Flames Weekly Prospect Update: Hat tricks abound

There’s only one clear photo of Matt Phillips in the Getty archives, and we’ve used it every single time we could. I am retiring said photo and using this one instead, featuring Phillips peeking out over the shoulder of a teammate that is eight inches taller than him. It’s funny to me.

Last week’s installation, the fancy table, and Ryan’s excellent article about the young Phillips, which, even though I watch/talk about him a lot, was an illuminating read.

Forwards

  • The first hat trick belongs to Mark Jankowski, who scored three (and added an assist) against Bakersfield. It’s the first hat trick since the AHL franchise came to Stockton.
  • Hunter Shinkaruk came off of the IR and added four assists in his return to the Baby Flames. That’s pretty good.
  • Andrew Mangiapane broke a very long scoring drought by adding a goal last week. It was an empty netter, but it still counts. He got healthy scratched the next game for whatever reasons.
  • I don’t watch any USHL hockey, but I’m liking what Mitchell Mattson is doing based on stats alone.
  • To get to our second and third sets of hat tricks, Matt Phillips scored two hat tricks in back-to-back games. Just when I thought he was slowing down, he picked right back up again. It’s hard to express how excited I am for whenever he gets close to the league (unfortunately a while away because of his 1998 birthday).
  • I highly suggest you check out the highlight packages. Here he is against the Oil Kings, and here he is against the Hitmen. His first goal is a 10/10.
  • Still injured: Daniel Pribyl.

Defenders

  • Adam Fox snapped his longest pointless streak of the season at two games. He’s slowed down since the World Juniors, but I still think he’s got some great things ahead of him.
  • The other college boy, Brandon Hickey, added a goal and an assist this week. We’ve been a bit skeptical of his NHL future, but since a struggle-filled November, he’s rounding back into fine form.
  • The Stockton Swedes each added an assist to their totals this past week, each of them also stopping a dry spell.
  • I’m curious about Rushan Rafikov, who has silently been a helpful asset for Lokomotiv. I doubt he ever comes over, but I wonder if the Flames push hard to get him to sign this summer. It’s the last year they hold his rights, and with Stockton likely doing some defensive spring cleaning this offseason, Rafikov seems like an interesting option.
  • Riley Bruce appears to have gone down with some sort of injury, though news on it is unavailable.

Goalies

  • Nick Schneider continues to tempt fate. He’s still the WHL leader in wins (tied with Victoria’s Griffen Outhouse with 26) yet rides a steadily decreasing .890 SV%. Yikes.
  • Mason McDonald has some sort of undisclosed injury. Hasn’t played at all in the past few weeks.

Playing the call-up game again

It was quietly announced yesterday, but in case you didn’t know, Garnet Hathaway is on the IR and stayed back in Calgary as the team departed. The Flames would probably love another warm body on this Eastern road trip, so perhaps expect some call-up news in the upcoming days.

But who to call? I imagine they want another winger, which probably pushes Janko out of the question (though still possible he comes up). The best Stockton can offer is Shinkaruk, Klimchuk, and Mangiapane. Of those three, I feel that Shink didn’t impress last time up and was mostly a lateral move on any other fourth liner. 

The other two have been struggling in weeks past, but are intriguing options. Klimchuk has a two-way game that the Flames definitely need from someone whose first name doesn’t start with M (wait a second…) and Mangiapane has a flashy offensive game that could provide a spark. Have your say below.

Until next time, pals.