It’s no secret that the Calgary Flames have been a tad disappointing this season. (Is disappointing the right word?) But as the National Hockey League club has spent their second half in a Hindenberg-style slow-motion disaster, seemingly every prospect associated with the club has been killing it (as the kids say).
The latest instance of “Flames prospects having great 2017-18 seasons” emerged as the Western Hockey League announced their annual awards and conference All-Star teams.
Free agent signing Glenn Gawdin (of the Swift Current Broncos) was named an Eastern Conference First Team All-Star. Gawdin also received an award for having the best plus/minus rating in the WHL. In his overage year in the Dub, Gawdin was a scoring machine. He finished second in the league in scoring with 125 points, more than double the 59 points he generated in his previous season.
2016 sixth round pick Matthew Phillips (of the Victoria Royals) was named a Western Conference First Team All-Star. He finished fifth in league scoring with 112 points, breaking his career-best of 90 points from the previous season. He’s a First Team All-Star for the second consecutive season, and the season before that he was named the WHL’s Rookie of the Year. If he ends up going pro next season, he’s had an impeccable junior track record.
2017 first round pick Juuso Valimaki (of the Tri-City Americans) and 2016 second round pick Dillon Dube (of the Kelowna Rockets) were both named Western Conference Second Team All-Stars. Both players missed a bit of time this season due to captaining their respective countries at the World Juniors, as well as due to some lingering injuries, but were dynamite when they were healthy. Valimaki scored at a point-per-game pace for the second consecutive season (as a defenseman), while Dube was among the WHL’s scoring leaders with 84 points. It’s the first All-Star nod for Dube, and the second Second Team All-Star nod for Valimaki in a row.