been kind to him. He was involved in a goalfest two weeks ago, and jammed his thumb the previous week, requiring him to leave the game early. Tom McCollum finished the game. Gillies isn’t expected to miss any time.
  • Let’s say this about Mason McDonald: he’s keeping things interesting for the Adirondack Thunder.
  • Nick Schneider is the WHL leader in wins. I’m more impressed with him week after week.

The Prospect Pyramid

Stealing an idea from Oilersnation, let’s group the prospects in tiers based on skills and proximity to the NHL. Things like age, previous NHL experience, and other real-world things (Europe, etc.) factor in. It’s high time we got some discussion going.

  • Tier 1 (next-in-line, could feasibly see NHL time this year): Morgan Klimchuk, Mark Jankowski, Oliver Kylington, Andrew Mangiapane, Garnet Hathaway, Emile Poirier, Hunter Shinkaruk, Linden Vey, Tyler Wotherspoon
  • Tier 2 (one more year of seasoning): Daniel Pribyl (in-between tiers), Rasmus Andersson, Brandon Hickey, Kenney Morrison, Jon Gillies
  • Tier 3 (still a way’s away, but have a good chance): Dillon Dube, Matthew Phillips, Brett Pollock, Eetu Tuulola, Stepan Falkovsky, Adam Fox, Tyler Parsons, Nick Schneider
  • Tier 4 (outsider’s shot): Linus Lindstrom, Mitchell Mattson, Riley Bruce, Ryan Culkin, Mason McDonald
  • Tier 5 (barely prospects anymore): Austin Carroll, Tim Harrison, Pavel Karnaukhov, Hunter Smith, Keegan Kanzig, Adam Ollas Mattsson, Rushan Rafikov, David Rittich
And on that note, we’ll see you next week!

  • everton fc

    I’d say Culkin has as much “prospect” in him as Morrison. I think Culkin will prove a lot of people wrong, no matter where he ends up. And I still think Eric Roy may find his way back to the “A” this season – scoring at a point-a-game pace in the “E”. +5. If he can do the same in the “A”, and get up to 195lbs… He may see a camp invite next season.

    • Parallex

      Not sure I’d call it a “travesty”, but he is just 20yo, plays in the top Swedish adult league, and pre-injury was on Team Swedens top pairing in last years WJC… I agree that warrants at least an outside chance designation.

      When does he need to be signed by before the Flames lose his rights?

  • Just a thought about Ollas Matsson: he’s twenty, never been to dev camp, never been to training camp, is currently a third pairing guy in Sweden, is a stay-at-home defenceman with little offensive upside, and is realistically behind Kylington, Andersson, Fox, and Hickey for a defensive position. He probably isn’t going to come over to battle for a bottom four spot in the AHL/a top four position in the ECHL. I’m curious why you guys think he has an outsider’s chance. Can y’all elaborate?

    • Parallex

      Well… it’s based on an assumption that he would sign a contract to come over here first and foremost.

      But he’s obviously highly regarded by coaches given his frequent inclusion on the national youth teams, he’s playing in the top Swedish league (still the 3rd best league in the world after the KHL?), he’s big, and still young… YMMV but that sounds like a guy that has an outside chance to play in the show. Maybe you can debate whether he “should” be considered to have an outside chance but there are enough coaches/FO guys that want that combo of attributes… enough that he has an outside shot.

      • 1. That assumption is a major stretch though.

        2. His use on national youth teams can best be described as sparing. He didn’t get serious consideration for the team until last year as a senior player (and if the Flames released Kylington to go play, you feel he would take AOM’s spot). National team inclusion has also never been a strong signifier of a prospect’s future success.

        3. You can find whatever AOM offers in the undrafted UFA pool. If he was a legitimate talent, he’d already be over here. Otherwise, he’s pretty much extra.