11
Photo Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

FlamesNation prospect wrap-up: AHL defencemen, part 2

After our first review of the Calgary Flames’ American Hockey League defensive prospects, it’s time to take a look at the other two.

#34- Adam Ollas Mattsson

When we last checked in

Well, there was nothing to talk about. AOM played 14 games before being injured and missing the rest of the year. He didn’t pick up any points, and would seemingly head home for Sweden, as the Flames no longer held his rights at the end of 2018.

2018-19 story

Or so we thought.

AOM came back with an AHL contract in hand to prove himself when rotten luck denied him the opportunity last season. Even though he was not Flames property anymore, he was committed to stating his case.

With few defensive options, AOM ascended to the top pairing, playing in pretty much every scenario the team needed him to play in. Proving that he was more than a big body (6’4″, 216 lbs), he chipped in a fair amount from the blueline, picking up 18 points on the season. He was voted Defensive Player of the Year by the team at the end of the season.

Numbers & growth

GP G A P Primary points 5v5 points 5v5 primary points NHLe
2018-19 65 6 12 18 9 12 6 11.04
2017-18 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Well, your numbers are going to look better if you actually have opportunities to play.

AOM’s offensive numbers don’t jump off the page as future NHLer, but relative to the rest of his career, they’re pretty good. Ollas Mattsson has never been an offensive producer at any level, his highest points total at any stop being nine points (2013-14 in Sweden’s U20 league). Perhaps it’s a matter of ice time, as he was the most trusted defender, but he certainly took a minor leap forward for points scoring.

Among Stockton defenders, he finished second in 5v5 GF% at 52.78%, only behind Juuso Valimaki. For GFrel% metrics, he finished third at 5.24%, behind Valimaki and Oliver Kylington. Among regular Heat defenders, he was the best by a large margin.

What’s next?

We already know the fate of AOM: he’s headed back overseas to play with the Malmo Redhawks of the SHL.

It sucks for him, but it’s understandable. Ollas Mattsson never figured to be much more than an extra defender in the NHL, and with a stacked left side, there was no way in for him. I’d wager a guess and say the Flames didn’t want to commit an ELC to a player who they figured would never have a serious shot at the NHL, so they let him be free.

It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth to let one of Stockton’s hardest workers walk, but that’s the business of the game.

#45- Rinat Valiev

When we last checked in

Another newcomer to the Flames’ prospect pool, Valiev arrived with Matt Taormina in the Brett Kulak trade. With some decent AHL seasons and a few cups of NHL coffee, he seemed to be a younger Kulak.

2018-19 story

Valiev spent the entire year in Stockton, playing in the top four and on the power play when need be. He saw one brief call-up, skating in warmups against Edmonton just in case of injury, but wasn’t used.

Numbers & growth

GP G A P Primary points 5v5 points 5v5 primary points NHLe
2018-19 57 4 17 21 15 12 9 14.68
2017-18 45 6 12 18 13 15 10 15.74

Year over year, Valiev’s stats and role kind of remained the same. He’s not much of an offensive producer, although he did finish second on the team (behind Rob Hamilton) in defensive scoring and first in 5v5 d-man scoring (though this is more of a testament to Stockton’s defensive depth).

He’s fine enough on defence, finishing fifth on the team in GF% and GFrel% at 49.41% and 0.59% respectively.

What’s next?

Valiev is an RFA, and he’s got a good chance at being re-signed. With no real defence to speak of in the AHL (currently: Alexander Yelesin, Rob Hamilton, Andrew Nielsen, and Corey Schueneman), the Flames will probably bring back one of their better AHL defenders who has an actual shot at being NHL depth next season. For a cheap, minimum contract, he’s a good enough option and provides a little bit on continuity to the roster. With Yelesin being a question mark, and Nielsen appearing to have stalled out in the pros, it’s probably good to have at least one defenceman you can trust in case of injury.

I don’t think he has much of an NHL future, however. He’s never really been anything other than pretty good at the AHL level, and at 24, time is running out for him to make a name for himself.

Previously

Josh Healey & Andrew Nielsen | ECHLersMartin PospisilEmilio PettersenDemetrios KoumontzisDmitry ZavgorodniyAdam RuzickaMilos RomanD’Artagnan Joly | Eetu TuulolaLinus Lindstrom | Filip Sveningsson | Pavel Karnukhov, Rushan Rafikov, Mitchell Mattson

  • Garry T

    We are in trouble. Only two or three forward prospects not in the NHL and
    Near zero D prospects on D. If Stone goes or is bought out, Kylington moves in. All of this came about because we traded picks for the present and we are missing 2 picks from this year’s draft and 2 from next. Giving away or including picks in deals has to stop. Why do we have a plethora of goalies and apparently someone is saying in Management that Rittich may not be ready to be a number one goalie. We need to stabilize this situation now!
    Tre is supposed to be a tremendous GM. I am starting to wonder!

    • Puck Head

      Its no panic at this point. We have a young defensive core. Even if we lose one in the expansion draft we have a couple years to start developing some more.

      Tre gambled and saw an opportunity to develop a cup contender. Its easy to look back now and be critical, especially when we look in from the outside. If he makes a few key acquisitions he could get this team back on course and into the mix next season.

      • super6646

        Trading an unprotected first after being swept in the first round and missing the previous year was dumb asset management. Treliving only had himself to blame for the mess last year. Carolina trade helped a lot, but I’d hope he has some self control and starts rebuilding our prospect pool back up.

      • Jimmyhaggis

        Cup contender, going out in first round in 5 sure isn’t a cup contender to me. He gambled and lost, I’ve have not been impressed with a lot moves he’s made, player and coaching, remember Glen Gulutzan, what a disaster that choice was.
        We’ll see how things pan out in the next 2 weeks.

    • Albertabeef

      Tre was never a tremendous GM. Outside of his hard nosed RFA contracts, he has done almost nothing. Dougie should never have been a Calgary Flame and neither should Hamonic. I said the day of the Dougie trade “there is something wrong with this kid, teams don’t trade young big D if there isn’t issues. I hope he isn’t another Phanuef”. Both of these guys trades were wastes of really good draft picks. Even if we overlook his first season of Brouwer, Raymond, and Setagucchi, he has still been fairly weak with roster management. The funny thing is I don’t really blame him for Neal either, except he should not have been paid so much for so long.

    • The Iggy complex

      Ummm every team would be lacking d prospects on the farm if they had 3 players graduate to the NHL in the same year. That actually shows how great Tre did stocking the d cupboard.