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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.