Calgary Flames prospect Dillon Dube has done a lot of things in his young hockey career. He’s about to embark on a new challenge: the American Hockey League. The club announced on Thursday afternoon that they’ve assigned Dube to the AHL’s Stockton Heat.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) November 29, 2018
The 20-year-old Dube has been on the Flames roster since the beginning of season after being one of the best players – if not the best player – in training camp. He’s been full of energy throughout his tenure with the Flames, but he’s struggled at times to withstand the physicality of the NHL game – particularly the battles in the corners. In 20 NHL games he’s put up a goal, four assists and a plus-four rating, while playing exclusively in the bottom six.
The pending return of Michael Frolik to the Flames’ lineup likely forced management to really assess Dube’s first quarter of the season. Frolik is what he is at this point and spending time on the bottom six likely won’t hurt his development, but Dube’s 20 and has a ton of runway left. Playing big minutes in Stockton – who coincidentally just lost a prominent winger in Morgan Klimchuk in a trade with Toronto – will do nothing but good things for his development on and off the ice. Let’s be honest: being The Guy in Stockton will be better for him than being part of the supporting cast in Calgary.
Until Frolik returns from the IR, it seems likely that Ryan Lomberg will play on the fourth line – given his age and skillset, that seems like a decent fit.
Considering Dube’s success at lower levels of hockey and how well he processes the game, Wednesday night likely isn’t the last we’ll see of him wearing a Flames jersey.