Photo Credit: Fabien Perissinotto

FlamesNation Top 20 Prospects: #18 Daniel Pribyl

Just over a year ago, the Calgary Flames signed forward Daniel Pribyl out of the Czech Republic. Following recovery from offseason knee surgery, Pribyl made his North American debut. He struggled with injuries throughout the season and ultimately ended his season a month early as a result, but he showed flashes of what he could be here and there.

Ranked ninth on this list last year, Pribyl is the Flames’ 18th-ranked prospect this year.

A brief history

Pribyl’s journey to North American hockey began way back in 2011, when he was selected in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Draft by Montreal. Pribyl opted to stick around in Europe, so his North American rights lapsed by June 2015 and he was thus available for the Flames to pick up. In the interim, he played a good chunk of hockey in the Czech Republic.

After splitting his draft year between junior and two levels of Czech pro, Pribyl spent the better part of five seasons as a pro – a half-season with HC Berounsti Medvici and four and a half with HC Sparta Praha. His production averaged at around 0.6 points-per-game as a pro, but there was a pretty distinct progression:

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Season GP P/GP
2011-12 17
0.118 (Extraliga)
0.619 (secondary)
2012-13 42
0.524 (Extraliga)
1.000 (secondary)
2013-14 46 0.543 (Extraliga)
2014-15 21 0.714 (Extraliga)
2015-16 45 1.000 (Extraliga)

His overall pro production in a pretty tough Czech Extraliga is pretty impressive, but his progression from being a 19-year-old figuring out the league into a 23-year-old averaging a point-per-game is arguably more impressive.

He had knee surgery during the spring of 2016, around the same time he signed with the Flames, but he was fully recovered by the time training camp hit and he ended up getting off to a pretty strong start to the American Hockey League schedule in Stockton before injury issues crept up again. From Oct. 15 to Dec. 3, he played 18 games and had 11 points – which would be extrapolated to a 42 point pace over a full (California) AHL schedule.

Unfortunately, Pribyl had three stretches of games missed due to injuries – 11, eight and 16 plus the playoffs – and in between those stretches he had just four points in the remaining 15 games. The hope is with a good summer of training and some luck, he can put his injury troubles behind him. As a big-bodied right shot forward that can play center or right wing, he could be very useful for Stockton (or even Calgary, eventually).


Stockton Heat head coach Ryan Huska noted that Pribyl started to translate some of his success from Europe to North America, and put his offseason knee injury behind him, before his late-season injury.

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He was starting to play the game with a little bit more confidence and I think he was starting to learn how he could use his body and his ability to see the ice well at our level in North America. I think he had that confidence when he was in Europe the past few years, but we were starting to see that before he got hurt.

Huska had a brief assessment of the type of player Pribyl can be at the AHL level: “He showed us some glimpses of what he can be capable of becoming here down the road, which is a bigger-bodied guy that protects the puck very well and has the ability to see the ice.”

What comes next?

Pribyl has one year left on his entry-level deal, so he’s headed back to Calgary soon to continue his offseason training and to ready himself for training camp.

He’ll turn 25 in December, so he might be running out of runway in terms of being a prospect, but he’s still got a big opportunity to prove himself as a strong AHL player – especially if the Flames are planning on graduating guys like Mark Jankowski to the NHL pretty soon. If Pribyl can show that last year’s 18-game showcase was how he’s capable of playing, the ice time will likely be available to him going forward.


#20 – Ryan Lomberg #19 – Adam Ollas Mattsson

  • Just.Visiting

    I hope that his injuries are behind him, so that we can understand the degree to which he is potentially in the mix. I’m still waiting for someone to explain what the logic was in having him play at centre so much when he was signed as the big hope for RW. That really looked like very odd asset management.

    • OKG

      Wasy to convert a center to RW in the NHL (see Joe Colborne for example).

      Center is the best position to develop a prospect at because you are putting the puck on their stick the most, putting them in faceoff reps, keepinv them engaged defensively.

    • The GREAT WW

      Why don’t you give us a list of all the players currently on the Oilers roster that were drafted by the Oilers. Not counting your suck trophies….


    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      Seriously? You are using fantasy hockey pieces to support your claim? In what world has Draisaitl solidified his status as a top 20 center, considering he piled up points mostly on McDavid’s wing. That would make Maroon a top 20 LW. Too funny. Fantasy pieces are just stats projections based on how they finished the previous year. Much like TSN’s Power Rankings. When you see Eichel ranked above Seguin, Stamkos, Getzlaf etc. then you can only laugh. Ahh summer; the only time that Oiler fans can feel like they have a contender.

      • All hail King Connor!

        Eichel was dominant in the second half of the season. Eichel was almost a point a game player last year and that was just his second season .He will be dominant again this year, only behind Connor of course.

        • Carl the tooth

          So was monahan domination in second half . If I had to name 10 centres to score 100 goals in his first 4 seasons I’d have to add some of these older fellas too let’s see I’ll start with monahan.crosby taveras.malkin.stamkos.toews.kopitar. Pretty good company but so so sorry there’s not Draidle or mcwaste on this list this is for elite proven centres only

        • Jumping Jack Flash

          Spoiler alert…. Now I don’ t need to watch next season.
          So just so I am clear… Top 4 scorers in the NHL in 2017-18 are McD, Draisaitle, Maroon, and Caligula…pretty much anyone that is on McD’s line. Trolling must have been a tough way to make a living during the decade of suck.

        • Carl the tooth

          No gadreau was hurt for 10 games and they both missed camp .monahans only been a full time no.1 centre for two seasons and he played with Brouwer a good chunk of season and on pp . Let’s see how many points Connor puts up with Brouwer.plus Johnny and mony missed camp and it took monahan awhile to get back from injury.despite new coach and system . I’d watch for monahan to be one of the top centres this year .that would be hilarious if monahan put up 75-80 points and Mcdavid slid to 85 points watch and learn lots of time to laugh at these contracts yet .monahan career shooting %14. Taveras 12% Monahans like a predator hooping just waiting to strike .hes a professional and he’s just gonna keep getting better right into his 30s and his playing style could be playing till he’s 40

    • Thunder1

      Monahan scored almost twice as many as either of Johansen or Kopitar last year and more than both of ’em combined. All three ended up with positive corsi numbers. Monahan has scored 107 goals in his first four seasons. Kopitar scored 114 in hist first four. Johansen still hasn’t scored 107. Monahan = $6.3 mil/year from ages 22-29. Johansen = $8 mil/year from ages 24-32. Kopitar = $10 mil/year from ages 29-39.

      I’d take Monahan over those two easily.

      • 666

        Kopitar is hands down a better hockey player than Monny. He is the equivalent of Jonathan Toews, one of the best 200 foot centers on the planet. Any player who sacrifices points to play such a sound game is a winner in my book. Calgary does not have a true superstar..it is win and lose by committee.

          • Carl the tooth

            Also and I know I’ve already said this but monahans stats are also at the start of flames 4 year rebuild and monahan has only been a full top line centre for two seasons now and I think he hit another level last year and In playoffs .johnnys just getting started too and if ferlund can continue to play well on top line I’d say they have a good chance to rival your mcdavid line with our top 4 d and mike smith I’m laughing .

          • Flint

            Yet somehow Toews (#43) and Kopitar (#45) are both ranked behind Monahan (#35) on the list that you ‘All Hail’, introduced into the discussion to try prove you point. Which is it? So much fail when you argue against your own assertion/cited article. If you Oilers fans are going to come here to troll, at least don’t suck at it.

          • Andy61038

            Haha this funny reading these oilers fans trying to tell but obviously don’t know much about hockey. Just cocky now that they were gifted a generational player carrying them to playoffs after tying the worst playoff drought on NHL history.

          • TheoForever

            666, you got some weird take on things, many things, starting with your nickname. You have been using an idiotic word to describe Iginla, you are the only one, did he driver over your dog?

    • cjc

      How many defencemen does Edmonton have in the top 60? Maybe Klefbom? Calgary can probably count 3, maybe 4 if Hamonic rebounds. Where does Nugent-Hopkins sit in your C rankings?

      We can pick apart the NHL.com list. I wouldn’t put Monahan in the top 20 either, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get there. Calgary never had a chance to draft most of those players, and a lot of them (e.g. Johansen, Kuznetsov, Pavelski) are older than Monahan. As 20-22 year olds, Monahan had 183 pts in 244 gp (0.75 ppg), Johansen 146 pts. in 204 gp (0.71 ppg) and Schiefele put up 144 pts in 216 gp (0.67 ppg). Kuznetzov as a 21-22 year old had 46 pts in 97 gp (0.47 ppg), and Pavelski as a 22 yo had 28 pts in 46 gp (0.61 ppg). The point is that there is every reason to believe Monahan will get better.

      Bragging about McDavid is like bragging about winning the lottery. Would you like a medal for that, or a chest to pin it to?

    • canadian1967

      Go away loser. Monahan is a 22 year old who has played 4 full seasons in the NHL right out of the draft, with 22 goals as a rookie and an average of 27 goals and 54 points per season over those 4 seasons. Only going to get better from here. We’re happy to have him and didn’t have to sell our soul to get him like you losers did by drafting first overall 4 times. We have drafted 6th 3 times and 4th once IN OUR ENTIRE 38 YEAR HISTORY. The Oilers lucked into Gretzky and now you lucked into McDavid, but at least we can hold our head up and proudly say we did our best, while in the back of your infantile mind you will always be embarrassed by HOW your team has got it’s successes. Good on ya, but we can see the shame in your eyes every time you start babbling on about how great YOU are, but YOU aren’t Connor McDavid, so YOU have nothing to brag about.

      • fumanchu1968

        Is the Great Shame of the Oilers that they will never be able to avoid. McDavid was a gift from the Gods, but he will also make Calgary better and the Battle of Alberta is one because of that draft pick….So in a way I like playing the underdog like we did in the 80’s and early 90
        s. I loved to watch Gretzky play but I was always more into our team as we didn’t have the stacked talent like the Oilers…Let’s bring it on and let the blood flow!

        • Carl the tooth

          Your just lucky hall and eberle didn’t go to a team like Pitts they would both get 70-90 points and cherrelli would already be on the chopping block but there’s still lots of time those trades are gonna look horrible just like how cherrelli hampered Boston on seguin trade .boston has absolutely nothing to show for that tradexwhat so ever . I’ll take monahan at 6 mill and put trevling on the gm of the year ballot !

        • TheoForever

          You got an average #2 d-man for Hall and Strome for Eberly, laughable. One more year of RNH and Chia trades him for pennies on the dollar. Remember how you were running around proclaiming those guys the future champions, I do and it is funny as hell. Your d btw is bottom 10 in the league, it will be fun watching Talbot standing on his head again, lets see how long it will last this time.
          Coiler regression in under 2 months, book it.

          • All hail King Connor!

            That average dman is a tough as they come . not fighting just tough. Definitely more physical than ANY dman you have in Calgary. Hell Russell is tougher than any dman you got in Calgary. Even tougher than the Ron Howard look alike.?

          • TheoForever

            Average #2 d-man is a complement, just the price was huge. A former #1 pick that was going to win you all those imaginary championships during the summer, remember how you were gloating….

    • The Real Slim Brodie

      I thought you said it would be off the top of your zit infested head Connor. I guess you probably only knew one Nhl players name judging from your profile name.

    • TheoForever

      You must be proud of yourself picking all those guys, almost all are older than Monahan by a big margin, so more experienced. A few are not centers, and couple are not better.

  • piscera.infada

    My kingdom for a thread not completely derailed by a small group of dustbags throwing around dustbag shade at other dustbags.

    On the topic of the article: I was surprised to see Pribyl’s name here. To be honest, I kind of forgot he existed. Here’s hoping his 2017/18 goes a lot more smoothly and he can actually play a full season in North America. It would be nice to be able to get an accurate sense of we he offers.

  • Jobu

    Wondering what it must be like as a Flames prospect these days. No room on the big club, more and more signings to clog the pipeline. Last year Prybil was a shoe in for a RW spot with the club. This year hes a long shot. Hopefully we retain his rights after this year should he have a good one, and can maybe fill into Versteeg’s spot.

    • piscera.infada

      I actually don’t see it as the problem your comment seems to insinuate it is. The Flames have contracts coming off the books every year. They also have some flexibility (hopefully) with trade-able players on the back-end. I think the Flames have positioned themselves correctly here, by not requiring prospects to be shoe-horned into the lineup. Is there really a situation where if say, Jankowski proves to be better than Stajan in camp (or alternatively, scores at say, a 1.2 ppg pace over the first quarter to third of the AHL season), they won’t be able to make a spot for him? The same goes for wingers. If they need a roster spot at the NHL level for a specific prospect, they can make the room, it’s just a matter of that prospect proving to be ready.

    • Puckhead

      If Prybil can stay healthy it will be interesting to see if he can find his rhythm and rack up some decent numbers. I think I remember reading somewhere that he plays a style similar to Jagr and is good at cycling the puck. A right winger with his size would be a perfect fit with the Flames, assuming he finds his mojo.

      • Carl the tooth

        If flames are going for a possession style system these types of players definitely are what we need . Tkachuk,jankowski, prybl these guys are good at protecting the puck . Joe colbourne was pretty good at protecting the puck and hard to knock off it .

  • 666

    Theo..no, he didn’t run over my dog. I just dont like the idea of living in the past. The Flames made a bad enough mistake holding on to him as long as they did and then Iginlas character showed with the Bruins trade fiasco and how about the Penguins winning 2 cups after they got rid of him? He also didn’t buy into tje team d that was being preached in the Sutter days..listeni g to Warrener on the mornings over the years and listening to what is said between the lines Iginla was a cancer.

    • TheoForever

      I don’t want Iginla back. Flames didn’t trade him because ownership refused. Iginla had a no trade, so exercising it was his right, the way the trade with Boston/Pit unfolded was weird, not sure to details.
      I don’t see correlation between Pens/Iginla and cups since there isn’t any, they failed to win with him and without him after. I do see correlation between Pens winning Cups and emergence of Murray and Kessel arrival.
      I know he didn’t buy into it, and there was friction with Regehr over it, but the other Sutter sucked at coaching, so don’t really blame Iggy. Doesn’t mean he was a cancer.