The Western Hockey League officially unveiled their schedule earlier today. Since the Calgary Flames have, predictably, relied heavily upon the WHL when they’ve drafted, the Flames have oodles of prospects in the local junior circuit. Oh, and the Flames also own a WHL team (the Hitmen) and share their arena.
Here’s a quick rundown of when can you see the Flames WHL prospects in-person.
Nov. 11, Jan. 3 & Feb. 11: Zach Fischer (probably)
This 2017 pick is an overager, in that he’s going to be 20 before the end of December. WHL teams can only carry three of them. Fischer will be playing (a) in Medicine Hat, (b) on another WHL team or (c) in the AHL or ECHL as a pro. We’ll know more in September, but our presumption right now is that Fischer will return to the Dub.
Jan. 7: Dillon Dube
This 2016 pick made the World Junior team last year and ended up having a great season despite missing the first chunk of the WHL schedule due to a lingering injury. He’s very good and should probably just be back from the World Juniors in time for this trip to Calgary.
Feb. 14: Juuso Valimaki
Celebrate Love Day with a visit to the ‘Dome with your special someone to gaze upon the Flames’ special someone, 2017 first round selection Juuso Valimaki. It’s the first trip for Tri-City to Calgary in a couple seasons. The last time Valimaki was here, he had two assists.
Every game: Nick Schneider
Signed as a free agent, Nick Schneider is an overager this season and probably will serve as the goalie for the Hitmen. If you trudge down to the ‘Dome on any given day, there’s a good chance he’ll be playing.
Not this year: Matthew Phillips
The WHL’s schedule is weird and teams from the U.S. and B.C. Divisions rotate travel to certain places to keep costs down. The Hitmen hosted Victoria (Matthew Phillips’ team) last year, but they won’t do so this season. You’ll have to check out WHL Live (or drive up to Edmonton) to see this 2016 NHL Draft standout.