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Photo Credit: courtesy Calgary Flames/NHL Media

Flames prospects dominate WHL All-Star Teams

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.

    • Stockton's Finest

      Coaches…plural. Include Huska in that mix. Need coaches throughout the organization that can change the culture and play to win. No tie, no Corsi crap, just put in more pucks than your opponent.

  • Sven

    Is it wrong to hope that next seasons line up features
    Valimaki and Andersson on the blue line

    and

    two or three of Gawdin , Phillips , Mangiopani or Foo mixed into the bottom six?

    I dont see it as being hard to cut away the chaff from the bottom of this years roster…
    .
    and much as I hate the leafs –

    was it last year or three years ago that they iced a lineup of seven rookies?

    now they sit 20 points above .500 with a goal differential of +38

    • JMK

      I wouldn’t rush Valimaki (give him time in AHL) but if he blows the door off the hinges, then by all means. I’d also give Phillips and Gawdin some AHL time but yes if Mangiapane and Foo play in bottom 6 I’d be happy. Both still gotta come all guns blazing to camp.

      • Cfan in Van

        Valimaki – Maybe… Needs a really good camp for them to trust him, but I think he’ll be in Stockton
        Anderson – Definitely.
        Gawdin – That’d be great, but needs a really good camp.
        Phillips – the guy is beyond tiny. Very talented, but I can’t see them throwing a 140lb kid into the NHL without trying him on the farm for a year.
        Mangi/Foo -Sure. Bring’em on.

  • Fan the Flames

    I really hope Gawdin can earn a spot next year like Chucky did . He is older than Chuck was but is a big right handed shot that could score in jr (125 pts) and an edge (101pms) could be just what we need . Dube had a great camp last year a great hockey IQ might have a shot . Foo and Mangapane need to take the next step . Raz can play so we need to make him a spot and Valamaki has great skills but we will see.

      • Heeeeeere's Johnny!

        I would love Shore as 4C. If Dube makes this team I hope it is as Back’s LW. That frees Byng up to be 2R with Bennett and Janko. I do believe these guys could become the new 2nd line. I don’t like Byng with Johnny as it would be hard to watch what happens to Johnny in the scrums Byng creates.

  • JMK

    I was keeping an eye on 5 prospects in WHL this year, could be zero next year. Just Joly and Ruzicka to watch next year in CHL. Plus whoever Calgary draft, if they have any picks left.

  • PrairieStew

    I hope they all get an entire season in Stockton to dominate. I hope they move Stone to make room for Andersson and would consider moving Brodie if they were able to keep Wotherspoon to placehold for Valimaki for 2 years. If they did that , then they’d be improving the top 6 forwards through moving those D, or through value Free agency.