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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson / USA Today Sports

Report: Flames recall D Rasmus Andersson from Stockton

In a move that may provide a bit of insight into just how hurt Michael Stone and Dougie Hamilton were against the Montreal Canadiens, the Calgary Flames have reportedly recalled defenseman Rasmus Andersson on an emergency basis from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.

A 20-year-old first-year pro from Sweden, Andersson was the Flames’ first selection (in the second round) in the 2015 NHL Draft and was selected with the pick the Flames got from Vancouver for Sven Baertschi. He has 22 points in 50 AHL games this season with Stockton. There wasn’t much of a substantive update from Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan during the post-practice media availability, but he did share a bit of his optimism about the injuries.

Gulutzan’s hopefulness seems to be reinforced by this move, which seems to suggest that only one player will need to be replaced for tomorrow’s game. With Hamilton possibly playing, there’s still a hole in the team’s third pairing on the right side. Given that Michael Stone is a right-shot defender, theoretically that gives the Flames the options to (a) dress Dennis Wideman, (b) recall somebody from Stockton or (c) abandon Gulutzan’s shot-balanced pairings.

The defensemen available for recall from Stockton are as follows:

  • Left shots: Brett Kulak, Ryan Culkin, Oliver Kylington, Tyler Wotherspoon
  • Right shots: Rasmus Andersson, Michael Kostka, Kenney Morrison

Kulak has played 21 games with the Flames this season. He’s likely the most familiar amongst that group with the team, but an injury keeps him from being called up.

There’s also the factor of the Flames possibly being insistent on maintaining Gulutzan’s shot-balanced pairings, in which case calling up Andersson is an intriguing choice. He’s reportedly been playing great in Stockton and he’s arguably the most interesting pro defensive prospect that they haven’t seen in the NHL at any point.

With the Flames having an eight-point cushion on the Los Angeles Kings for a playoff spot, it does afford them the opportunity to bring someone like Andersson up and not have the game be make or break for them. And with Brett Kulak a very attractive expansion draft possibility for Vegas and all kinds of defensemen becoming free agents on July 1, learning about Andersson could be invaluable for next season’s planning.

It sure sounds like they’ll get that chance.

  • The Doctor

    Who knows if he’ll actually play (as with certain other call-ups-that-aren’t-really-call-ups), but it would sure be interesting to have a look at this guy. I like the fact that, like Dougie, this guy has some mobility and offensive upside.

    • Cfan in Van

      I’m sure he can get around OK, but I don’t think mobility is currently one of his best attributes. I know he’s been working on it, but I think he’s traditionally been more reliant on his Hockey IQ. Offensive upside, definitely.

  • beloch

    Kylington got a 1-game cup of coffee last season while Andersson was still in junior, and looked fine. However, the Penticton tournament, pre-season games, and reports from Stockton all seem to indicate that, while Kylington is a fantastic prospect with tremendous potential who is making big improvements to his game, Andersson is currently the more complete package. Andersson probably isn’t ready to stick in the NHL yet, but it sure is exciting to finally see this kid called up. Here’s hoping he gets to play versus the Jets!

  • beloch

    Also exciting: The Oilers play the Penguins tonight. The Flames hold the ROW’s tiebreaker, so if Edmonton loses in regulation, the Flames move up from the wildcard slot into third in the Pacific.

  • TriPPiNvdUb

    This kid has so much poise with the puck and brings allot to the table, but in saying that… We are a week and a half into March. Never an easy time to dip your toes in the big pond.

    The dreamer in me hopes he walks in and steals a spot, the realist says he sits in the box to watch.

  • Mort

    I really hope they give Andersson a chance to play with Brodie. Bartowski and Engelland seem to have found their comfort zone together, and I don’t think it would be to anyone’s advantage to put Engelland with Brodie or to put Andersson with Bart.

    If we want a really solid evaluation of Andersson’s ability, Gully should put him on Brodie’s pairing and see exactly what we can expect from him in the future.

  • supra steve

    Unfortunate that Stone will be out, but a great chance to get a look at Andersson to see where he’s at and how close he may be to being ready for the show.

    • Stu Cazz

      It’s looking like that will be the scenario….both will draw in. The interesting call will be when Hamilton returns (I’m guessing 1 game) who will sit?

  • HAL MacInnis

    Quote from a TSN.ca article: “Coach Glen Gulutzan said both are being evaluated and could be game-time decisions. If one is available, Dennis Wideman, who has sat out the last eight games, will play. If both are unable to answer the bell, emergency recall Rasmus Andersson will make his NHL debut.”

    • C Watson

      Looks like Dougie will play and Stoney is out. If Ras sits and Wideman is in that means the score is already 1-0 Winnipeg.. Never, ever play Wideman again!!!

  • redricardo

    The sooner players like Kylington and Andersson can bump players like Stone and Bartkowski out of the lineup, the better off the Flames will be. The top 3 are world beaters. Bottom 3 are AHL calibre.

    • Atomic Clown

      That’s not entirely fair. Intact that’s bordering on exaggeration. Michael Stone and Deryk Engelland are not worth the money they are making, but they are solid third pair defensemen. If 29 was making $1.5 rather than $2.9, I’d say it was an amazing contract. We didn’t sign Stone to his $4 million contract, but if the flames sign him to under $2, that’s a really good deal as well. Definitely not AHL, just not top 4