FlamesNation Top 20 Prospects: #20 Ryan Lomberg

Kicking off our top 20 list is Ryan Lomberg, a fast skating, face punching, penalty killing, effective bottom sixer conveniently wrapped in a 5’9″ package.

Lomberg’s stock has been steadily creeping upwards after a surprisingly strong performance at the annual Young Stars tournament in Penticton, but he’s been a player to watch ever since joining the Adirondack Thunder in 2015-16. With his first full season in the AHL, he left enough of an impression to earn an NHL contract, and the 20th spot on our countdown.

A brief history

Lomberg began his playing career in the USHL after the Muskegon Lumberjacks drafted him with the sixth overall pick in 2011, spurning the Petersborough Petes of the OHL who had drafted him the year before. He immediately stepped up for the Lumberjacks, leading the team in goals, total scoring, and penalty minutes, because of course.

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After that, it was off to college and the University of Maine. His freshman season was a success, finishing fourth on the stat sheet with 14 points in 32 games. His sophomore season was a step backwards, making a modest improvement to 18 points but falling to seventh in team scoring.

Lomberg’s collegiate career ended prematurely due to charges of assault and disorderly conduct stemming from an off-campus incident (he pled guilty, and paid fines). Maine suspended him from the team, and he returned to the USHL, this time with the Youngstown Phantoms who now held his rights. He was immediately named the captain of the team, and finished with 43 points in 46 games.

After his second stint in the USHL, Lomberg entered the Flames organization on an AHL contract after a standout performance at development camp despite earlier plans to transfer to the University of Miami. He was assigned to the Adirondack Thunder, quickly becoming one of the organization’s best players. He finished fourth in team scoring and second in points per game among players who played more than 20 games.

This past season he stepped into a bottom six role with the Stockton Heat, and surprised many. One of the most consistent Heat regulars, Lomberg made a name for himself as one of the better energy players on the team. With the Stockton top six dominated by Flames prospects, Lomberg was on the outside looking in, but he made a case to be included with those players. Management certainly agreed, signing Lomberg to an ELC at the tail-end of the season.

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Stockton Heat head coach Ryan Huska praised Lomberg’s hard work during the past year, noting it was one of the aspects of his game that earned him an NHL contract.

The one thing that we saw from him is he had a consistent impact in every game that he played for us, where he was one of our noticeable players. I guess the word that comes to mind with Ryan is “energy,” where every time we needed a bit of a boost he was usually one of the guys that would give it to us pretty consistently. Or if a line was a little bit flat, we’d put Ryan on that line and they’d seem to get themselves going pretty quickly.

Toronto Star scribe Scott Wheeler has seen a lot of AHL hockey during his career. He had a slightly more pessimistic projection for Lomberg.

Lomberg’s path in the Flames system (and before) is admirable, but it should be clear by now that Lomberg isn’t going to become more than a physical, undersized, checking winger in the AHL. While Lomberg fashioned out a little more of a scoring role towards the end of the year, there’s little in his game to suggest he has the talent to overcome the odds and become a full-time NHL player. He’ll need to take a big step this year in the AHL to change that.

What comes next?

Lomberg is a ton of fun to watch and has certainly exceeded expectations, but all things considered, it is only one okay season in the AHL.

Wheeler’s take on Lomberg above is mostly the correct one. The winger has certainly overcome obstacles – both on and off the ice – to make it where he is today, but he still is a replaceable player by production standards. Although it is likely the largest hurdle, Lomberg is still young (will turn 23 in December), so there’s time to let him grow and see if he can actually succeed against better players and if his game can become more translatable to the NHL. Ideally, he can become more than a fourth liner.

There’s no rush. The Flames have Lomberg on a two-year contract starting in 2017-18 and don’t need him to step up as a contributor for the team immediately. If he’s involved with the NHL club in any way next year, it will likely be through injury call-ups, but don’t count him out as a potential dark horse.

  • Burnward

    “…there’s little in his game to suggest he has the talent to overcome the odds and become a full-time NHL player.”

    He’ll see this comment and raise you a stick to the nuts and an elbow to the chops.

  • The GREAT WW

    Let’s have a little fun on a slow Monday morning; how about a trade involving Tavares and Gaudreau?
    Yes that would mean we trade Backlund before he gets a new contract. Maybe he goes to the Islanders too…


      • Sound_Defence

        Wow another one who clearly has no business interjecting his asinine opinion. What is it amatauer hour? We already have a potential JT in Monahan, why would we mess his progression up by trading his best wing man and another bonifide C who plays both ends exceptionally well for another C who scored only 5 points more than JG last season? Just uninstall Windows the internet is cleaey not for you.

        • Southboy

          I love me some Monohan, but lets not be dumb like oiler fans and overrate our players. JT is an ELITE crntreman. SM is in the second tier of centreman in tue league. 1st liner all the way, but not ELITE.

          • Carl the tooth

            Name 10 centres to score over 100 goals in there first 4 season s monahan season still just a kid and getting better if he can learn to play abit more chippy he will be a force .monahan is one of the most dangerous players in the slot that’s why we call him money hands another prolific sniper that any team would want as there no.1 centre he wasn’t gonna make team Canada last year because he was second tier to who? Mcdavid . If it wasn’t for monahan s injury we may have seen he’s elite play against the rest of the elite but he’s just 22-23 there’s still time lol but second tier not a chance !

          • Carl the tooth

            Oh and you can’t name 10 centres to have over 100 goals first 4 seasons or better than monahan .is McKinnon second tier cause there from same draft but McKinnon was number1 in draft but I’m sure you remember.check there stats and I’ll wait here for your apology.

          • Carl the tooth

            And McKinnon has been pretty much a top centre his entire time but monahan was a 3rd line centre his first year and a secondline his second year .if monahan were a topline the entire time he would you could probably add atleast another 50 points to his resume .

          • Carl the tooth

            Monahan 58 points -1 came back from injury missed camp . New coach.new system. Troy Brouwer as your rw .monahans lw gadreau missed camp .10 games missed . Was like at minus -20 midway though season finally found a rw in ferlund after constant rw tryouts .
            Taveras 66 points +4

            I arrest my case !!! Despite all that there stats are almost identical from last season and monahan is just getting started watch for monahan to out score taveras this year

    • Skylardog

      Earlier in the summer, I had been promoting a Backlund and D. Hamilton for Tavares and Hamonic trade as a great option for both teams. Still say Tavares has a serious issue with signing with the Isles while Snow is at the helm. NYI fans wanted a bit more, and I had thrown is a draft pick or Gillies or Rittich to sweeten the deal.

      • Carl the tooth

        Not a chance ! All flames contracts are pretty sweet besides Brouwer and stajan . Hamilton is a top 10 defenceman in NHL and rising into top 5 .backlund was in selke conversation and finished with about 15 points less than taveras at a 3.5 mill per season contract on a second line at that lolololololololol there both core players it would disrupt chemistry I like the team pretty much just the way it is . I’ll take that monahan at 6 mill over taveras extra 8 points and 12 mill anyday .all those trades are hilarious and make me realize how underrated most of the players on flames still are . This is a Stanley cup roster I can’t really see them having a slow start either despite the additions. Watch and learn

    • Sound_Defence

      You’re clearly smoking too much of your product guy. How does trading two legitimate successful players who combined for 114 points, one being one of the best two way players in game, for a player who scored only 5 points more than JG last season, make the Flames better? Give your head a shake. There’s posting for the sake of contributing to a constructive discourse and then there’s posting for the sake of being a troll. You are too often the latter my boy.

  • CussingTortoise

    I don’t have very high hopes for Lomberg. I see him topping out as a Lance Bouma. Useful sure but absolutely replaceable. He might play a couple games or so but ultimately an AHL player.

  • Just.Visiting

    Happy to see him make the list. He projects out as a fourth line/bubble player. From what I’ve read about him over time, he’d be first line if will and effort were the criteria. The thing about players like Lomberg and Hathaway is that they make the most of their skill. Having players like that around sets a very positive example for others about how important it is to care deeply and play hard on every shift.

  • OYYC

    Ryan Lomberg: Super fast, ball of energy, master-chirper – who will hit and fight anyone. In all aspects, he’s the mathematical reciprocal of Troy Brouwer.

  • Puckhead

    Lomberg really gets under his opponents skin. He would be a great 4th line player to have in the lineup, especially come playoff time.

    He’s also the type of guy who makes fans feel good because of the effort he puts in – makes the cost of a ticket seem more worthwhile.

    There’s nothing wrong with having a havoc line to keep the other team off balance and looking over their shoulders. Sign me up to slot a couple of these guys onto the roster

  • C Watson

    At each and every level he has played, Ryan has brought the same attributes to his team. He is a high energy guy in every way and will do anything to win. He has been a bottom six guy wherever he has played and is exactly what is needed as a third or fourth liner. He has no problem on the penalty kill or in a shutdown role. His speed alone will get him a few goals. He goes to the dirty areas and gets there fast. He can and will check with vigour and has no problem throwing down against someone 8 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier. His game absolutely will translate to the NHL and he should be on the Flames roster sooner rather than later. Should definitely be rated higher than 20th.

  • smatic10

    I think he’s the perfect new-age fourth liner. Young, physical and can skate. At the Penticton tournaments, it really seems like he has a decent offensive side too. He probably just needs to work on being consistent otherwise he checks a lot of boxes. I would expect he plays meaningful Flames games soon.

  • OKG

    A lot of people have mentioned his speed but am I the only who hasn’t seen it? Sure, he’s fast enough to play in the NHL if the rest of the skills are good enough but I don’t think he’s projecting as a high-end NHL skater (Cogliano/Byron/Hagelin). Seems to be more in that Morgan Klimchuk tier of good-enough skaters.

    • Sound_Defence

      “Backlund and Hamilton for Tavares, throw in Gillies if u have too.”
      Wow, delusional, yeah let’s give up a 6’5 offensive Dman whose stock is only going to rise and our best two way C for another C who is over rated and who could potentially be out performed by Monahan, stop polluting this thread with your ridiculous proposals. Flames are looking to progress not regress. Duh.

      • Carl the tooth

        If the flames take another step and /or ferlund .bennet hit another level etc and Hamilton hits another level and hits another 50-60 plus points does he make allstar team and/or in Norris conversation as he could be in top 5 next season

      • Southboy

        Not sure how this is a bad trade for us? Ya we lose Hamilton, but still have Gio,Brodie,Hamm. and we instantly become one of the deepest teams at ‘C’. Have we not seen what the Penguins can do with 3 amazing centreman and a depleted defense? JT 1st line with JG is amazing to think of. SM would become the second best 2nd line ‘C’ behind only Malkin, than we run Bennet at 3rd line ‘C’. WOW. get on the phone Tre.

        • Southboy

          I would say top 5 defenseman. My comment only meant to say that with the other 3 stud defenseman we have….. having 3 amazing centreman in this league outweighs it. I think anyway. Look at the penguins.

    • OKG

      Who will take on tough matchups if you trade Backlund? 21 year old Sam Bennett? Sean “not actually a great two-way player” Monahan? Mark “1 NHL GP and you’re telling him to go fish” Jankowski? Curtis “didn’t score a goal until garbage time at the end of the year” Lazar?

      Who will lead our team in shot attempt differentials and right side defense in scoring (and be 2nd in the NHL in ES) scoring, Travis Hamonic? Mike “Corsi Blackhole” Stone? Rasmus “Not ready to play 3rd pair” Andersson?

      Tavares is a great player but the only Tavares trade that makes sense is Monahan for Tavares, straight up.

    • Carl the tooth

      Ville nieminen (2004) Stanley cup playoff run . 24 games 4 goals 8 points and had an impact in that run . Like ferlund .i think Hathaway makes an impact when he plays too and would love to replace Brouwer with the Hathaway .

  • buts

    Hey sound defense! CHILL it’s august. Tavares alone is better than Backlund and Hamilton. It’s my opinion not yours. This blog is for fans, there opinions and it’s an open forum. If you don’t like my opinion don’t read it!

    • Sound_Defence

      It’s ‘Defence’ I am just as entitled to reply to your asinine grade 5 level trade proposals as you are by posting them. If you don’t like my rebuttal don’t read it!

      • Puckhead

        But you’re the only one here acting like a grade five student. Please tone it down and be respectful of the opinions of other FN fans who post on this site. After all, we all view the world through different lenses and what makes sense to one person make not to another.

        • Sound_Defence

          You sound like a snowflake. I didn’t know this was safe space for fair weather hockey fans. You probably voted for the NDP and for trust fund Justin 2.0 too. The game is not for snowflakes. It’s rough, it’s aggressive it’s competitive it’s violent it’s filled with lots of abusive and offensive language. Go converse on figure skating threads it seems safer for you feelings.

          • Mr. J

            Sound defence I bet you are one of those ppl that thinks the NDP is responsible for the GLOBAL collapse of oil. You brought politics to a sports site…great idea snowflake.

            And Puckhead you can keep this guy.
            He’s obviously a big fanboy as he doesn’t seem to think Tavares is worthy of any trade with Calgary… However we’ll talk that WW guy. He’s pretty cool.

          • Sound_Defence

            Mr.J. Low demand for oil has nothing to do with why the NDP is a lousy government party. Competent governets don’t sit at a 28% approval rating. I believe that number speaks volumes about their ability to manage a province.

            As for JT, yeah, he’s a good player, not good enough to give up anywhere close to what these armchair GMs have proposed when we already have a player of his ability and position in SM. Of course the Isles would demand overpayment, but how does that help the team now and in the long run exactly by giving up valuable assets that the team has painstakingly acquired and can help win now? Do you realize D Hamiltons value? He is a scarce commodity in a league with enough John Taveras’s, which again we already have our own in Sean Monahan. No thanks we’ll pass and catch you on the flip side bruh.

            As for

          • Mr. J

            Are all you flames fans getting along today? I know it’s tough being the most average team in the history of professional sports. Don’t believe me???? Just check your team history stats. No denying that Calgary is nothing but average. You guys should stick together while you can. Jonny the star wants to go to Philly and Burkie wants to go to Quebec. Nothing is concrete yet so just stick together ladies. Best getting supporting that arena gofund me page though… It is almost at $3000 lol

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Back to Iggy for a sec. We all remember when Lil’ Johnny was brutalized and broken by Suter and Stall and there was zero retribution exacted by the Flames.

    Iggy is old school. As soon as he got wind of the hacks and slashes, if he wasn’t on top of those lumber kings, he would have been doing likewise to Nedo and Granlund.

    If the season began today, the closest thing the team has to an enforcer is Smitty. Ferland needs to spend more time on the ice than in the sin bin, especially if he is slotted in on the top line. From what I saw in his first season, Matty is more of a dancer than fighter, so he is not a viable option.

    Iggy cannot skate with the McDavid’s of the league, but he can still scrap and he still knows how to keep the enemy honest.

    • Kevin R

      Not that I disagree with you but Iggy doesn’t want to come to Calgary. Maybe for 1 game so he can retire an hoary Flame but the Iggy to Calgary aint gonna happen.

    • 666

      Wasn’t Deryk Engelland (spelling is not my forte) on that flames roster? That was a rhetorical question..but he is by leaps and bounds a beter enforcer in the league. Iginla is not the answer..quit living in the past. Maybe we should have brought Rick Wamsley back and Ric Nattress.

    • Roger the Shrubber

      Off topic, but it really bothered me that Brouwer said (paraphrasing) “it doesn’t bother us too much that Johnny got hacked and it broke a bone, we do it to other teams…” A comment like that coming from a guy that’s supposed to be heart-and-soul is bunk and chicken-bleep (thanks Steinberg). It’s probably the thing that soured me most on him.

      That said, I don’t think Iggy is the answer. Lomberg, Hathaway, Ferland (if he loses his top line spot) are good players to defend guys that can’t really defend themselves.

  • All hail King Connor!

    @sound defence..Monahan has the potential to be Tavares? Tavares is a premiere centre in this league. I could name 20 centres better than Monahan.

      • The Real Slim Brodie

        I’ll edit that myself.. I bet you think…..2 of them are on the oilers but they only have one year of actual good play and the other one year without folding like a pretzel as soon as he takes a little bump

      • Carl the tooth

        He would have to look into the history books come on Connor lover ❤️Let’s hear these better centres better check there stats hard .dont use McKinnon I’ll tell you that much you know that top tier team Canada guy .(like monahan would have been if not for his injury) over hundred goals in first 4 years and only being a full time no.1 centre for two of them hmmmmmmmm if he were no.1 his entire career he may exceed taveras stats .

        • Carl the tooth

          But one of them are taveras I’ll give you the first 1 . I’m not saying that monahan is as good as him but close and I think monahan will become close to an equal to taveras soon enough . I think taveras has had in generally more opportunity and better lines mates to monahan over there careers but now with Johnny and hopefully ferlund breaking out some more this topline will make you eat those words budds .just saying .jk

          • Carl the tooth

            Monahan s not flashy but he most definitely elite .hes a finisher . He’s a leader . He’s only 22 and he’s getting faster and becoming a better skater he was slowed last year from injury . Mony and Johnny were one of the top dou s in NHL last half of season . Watch for some 80 point seasons from money hands yet and 35 plus goals easy . “Money in the slot “

      • Lazarus

        That Oiler Pentiction list of notable names is getting lamer by the year. Oilers pipeline getting depleted and the team is entering salary cap hell. Already dumping Eberle and Hall for pennies on the dollar. Nuge most likely next. Ah good times ahead.

    • Carl the tooth

      Name 10 centres not named Sean “money hands “monahan to score over 100 goals in first 4 seasons of his career despite monahan first year as a 3rd line center and second year as a secondline still lite up the league ahhhhh I await your answer ……name 10 ….. I bet you can’t ….. show me until then don’t post anymore cause if that were the case you couldn’t find 10 better centres and could not post ever again …boooooooom!!!!!’ I arrest my case Elementary my dear Watson !!!

  • L13

    Wow, people sure are overrating him in the comments here. He’s a career AHLer who’ll get some games with the Flames because they like him and think fourth liners have to be bad at hockey. That’s it.