49Yasin Ehliz
Photo Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports

Flames sign Yasin Ehliz and Marcus Hogstrom

The Flames have taken their first dip into the European free agency pool, signing German winger Yasin Ehliz and Swedish defenceman Marcus Hogstrom.

Both contracts are one-year, two-way contracts, though the money differs. Ehliz will make $650K while Hogstrom will make just a bit more at $700K. This is due to their ages: Ehliz, 25, is on an ELC, whereas Hogstrom, 29, is on a SPC (standard player’s contract).

The Ehliz news has been expected, as German sources broke the news a few days ago. There’s more detail in the linked article, but to be brief, Ehliz is a winger who picked up 31 points in 46 DEL games, and also won silver at the most recent Olympics. His connection is through new Flames associate coach Geoff Ward, who was a coach in the DEL for a few years, and also an assistant with Team Germany at the World Championship.

Hogstrom is the surprise signing. The defenceman has been a leader for Djurgardens IF (team of former Flames prospect Adam Ollas Mattsson) of the SHL, leading the entire league in average time on ice. In his most recent season, he picked up three goals and 20 assists in 50 games. He’s a big (6’3, 203 lbs) lefty who is generally regarded for his IQ and offensive zone skills.

Both signings are likely to be AHL bound. Ehliz seems to have a bit more upside and could feasibly feature in the NHL squad at some point next year. Hogstrom’s a bit tougher to read. He could be a handy seventh defenceman or potentially a leader in the AHL, as Tyler Wotherspoon is likely on his way out.

Update: Henric Larsson, reporter for CMore (broadcaster for the SHL) has reached out to us with a few more details on Hogstrom:

“Högström clocked more ice time per game than any other player in SHL last year. He was brilliant during Djurgårdens playoff run and was easily one of the top five best defensemen in the league last year

“He’s a great two way defenseman. Rarely makes mistakes. He’s good offensively as well but not that consistent. He had a dry spell for about 20 games when he didn’t score a single goal.”

He also linked us to an article that describes Hogstrom’s departure as an “absolute nightmare.” It may not sound like a major move, but it appears the Flames have really done their homework on Hogstrom. Perhaps he could be a hidden gem.


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    • Mickey O

      Valimaki. He needs to be playing with Hamonic as soon as possible. It seems weird to say that it’s a rookie’s job to lose, but that looks to be the situation.

      • MDG1600

        Valimaki may not be strong enough yet to play in the NHL – it is a much tougher task than the WHL. A year in the AHL will help plus we have Andersson and Kylington and this Hogstrom guy to battle for spots if a D man is traded.

      • The Beej

        I would say more likely insurance in the event of a Brodie trade. My feeling is Kulak gets a shot with Hamonic first.

        That said would not be surprised to see Valimaki spend a good majority of the year in Calgary depending on how ready he is for top 4 minutes and responsibility. Also wouldnt be surprised to see him get some seasoning on the top line in the Stockton.

        My guess is Hogstrom starts the year in the NHL (if Brodie is dealt) while Kylington and Valimaki are evaluated and watched closely.

    • cjc

      Possibly, but not necessarily. They only have Andersson, Kylington, Valimaki, Healey (and now Hogstrom) under 2-way contracts right now. That leaves at least two spots to fill in Stockton (and they usually carry 8-9 D, since there is no AHL roster cap). There will be at least a couple more depth D signings.

    • The Real Slim Brodie

      Welcome to the organization. I can’t wait for Taylor hall to follow ward here. I remember gaudreau showing alot of magic playing with Taylor hall at one point. ? was that at the all stars?

      • The Real Slim Brodie

        Do you think the devils would be dumb enough to trade hall for an underachieving defenseman? Of course not…who would do that? And before any oilers fans bring up + – you should realize being on the ice when mcdavid scores doesn’t make you a great player lol

        • Mickey O

          Peter Chiarelli talking to himself: “Right on, I’ve got the big, 2nd pairing, shutdown d-man that I really needed! Now I just need a speedy, skilled winger that can play with McDavid. Hey, I wonder if Taylor Hall is available?”

  • Mickey O

    Hogstrom is an interesting pickup. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of the guy. But a LHS, minute muncher? He could be the 7th d-man designated sitter this year.

    Bartkowski, Wotherspoon gone. Brodie and Stone on the block. Possibly an insurance policy if Valimaki doesn’t look close at camp.

    At the very least a Swedish defenceman that Andersson and Kylington can chew the fat with.

  • Trevy

    Good depth signings with low risk…

    Off topic, the Score tweeted a projection of where the top 10 trade candidates will end up and for who. They had Hoffman going to the Flames for a 2020 2nd round, Bennett and Andersson. Personally I think that’s an overpayment….thoughts?

  • Korcan

    I see Hogstrom being utilized as a #7 or possibly bottom pairing Dman with Calgary. I dont think Tre would be signing a 29 year old to be an AHL prospect and I don’t see a 29 year old pro signing and leaving his well established life in Sweden to play in the AHL — that’s a move for young men. I’m just guessing, obviously, but Tre likely assured him the #7 spot with the possibility of bottom pairing.

    The bigger question is what does this mean moving forward this offseason? Again, I’m just guessing, but my money says Tre is making preparations for moving a left defenseman from off the roster (Brodie?) and maybe their 3rd pairing right D to make room for Andersson — they currently have too many eighties, if you count Rasmus.

    Potential 2018/19 pairings:
    Kulak (Valimaki)/Hamonic
    Hogstom (kulak)/Andersson

    • Mickey O

      Yep. At 29 years old, he’s not coming here to play in the AHL. Agree with your pairings as well, been saying it for a while:

      Giordano – Hamilton
      Valimaki – Hamonic
      Kulak – Andersson

      I dare say that’s what Treliving is shooting at. Brodie and Stone off the team saves a whole whack of money as well.

  • everton fc

    Hogstrom played for the Malmo Redhawks a year prior to Andersson. Perhaps the Flames think Hogstrom can keep Andersson “mature”, when it comes to conditioning, and being a professional, NHL athlete? But would he come over to be a #7 d-man for one season, at $700K? At 29… Might not be a bad gig, for one year. Then, like Nakladal, you go home.

    I thought, with Huska’s promotion, Wotherspoon might have a chance here, with the big club. I’m still not convinced he doesn’t, but the odds are 50-1, I guess.

    I can see this as simply a #7 d-man signing, and nothing more. I still think one of Stone/Brodie, is gone. Brodie gets us into the first round. Stone may get us into the latter stages of Round 2… Maybe. I’d be very surprised if Hogstrom plays in the AHL.

    • Stockton's Finest

      Wotherspoon becomes 7th D-man only if both Stone and Brodie are gone. Valimaki will start in Stockton on top line with Kylington. Valimaki will get the Jankowski, Mangiapane, Foo treatment: use the Heat to get used to the game.


      Once Valimaki is recalled, you put Wotherspoon on waivers and hope he returns to Stockton. Hogstrom then becomes your #7.

  • Hockeysense9393

    Like so many other “minor league” type deals that BT has signed in the past…it creates competition. Hogstrom is a 29 year old professional who will do that for sure. He’s an older player that will definitely push a few younger players (especially at the start of summer) to work even a little bit harder to make sure they are ready for camp. He’s used to the large ice, so will most likely need some transition time…to get used to North American hockey. It’s not typically a signing to instantly fill a 6-7th defensemen opening per say. Teams pay minimal contracts like this to create competition with a ‘possibility’ of something more, but not primarily…that’s it. Don’t get too excited. He’s a professional, so he knows what he’s getting into when he comes here. There will be some movement obviously, but realistically it’s to help out with being a veteran (professional) presence with a small window open for actually coming up. Essentially, it’s a signing to help with what is already here (primarily in the minors), as apposed to actually making a difference for the Flames. A kind of playing coach in essence? Again…I wouldn’t get too excited.

      • Hockeysense9393

        I just know how to read between the lines and look at past accusation pickups in the same scenario. Hogstrom is a career European player who is good at his craft. Flames need some veteran presence in the minors to teach the younger ones about professional hockey life. All teams do this? Sure it would be great if he was a hidden diamond that BT just happened to find, but the guy is 29. If there was any kind of real upside, he would be in the NHL by now.

  • SgtRoadBlock

    if BT is going move a vet dman it going to be one of TJ,Gio or the Dear… the only ones that could get a return to help next seasons..
    But with Peter now in maybe this Roster will get a free pass and we just over pay a ufa to slot in top 6, hope not but who knows…

  • WillyWonka

    Hogstrom is 6’3″ 210 lbs…
    this is the type of depth the Flames need for a playoff push
    time in the minors to acclimate to NA hockey and ice size, learn the system, then be the #7 D while he waits for the inevitable injury that gives him a shot

  • Hockeysense9393

    Does anybody have some insider info on this Ehliz though? Ward coached him…and coaches get to give inputs on some roster structure obviously. This kid can play both wings? A winner for the Olympics? Was he one of his flavor players? This is intriguing is it not?

  • freethe flames

    I just read on hockey buzz that the Sens want to move Hoffman for something that happened off the ice. With BT’s desire for good citizens might it take him off the trade list.

  • Garry T

    Hogstrom has been brought to Calgary to draw into the lineup. Full stop.
    The German will train with Flames players this summer to acquire NHL fitness. He goes into camp looking to stay, no guarantees.

    With what we have available in young defencemen and the arrival of Hogstrom tells us a deal is either done or in the works for Stone and possibly Gio or Brodie that nets theFlames either rights to a skilled forward or the real deal in the form of a scoring winger or center. Hogstrom replaces that D and Anderson comes in as 7 D unless Stone is gone as well. In which case Anderson moves in to play full time and Wotherspoon gets full time .7 D position. O ‘ Reilly has called for a move. He does not want to lose any more, so we have a weak chance at him but the deal is going to cost us a forward or assets.

    The Flames developed a plan after the end of the season and it would appear they are implementing it to fill 2 rosters. A lot of guys are going to receive their walking papers shortly. The build has started.

  • SeanCharles

    It is defiantly exciting to see our orginazational depth on defence come into focus.

    Having excess defence should allow us to upgrade what we are lacking.

    It will be interesting to see how things all shake out but I expect Gio, Hamilton and Hamonic to remain here for the foreseeable future while Kulak should be kept around until prospects establish themselves and force him down the depthchart.

    What I expect early:


    Later in the season Valamaki and/or Kylington could force their way onto the big club and additional moves will be required.

    As much as it would excite me I just have a hard time believing Tre offloads both Brodie and Stone in the offseason. Andersson, Kylington, Valamaki and even Hogstrom all still need to prove themselves.

    I think the plan is to expect Andersson to make the team, trade one guy (likely Brodie or Stone) and Hogstrom, Kylington and Valamaki battle it out for the last spot. Depending how close these 3 are will determine if an additional move is required.

  • Garry T

    The signing of Ehliz and Hogstrom is an indication that Treiliving and the rest of the Flames management indeed did meet in Banff to vigorously go through the process of evaluating the entire Flames structuring. The Team has been relatively quiet since ejecting themselves from the playoff picture
    via a self induced implosion. Injuries to key players was one of the key reasons for the absolute halt of point production near the end of the season. Being caught by teams below us and being left behind was a realization by management and Flames fans that there were problems within team systems, that a small group of players indeed represented the core of the team and the failure of the bottom six forwards, the goaltending and a review of our defence and prospects showed we were in dire straights in terms of desire, ability and yes, Character!

    I think that other GMS have been calling to show their concern for their Calgary brethren and to relieve us of any exposed talent and that combined with some direly needed self evaluation is going to result in much needed change and it will be a purge.

    In business, you usually get one opportunity to resolve any issues as Managers to get it right and if Brad does not know he is being watched for being responsible for our weaknesses, then he will be gone too as loyalties by Ownership become frail when the losing process sees fans and revenues leaving by droves and copious dollar volumes.

    I think there are some deals that are in a state of rest while the evaluation of deals offered and players coming and going is reviewed carefully because the incoming had better be a lot better than the outgoing. I think we will have more than four picks in this draft. I think that free agency this year will see the Flames being active and I think more effort to leave no stone unturned in terms of adding capable bodies will result in major improvements. I think they will go to wherever they have to to stableize our goaltending. I think there are two defencemen and perhaps good prospects leaving to bring in quality to replace the departures on defence and the need to re- build the bottom six forward component until fresh troops in terms of picks and prospects can start to move in , in years to come.

    So watch for the purge at all player levels, and watch for the bottom pairings on defence and the re-build of lines three and four to change from passive to aggressive. The wheels are turning at the Saddledome and I for one am watching with great anticipation. I think they will get it right for the most part. Go Flames !