Two Calgary Flames prospects will represent the Western Hockey League in the annual Canada-Russia Series in November.
Forwards Dillon Dube and Matthew Phillips – both 2016 draft picks – will suit up for the WHL on Nov. 6 in Moose Jaw and Nov. 7 in Swift Current. The event is part of Hockey Canada’s selection process for the World Junior Championship tournament.
Phillips, 19, was the Flames’ sixth round pick in 2016 – taken with the pick they received in the David Jones/Niklas Backstrom swap. He was one of the WHL’s top offensive players last season, with 50 goals and 90 points in 70 games, and he’s already off to a hellacious start with 24 points in 10 games. He’s third in the WHL in scoring. He’s not a big kid, so he’s probably still a long shot to make Team Canada, but his offensive prowess will at the very least get him a long look during the selection process.
Dube, 19, was the Flames’ second round pick in 2016 – taken two picks after they selected goaltender Tyler Parsons. Dube was simply superb in training camp last month and has continued his strong play since being returned to junior. He has 11 points in seven games for the Kelowna Rockets, placing him tied for second in team scoring (despite playing two fewer games than the rest of his team). He had 55 points in 40 games last season and was a key part of Team Canada’s silver medal win at the World Juniors.
For those of you keeping track, the 2016 Flames draft class includes full-time NHLer Matthew Tkachuk, two very strong WHLers in Dube and Phillips, a strong goalie prospect in Parsons and an NCAA All-Star in Adam Fox.