Parsons and Fox invited to Team USA World Junior selection camp

As a very news-filled Monday chugs along, we have even more World Junior Championship roster news that involves the Calgary Flames.

Goaltender Tyler Parsons and defenseman Adam Fox, both 2016 draft picks, have been invited to the selection camp for Team USA’s World Junior tournament roster.

Parsons, 19, was selected by the Flames in the second round last summer. A product of the OHL’s London Knights, he backstopped his team to a Memorial Cup title last spring. One of three goalies invited to the camp, it’ll be his first time representing USA Hockey if he makes the team.

Fox, 18, was selected by the Flames in the third round of the 2016 Draft. He set the single season defenseman scoring record for the U.S. National Development Team last season and is now scoring at over a point-per-game pace for Harvard University (where he goes to school as a freshman). He’s one of eight defenders invited and it would be his third time representing his country if he makes the team.

Matthew Tkachuk, another 2016 NHL draftee, is eligible for the World Juniors this season, but it seems fairly obvious that the Flames plan on keeping him around the NHL roster for the foreseeable future.

All together, this makes five Flames prospects that have been invited to World Junior selection camps: Dillon Dube (Canada), Oliver Kylington (Sweden), Pavel Karnaukhov (Russia), and Parsons and Fox (USA).

  • Baalzamon

    Parsons has completely recovered from his weak start. He’s currently the OHL leader in GAA, and second in SV% (among starters).

    Fox is amazing. A lot of people thought I was exaggerating when I said he was Calgary’s third best defense prospect (ahead of Hickey and behind Andersson) but the early returns have been incredible (17 points in 12 games, second in team scoring). He’s also the THIRD highest scoring blueliner in D1 (behind two guys who are FOUR years older than him, both of whom have played more games).

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      It’s funny how Fox has turned it on this season and Hickey has been relegated to 3rd pairing minutes. WHat would you say our best prospects are at this moment?

      • Baalzamon

        It’s not that surprising, really. BU received an infusion of young talent in Charlie McAvoy, Dante Fabbro, and Chad Krys, while Adam Fox set a scoring record for a team that’s featured players like Erik Johnson, Noah Hanifin, Ryan Suter, Cam Fowler, and Ryan Whitney.

        So it’s a little disappointing that Hickey’s been beaten down the depth chart a little, but having a deeper blueline flush with players who are, quite frankly, quite a bit more naturally talented will do that. And as for Fox… I mean, it’s not like there weren’t any signs that he’d be a great college player.

      • Baalzamon

        He made a commitment to BU and I think he fully intends to see it through. Doesn’t hurt that he’s getting a degree either.

        He’s actually not having that bad a season, really. His current scoring pace is better than the one he posted as a freshman (on a team featuring Jack Eichel).

  • freethe flames

    The Flames succession plan on D looks like it is falling into place. Anndersson should be able to step into Wideman’s role for next year, if either Kulak or JJ are taken in the expansion draft the Kylington is probably ready to be a 6/7th defender or if they want a stay at home defender it could still be Spoon. Fox will likely stay at least one more year in the NCAA but would be a nice other RH defender. The question for me is who replaces Eng as the third RH defender? Is it possible they resign him at a reasonable contract for 1 year? $1m for 1 year?

    • wot96

      I think it may be a little early to slot Anderson in anywhere. Kylington seems more likely to make the show sometime soon than Phat Ras.

      Next year, after the Gio/Dougie first pairing, I could see a combination of Kylington and Brodie with Kulak or George on the third pairing with an as yet unidentified starboard sider next season. Maybe that RH is Phat Ras but that makes it pretty green as a third pairing.

    • Ole YELLEr

      I still think Culkin or Morrisson could be nhl ready for next season that’s another lefty and righty to choose from.

      If one of JJ/Kulak is picked up by Vegas I wouldn’t be surprised to see Engelland resigned for a year or two at a lower cap hit. If he isn’t the flames will probably acquire at least 1 nhl Dman. As Wot96 mentioned the Flames would have a very inexperienced bottom 4 otherwise.

      I’m not sure I understand the narrative that Kylington is closer to nhl ready than Ras. I actually am expecting both to start in the AHL next year. Having said that Ras seems to play a much more structured defensively responsible game. Ras also has nhl size and slightly betters stats so far. This is also one of those times I’d be happy to be wrong and see one or both on the team next season opener.

      To the topic of the article it sounds like all Parsons and Fox have to do to make the team is outplay 1 player at their position I like their odds.

  • piscera.infada

    Having said that Ras seems to play a much more structured defensively responsible game. Ras also has nhl size and slightly betters stats so far.

    I’d be interest to know exactly where you get this from. Having watched a substantial amount of the Heat over the last two seasons, Kylington’s defensive “deficiencies” have improved drastically in the AHL. He’s currently being utilised as the team’s number-2 defender in terms of ice-time and responsibility (behind Wotherspoon). Comparatively with Andersson, they have similar counting stats, and Kylington actually leads him in primary points–granted Andersson is shooting at a lower percentage (all of these stats come from Christian’s prospect chart–thanks Christian!).

    I will say that I like both. At this moment though, I still see Kylington ahead. I’m not saying he’ll start next season with the Flames, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he make a legitimate push in training camp. Both are very fine defensive prospects, but I think Kylington’s raw talent makes his ceiling a little more intriguing–I also won’t be surprised if he completely dominates the World Juniors and has scouts shaking their heads that he slipped to the bottom of the second round.

    • Ole YELLEr

      I haven’t watched any ahl games this year so I’ll defer to what you’ve seen there. I was going on what I saw from the last two youngstars tournaments and preseasons. Limited sample against lesser competition I know but it’s all I had to go on. I just peeked at the Heat’s web page for the stats so they don’t have primary points etc. available.

      I get the excitement over Kylington and his ceiling and I share it. It just feels like Ras is unfairly left in his shadow. To a lesser extent I feel the same way about Poirier since the Flames got Shink.

      • piscera.infada

        I’m not sure it’s a “shadow” argument–and if there is one, I feel it’s the other way around actually. There’s this narrative surrounding the two that Andersson is better defensively. At the AHL level, I haven’t seen that play out a starkly as I think some people want to make it seem. Andersson definitely has his own flaws on the defensive side of the puck.

        There’s a certain amount of Dougie Hamilton in Kylington is the sense that he has the ability to completely take a game over. When that happens it’s amazing to watch. I don’t necessarily see that in Andersson’s game. Some will say “he’s better defensively” as a product of him being more physical, but in terms of positioning, I don’t see it–perhaps in their draft year, it was a legitimate argument though. The one advantage Kylington has is that his skating to so much better that when he does get beat (which is happening much less frequently than last year), he can recover so much better than Andersson (and most other defensemen).

        I will say that there was a very legitimate concern with Kylington at the youngstars tournament this year that he was taking too many risks. I agree with that. That has been pretty much cleaned up thus far though. He’s going to have to continue getting better at reading when he should jump, and when not to, but that’s pretty much the same for any young defender.

        As I said (and this can’t be overstated), I really like both–I wrote here a number of times that I wanted both drafted at the start of the 2014/15 season.

        • Baalzamon

          As I said (and this can’t be overstated), I really like both–I wrote here a number of times that I wanted both drafted at the start of the 2014/15 season.

          I still remember that draft weekend like it was yesterday. Come home from work to the news that the Flames traded for Hamilton, wake up the next morning to see that they drafted both Andersson and Kylington somehow.

          It was a great couple of days.

        • Ole YELLEr

          Fair enough we’re in agreement they are both great looking prospects. I may have been overly influenced by this year’s youngstars tournament. Tkachuk made adjustments post tourney so did Kylington apparently it’s always a good sign when young players can adapt.

          Out of curiosity what flaws on the D side were you referring to for Andersson?

          • piscera.infada

            As I eluded to above (as is the case with most young defenders), positioning and understanding of when to jump into the rush. I would say Andersson’s positioning isn’t horrible, but it’s certainly not NHL calibre (which is fine given it’s his first pro year). He’s also prone to some strange decisions during his breakout pass, which is something Kylington really improved on this year–if the pass isn’t there, he skates to buy himself time.

            The biggest deficiency for Andersson though is his footspeed in close. He’s not slow per se, but he doesn’t take the best angles, nor does he close his gaps one-on-one as much as you’d like, so once he gets beat positionally he’s not quick enough to recover. Again, a lot of that is experience. A lot of much slower defensemen learn that, I assume Andersson will do the same. It could also be a matter of just getting him to take the training part of his game more seriously–work on lateral movement and pivots a little bit more.

          • Ole YELLEr

            Ok thanks most of that sounds like 1st year pro stuff. I hope this is the last year we hear anything negative about his conditioning. I wonder how much quicker he’d be if he was a couple pounds lighter and his legs were a bit stronger.

          • Baalzamon

            I’ve always maintained that Andersson is basically the Swedish Dennis Wideman–and no, I don’t mean that as an insult. Wideman was a high-end second pair offensive defenseman for a long time (his results only really started to slip in his third year with Calgary; partly age-related, partly Russell related).

            They have very similar physical characteristics and tools (Wideman’s a bit heavier, Andersson’s a bit taller, they’re both righties, they’re both comparatively slow, they both have heavy, heavy slapshots) and their OHL results were similar.