Flames Weekly Prospect Update: Deadline intrigue

I’d say it’s fair to assume that many of you fine Calgary Flames fans are also Calgary Hitmen fans. That provides interesting and bittersweet circumstances. On one hand, Flames prospects are lighting it up in the WHL. On the other hand, they seem to stigmatize the Hitmen more than any other team. For example, Matt Phillips made them look foolish by scoring a hat-trick two weeks ago. This week? Dillon Dube scored four points against them. 

Last week, fancy table

Forwards

  • Hunter Shinkaruk scored two assists this past week, both primary, both even strength. He’s one of the only Stockton players to hold his own over the past rough, rough month. Since returning from injury on Jan. 20, he has six assists in seven games. He’s tied with Mark Jankowski for the most points over that stretch.
  • The aforementioned Dube has had pretty good totals so far this year, but he tends to score in bursts rather than sustained production over a series of games. 
  • Morgan Klimchuk also added a goal and an assist this past week.
  • Has anyone seen Andrew Mangiapane? He’s had all of one point in 2017. Certainly due for an outburst soon, but his minutes have dropped and so have his impressive numbers.
  • Daniel Pribyl returned to action again after another sustained break due to injury. He didn’t record a point, but did tally five shots this past week. He is also due for a points breakout.
  • He didn’t play the Hitmen, but Eetu Tuulola had a big three-point game, ending a minor scoring drought.

Defenders

  • It’s been a tough month for Calgary’s premier AHL defenders, but not for a lack of trying. Rasmus Andersson had 10 shots on goal last week.
  • Stepan Falkovsky kept the good times rolling, adding two more goals and three more assists in three games with the Thunder. He’s been a major asset on the powerplay, and if Stockton’s bad defensive luck keeps up, he might see California by the end of the season.
  • What bad defensive luck? Kenney Morrison is injured, taking away a reliable third pairing guy. Keegan Kanzig is also hurt.
  • Adam Fox and Brandon Hickey each added an assist in two games this week. They’ll be playing each other in the Beanpot final, taking place next Monday. Should be some good stuff from two of the better NCAA teams.
  • Rushan Rafikov scored a goal, further building his case to be brought across the ocean.
  • Riley Bruce is still injured.

Goalies

  • Jon Gillies had a .923 and .933 SV% this past week, rebounding from some poor performances 
  • Mason McDonald returned from injury this past week, but has yet to play for the Thunder.
  • Nick Schneider, now second in the WHL in wins, has now slipped below .890SV%. He lives on the edge and I respect that.

Trade deadline thoughts

With hockey’s most meaningful holiday approaching, we here at FlamesNation have begun our speculating. Prospects being my specialty, I’ll give you my schpiel:

On the current NHL roster, there’s a lot of stuff the Flames want to move, but no one wants. Their number one currency is going to be prospects, and the Flames have a healthy supply of those.

The number one sweetener is probably going to be Tyler Wotherspoon, who appears to be ready for an NHL job but unable to crack a roster with a (somewhat) deep defence. He can perhaps be moved like Sven Baertschi was two years ago. After that, I’d figure David Rittich might attract some interest. He could be sent away to teams looking for a backup, but he is expansion draft exempt, which might bring down his price.

Aside from those two? I don’t feel the Flames will want to move anyone. There have been some disappointing names out there, especially in the AHL, but the team will probably not want to give up on some players that quickly. This year’s trade bait list is weaker than usual, so I wouldn’t be giving blue-chip prospects away. 

Until next time pals.

  • everton fc

    I think Rittich may actually be better than Gillies right now. Why move him?

    I’d rather see Wotherspoon up here than Wideman (who wouldn’t?) but he hasn’t proven himself in the NHL, and has had chances to do so.

    Needless to say, not a lot of players “on the cusp” of regular NHL shifts, outside Jankowski, and maybe Shinkaruk, who also hasn’t proven himself with the big team yet. We seem awful “thin”…

  • deantheraven

    Yes, it may be time to part with some prospects but at the deadline, how many teams will be looking for ‘prospects’? Most will want some NHL caliber player(s) of at least replacement level. Prospects won’t fill the requirements of a contender. Maybe a prospect or two will go at the draft, but almost certainly not before unless part of a package which includes a roster player.

  • prendrefeu

    Off topic:

    Is Julian really that good of a coach? Or has his time past him?
    Often I’m wondering about coaches… they can be great, but after sometime their power may fade a bit (see: Iron Mike Keenan, Hartley). Some are solid all the way through (such as Babcock…)

    Just wondering, eh?

  • Derzie

    Time to clean house. New coaches in the A and with the Flames next season. New GM possibly as well if he doesn’t acknowledge his mistakes and learn from them. Under performance at all levels is not acceptable.

        • Brent G.

          How have they not improved? Higher in standings, better goaltending, better possession. That’s not to say they are great but they have improved. Some individual performances have gotten worse but those players are young. It’ll figure itself out in time.

          • Jakethesnail

            They have 4 more wins this year than last on this date. The goaltending is still a question mark . Gaudreau,Monahan,and Bennett are way below where they should be. If you’re ok with the improvement then I guess that’s good for you but I was looking for better this year. Also the Pacific division is not as strong as last year.
            More question marks than positives.

          • McRib

            Four more wins is a substantial improvement (especially considering our slow start). If we take away eight points right now we would be long out of the playoff race instead of right in the thick of it. Two decades ago when there wasn’t this kind of parity in the league, four wins would likely be less substantial, but it really is a fair deal better in today’s game.

            Not to mention we have a ton of dead weight coming off the cap this offseason and the expansion draft is really preventing us from making any moves all year (last summer as well). Honestly what else could we had done with someone like Wideman this year? He has a no trade and is coming off a really bad suspension optically, where no team is really willing to touch him. Sean Monahan will likely crack 30 goals this year and is still two years from entering prime. Sam Bennett is only 20 years old and is still eligible for the OHL. Gaudreau missed substantial time with injury this year and was still an All-Star. All that aside we are still in the playoff race.

            I follow the NHL Draft incredibly close. The 2016 Draft will go down as one of the Flames best draft crops in history. Tkachuk is already a homerun, Fox/Parsons are looking like it as well. Dube is going to be a solid bottom six forward worse case. Phillips and Falkovsky also have homerun potential (Falkovsky has 16 Points in last 15GP). Linus Lindström is already playing with men in the SHL and has a ton of filling out to do. Matteson and Tuulola have had up and down years, but they aren’t slouches either with further upside down the road. Just give it sometime, no need to rush the process and set us back. All I know is if we continue to have drafts like we did last year, we will be competing for Stanley’s Cups in no time.

      • Brent G.

        It seems some people came into this season with crazy sky high expectations, overlooking this team is still very much in a rebuild. Despite some of the embarrassing performances they have put together this year (namely against the Oilers), they are right in line with where they should be. Improved overall but still a bubble team.

        Give Tre one more year. He’s done more good than bad and will do great things with their cap space next season, I think.