Flames Weekly Prospect Update: the WJC and winter break

Dillon Dube didn’t do anything spectacular this past week, I just wanted to use this picture of him coming out of an dragon’s Ogopogo’s mouth for quite some time. I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I did.

Last week, fancy table

Housekeeping notes: 

  • I stopped tracking NHL prospect stats because those are readily available online and I never really talked about how prospects fared in the NHL.
  • As the Christmas holidays and the World Juniors approach, this is probably going to be our last prospect update where everyone is playing some hockey in 2016. The NCAA will be wrapping up over the next week, as will the USHL. The CHL kids have about three or four games left before the break, and the AHL will be wrapped up around the 20th. In this sparse and spattered section of the schedule, we’ll have less to talk about. Everyone is leaving and going their separate ways, which is totally not what the holidays are about.

Forwards

  • As I’ve been saying for the past few weeks, regression has struck the Stockton Heat and their stars. Mark Jankowski has one point in his past five AHL games. Morgan Klimchuk and Andrew Mangiapane have combined for seven points over the past three weeks. 
  • Though, there are some positives to regressing to the mean. For all the noise about Klimchuk, Emile Poirier is now only two points behind his fellow draft peer.
  • I’m still in awe over Matt Phillips, who increased his volume scoring last week. He potted four goals and one assist in three games, taking back the Royals’ scoring lead. Here’s a cool chart explaining where he is relative to the average WHL forward:

  • Hunter Shinkaruk was sent back down to Stockton, so let’s talk about him for a little bit. When he came up to Calgary over a month ago, he was one of the most dominant Heat players. I imagine if he wants to remain in Calgary next time, he should have to rise above that level of dominant. He’s younger and (on paper) better than Garnet Hathaway, but he can’t quite seem to figure it out at the NHL level yet.
  • Daniel Pribyl has started to become more and more consistent as the season goes on, which is pretty good for a player in his first North American season who got limited action in the preseason after a torn ACL. He could be something worth considering around the time January hits.

Defenders

  • Rasmus Andersson has been strongly consistent over the past few weeks, posting the same 26.24 NHLe since our update on Nov. 22. He’s starting to up his primary points number too, which is also promising.
  • Stepan Falkovsky was scratched his last two games in Adirondack. A quick search on Twitter reveals that some think it’s fatigue, but there’s no official word on what’s going on.
  • Adam Fox exploded the last week, putting up five assists this weekend in ECAC play. Here’s one of them:

  • That being said, I caution people about appointing him the top defensive prospect. He’s impressive, but he’s also putting up gaudy numbers with a very good team in a very, very weak conference. Harvard’s best competition over the next few weeks (and probably, the rest of the season) will be Quinnipac, whoever they play in the Beanpot tournament, and Union who is mostly alright.
  • Brandon Hickey has apparently won back the trust of his coaches. His estimated TOI went up by about 4-5 minutes, he started both games this weekend, and scored a goal and an assist. Hopefully, he’s there for good.
  • Hickey and Fox are our first casualties of the winter break. Fox doesn’t play again until Dec. 30 (hopefully he’s doing better things) and Hickey will play next week, but then disappear until Jan. 5.
  • Keegan Kanzig got demoted back to the ECHL as I was typing this. He scored an AHL point this past week, which is nice.
  • I don’t really have anything to say about Adam Ollas Mattson, but his team played three games this week, all of them being 2-1 losses that finished 1-1 in regulation. I think that was spooky.

Goalies

  • Tyler Parsons’ rebound in November earned him the OHL’s goalie of the month award. Tip of the hat to him.
  • David Rittich is looking like an actual NHL prospect so far, and it will be interesting to see what the team does with him if he continues to keep the good form up all season.
  • The run support theory for Nick Schneider is slowly coming true. His SV% has dipped from .907 to .905 to now .903 over the past few weeks, even though he has 19 wins and four losses. Not great.

A quick WJC chat

So Dillon Dube is in, Oliver Kylington is in, Pavel Karnaukhov is in, and 2016 draftees Parsons and Fox are in. Eetu got snubbed, so did Phillips. By rough guesswork, the Flames should have at least three players in the tournament, and three of them could be from the previous year’s draft. If you count Matt Tkachuk, and if Matt Phillips was a few inches taller, the Flames could’ve had five of the nine draftees playing in the tournament. That’s pretty good.

Let’s get some discussion going and ask a few tiny questions. What are your expectations for Flames prospects at the WJC? Which ones do you think make it past the preliminary camp? Are you more interested in how your particular favourite country is doing, or are you watching for the future? Whatever comes to mind, speak it.

See y’all next week.

  • EhPierre

    I’ll be watching the Sweden vs Finland game on the 29th so I’ll let you guys know how Kylington looks. It’s a pity Eetu didn’t make the Fins team, I was looking forward to seeing him play

  • everton fc

    I’ll get thumbs down for this, but I am getting this feeling Rittich may be the better long-term prospect, over Gillies.

    Kanzig is no longer a prospect, in my book. Nor are Hunter Smith, Austin Carroll… Time to move on from those guys? (Pollock certainly isn’t lighting it up in the “E”, either. A bit concerning?)

    A “prospect” I’d like to read more about is Lomberg. I think this kids may have the tools to be a Scotty Nicol type player. He seems to be durable, whilst playing a physical brand of hockey designed for someone a half-foot and 30 pounds bigger. But that’s the challenge for him – he, like Phillips (who I know is a different type of player altogether) are “small”. Phillips is Johnny-size, maybe smaller. Lomberg’s listed at “191 lbs.”, which translated to 185 lbs, at best. A little more meat on his “5’9″ (5’8”!) frame.

    Also of note; Wotherspoon is +14.

    • Lomberg has the production levels around what Pribyl and Poirier are putting up right now, which is fine because those guys are around middle six options on the Heat right now while Lomberg is being used as a 3/4 winger. I imagine he gets a contract towards the end of the season.

  • McRib

    “Brandon Hickey has apparently won back the trust of his coaches. His estimated TOI went up by about 4-5 minutes, he started both games this weekend, and scored a goal and an assist. Hopefully, he’s there for good”

    Yeah, one positive is whenever Hickey has been given offensive opportunity in BU (though not enough) the last two plus seasons he has produced. He is such an elite skater, I have little to no doubts that worse case he will be a modern day third pairing defender. Hopefully he continues to get these offensive minutes because he does have a great shot and I would like to see him be able to work on other areas of his offensive game, but his skating is elite no questions about that.