You know there’s always good news here.
- Dillon Dube is finally back from injury, and picked up three assists in his return to the WHL. That’s pretty good!
- I’m not sure what else there is to say about the Heat that Taylor didn’t. It was a very ho-hum week from the team, playing only two games with many of their stars being called up to the big team. Those who shined have been shining all year around.
- Pavel Karnaukhov has an assist and six shots in three Canada/Russia series games. I guess that’s alright.
- Mitchell Mattson scored a goal and an assist this past weekend with the Bloomington Thunder. I still have him as a long shot, but if this is the spark to something special, I’d reconsider
- I say it every week, but Matt Phillips has yet to score a point that isn’t primary.
- In non-prospect prospect news, Youngstars standout Mikkel Aagaard was called up to the Heat because of the number of departed bodies and registered an assist in his first game. He currently has 10 points in 11 ECHL games, doing much better than actual Flames prospect Brett Pollock. Aagaard has always been an intriguing player to me, and it’s good to see that he’s doing well. Perhaps he emerges as an actual prospect some day, but he needs to work hard for now.
- Adam Fox is Harvard’s #1 defender right now. The 2016 third round pick is at a point-per-game pace early into conference play, and getting some good minutes.
- I’m starting to get concerned about Brandon Hickey, who has fallen out of the top spot at BU. He didn’t start either game against big-name Michigan this past weekend, and his ice time appears to have dropped. He’s been usurped by Charlie McAvoy and Chad Krys, two players younger than Hickey. They are highly regarded players, but the coach trusting them over Hickey is a pretty bold decision that doesn’t occur without reason.
- I lied last week. Jon Gillies is currently missing time with a finger injury. He should be back next week.
- In the mean time, David Rittich is in the net and hasn’t been that bad.
- Tyler Parsons returned to the crease, and immediately posted a shutout for London. The Knights are carrying three goaltenders, and the other two have also been really good, so Parsons will be rotated in and out.
- Nick Schneider is still leading the WHL in wins. He’s been the most surprising Flames prospect this far into a short year.
You make the call
Looking at their recent call-ups, the Flames have essentially established two levels within their top tier of prospects. Let’s call the first level the lightly used group. That refers to recent call-ups Hunter Shinkaruk and Garnet Hathaway, and players like Emile Poirier. Players with some, but not none, NHL experience. Regardless of performance in the A (Shinkaruk was pretty good, Hathaway was meh), these two come up because the team at least has some sense of what they’re going to do.
Thus enters the second level, the mint condition-ers. This level includes Daniel Pribyl, Andrew Mangiapane, Mark Jankowski, and Morgan Klimchuk. They are more-or-less new to the whole professional hockey deal, but are producing at impressive rates. The team would probably like to keep these guys playing down below so they can hone their skills without being crushed at the NHL level.
Assuming no other Flames get injured (knock on wood) that forces the team’s hand, when would you bring the second level players up? Who would they replace?
And we’ll leave you on that note. Until next week.