The Stockton Heat are looking like a pretty good hockey team. Of course, that’s what a .600 winning percentage and placing second in your division will do for you – not to mention having good players on hand.
To that end, while the NHL gets ready to have its own All-Star game later this month, so, too, will the AHL. And two Flames prospects have been named to the Pacific Division roster: Rasmus Andersson and Andrew Mangiapane.
Of course, whether Mangiapane will be able to attend is up in the air, seeing as how he’s currently in the NHL, on recall for Michael Frolik, who is out week-to-week with a broken jaw.
Andersson, meanwhile, could be just one blueline injury from making his way back to the NHL, as has already happened twice this season due to two separate Travis Hamonic injuries.
Still, it’s high praise for both prospects, who look to be two of the best the Flames have to offer, with those NHL recalls – even if injury-based – well deserved. Mangiapane leads the Heat in scoring with 14 goals and 33 points over 29 games, and is tied for sixth overall league-wide. Andersson, meanwhile, has three goals and 19 points over 26 games, good for a tie for 13th in defencemen scoring league-wide.
With Andersson and Mangiapane the Heat tie the Tucson Roadrunners, San Antonio Rampage and Ontario Reign with two player representatives each. The other teams in the Pacific have just one player going.
Last year, Mark Jankowski was the lone Heat representative at the AHL All-Star game. This year, he’s a full-time NHLer. Not that that means anything, but with both Mangiapane and Andersson looking good in admittedly extremely limited NHL time, it certainly could bode well for their futures.
The AHL All-Star Classic takes place on Jan. 28-29 in Utica, NY.