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FlamesNation prospect wrap-ups: Josh Healey and Adam Ollas Mattsson

To begin our Stockton Heat wrap-ups, let’s focus in on the two rookie defencemen for the baby Flames: Josh Healey and Adam Ollas Mattsson. One is here because he is the first Flames prospect numerically in Stockton, and the other because it would be pointless to dedicate a whole article to someone who played 14 games all year.

Josh Healey

Background

The Edmonton-born blueliner had a career not that different than most undrafted NCAA UFAs. He was a quiet AJHL producer, winning the most outstanding defenceman in 2012-13, and then moving to Ohio State for his college career. In his first two years with the Buckeyes, he was a quiet if not steady third pairing guy.

Healey really came into his own during his final two years at Ohio State, for better and worse. He developed an offensive game, becoming more and more confident on the opposite side of the ice, picking up points, two Big Ten all-star nods (one first team in 2015-16, one second team in 2016-17), and a dev camp invite from the Flames.

The negative side is that he also became more confident in the aspect of crushing fools, being labelled as someone who hits too hard for the college game.

(Not safe for work lyrics, and not safe for ears music in the video.)

Healey picked up two suspensions for his (extremely dirty) hitting during his senior season, but that didn’t dissuade the Flames, who signed him as a college UFA last summer. With his offensive numbers and ferocious style, it could only pay off for the Flames.

2017-18 story

The deck was kind of stacked against Healey in his first pro season. On a Heat roster that carried eight defencemen, five of them Flames property and two others established AHL veterans, he was going to be the odd man out some of the time. He was one of the most frequent 6D selections, and probably one of the better options at that (Oleg Yevenko, Dalton Prout, and Kayle Doetzel also had some spins in that spot), but also a frequent healthy scratch, missing out on game action 24 times throughout the season. Him playing hockey was occasionally the most significant happening on a week to week basis.

The numbers

GP G A P Primary points 5v5 Points 5v5 Primary points NHLe
AHL 44 0 4 4 3 3 2 3.08

His offence didn’t translate over from college action, clearly. The AHL is a much, much tougher league than the NCAA, and jumping from being a college senior to being an AHL rookie is always going to be tough. Being on a third pairing that was mostly trusted to shut things down, he wasn’t really going to be the one generating offence. That will likely come with opportunity.

His defensive side needs work, however. I don’t like using GF% without shot metrics (a fancier version of plus/minus stats, really), but Healey placed second worst among Heat regular defencemen at 5v5 GF% with 40 GF% (-11.68 GFrel%). That’s not that great. Again, take it with a grain of salt, but Healey was on the ice for a lot of goals against. Perhaps that’s circumstantial and partially on his defensive partners, but it does really look ugly. For reference, Kylington, a player infamous for his supposed defensive gaffes, finished at 49.43 GF%. Andersson finished at 58.89 GF%.

He can still hit people, though. Don’t worry about that.

The future

He’ll absolutely start the season in Stockton. Hopefully, he is more of a regular defenceman, but we’ll see how the roster breaks down. He’s turning 24 so the runway for actually getting that college offence into gear is very, very short.

At worst, he’s Kenney Morrison: good signing, was never likely going to pan out, but can’t fault the thought process.

Adam Ollas Mattson

Background

Like Healey, Ollas Mattson had a fairly typical career for a European prospect. Played for his hometown team all his life, got some international recognization, got drafted in the later rounds.

Through and through, AOM has been a defensive defenceman. He’s never been close to an offensive dynamo, having never scored double digit points at any particular juncture. He looked to be rounding a corner during the 2015-16 season, when he earned a spot on Sweden’s WJC team and started putting up respectable numbers for a third pairing 20-year-old in the SHL, but injury cut his time short at the tournament and the rest of the season.

He wasn’t really the same player after. He had half the production and was mostly stapled to the third pairing for Djurgardens the following season. AOM didn’t really seem like a candidate to come overseas, but the Flames ATO’d him at the end of his 2016-17 year and gave him an AHL contract later in the summer.

2017-18 story

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: an intriguing European who wore #68 (in dev camp – yes, this is a stretch) came over to join the Flames organization, but got injured early in the season and didn’t play for the rest of the year.

That’s Ollas Mattsson’s story. He came to minor fanfare, was shuffled in and out on the third pairing, but got injured in December and didn’t play again.

The numbers

GP G A P Primary points 5v5 Points 5v5 Primary points NHLe
AHL 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

And that pretty much tells you all you need to know! He played 14 games, didn’t really do much. He’s a 6D who has never really scored at any point in his career, and he wasn’t going to be scoring points at this stop either. Unlike Healey, you can’t raise an eyebrow because AOM has never been advertised as an offensive weapon.

Anything you want answers to really can’t be answered given his season. Fourteen games (sporadic selection, at that) of third pairing play isn’t really enough to say anything definitive about his defensive abilities. If he’s anything like his Swedish self, he’s a stay at home defender who doesn’t make that many mistakes but doesn’t make that many plays either. If you’re curious about the GF% stats, he finished first on the team with 83.33 GF%. That looks big, but he was on the ice for six total 5v5 goals, five going Stockton’s way.

The future

It’s unfair to AOM that his North American audition was cut short due to injury, but I can’t see the Flames bringing him back. He’s not really much more than a 6D in the AHL (generously a 4D if he improves), and given the defensive prospect depth the Flames have built (Rasmus Andersson, Juuso Valimaki, Oliver Kylington, Adam Fox: all younger, better) it’s hard to find a compelling reason to actually give him a contract. If you’re AOM, why would you stay for AHL pay when you’ll never get a real kick at the can and you can also return to Swedish pro hockey?

Previously

Mitchell Mattson | Hunter Smith | Mason McDonald | Tyler Parsons | Juuso Valimaki | Nick Schneider | Adam Ruzicka | Matthew Phillips | D’Artagnan Joly | Glenn Gawdin | Zach Fischer | Dillon Dube | Filip Sveningsson | Eetu Tuulola | Adam Fox | Linus Lindstrom | Pavel Karnaukhov & Rushan Rafikov

  • freethe flames

    Other than Valimaki do we have any other defenders going to Stockton this year? If not I would try and convince AOM to come back. According to SF report he is a better option than the big Russian, two of the three Rasmus/Kylington/Valimaka could start with the big club and all 3 could be up at some time.

  • Alberta Ice

    Golden Knights looking Golden as they take out the Sharks. Who would have thought it? All California teams are out. Go Jets, Canada’s team for these playoffs.