42Dustin Wolf
Photo Credit: Chris Mast/Everett Silvertips

Where Flames prospects will be playing: CHL

With the 2019 NHL Draft and development camp firmly in the rear-view mirror, the Calgary Flames’ players and prospects have returned home to train for the summer. But soon the hockey season will begin – European and junior pre-seasons begin in August.

Here’s our first part of a look at where you can find Flames’ prospects in the 2019-20 season, starting off with the Canadian Hockey League.

Milos Roman

The third of three Flames fourth round picks in the 2018 NHL Draft – they traded into the round to grab him – Roman is an import player from Slovakia heading into his third WHL season with the Vancouver Giants. He’ll have the rare distinction of being an NHL draftee and a two-spotter – he takes up an overager spot and an import spot.

The reasoning for the Flames’ declining to sign Roman seems to be primarily numbers-based. A profile on the Flames site by George Johnson suggests that the Flames simply didn’t want to have a ton of rookies in Stockton. Here’s Ron Sutter, one of the team’s player development gurus:

This season, he’ll be counted upon heavily. Towards the end of the year, I talked to Barclay (Parneta), the general manager there, said they wanted him back, as both an underage and a Euro, which is unusual. For us, when you look at the depth we have in front of him – signing Luke Philp, Pospisil … it’s hard to have a bunch of young guys all fighting for ice time in the American League.

The Giants should be pretty good – they added a few interesting pieces this summer – but Roman will get a chance to be a focal point as one of their overagers. He’s missed time due to injury and World Junior camps the past few seasons, so a strong full season could be a nice stepping stone for his pro career.

Dustin Wolf

Last season, Wolf took over as the starter for the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. He was really good, emerging as one of the top netminders in the Dub and ending up named a conference All-Star. In 2019-20, he’ll be the starter once again and potentially could be part of a Silvertips team a bit lean on offensive firepower that has to win by committee.

There’s also a decent chance Wolf could be representing the United States at the World Juniors, which would be huge for his development and profile.

Jakob Pelletier

The Flames’ top pick in last month’s draft, Pelletier is obviously headed back to junior for the upcomign season. He’ll suit up for a Moncton Wildcats team that has lost a few key bodies – including top scorer Jeremy McKenna – but has gained Edmonton Oilers goaltending prospect Olivier Rodrigue between the pipes.

Pelletier and Minnesota Wild prospect Alexander Khovanov will be heavily relied-upon for offense. While Pelletier isn’t on Hockey Canada’s summer camp roster, there’s a good chance he can muscle his way into the World Juniors conversation with a strong start to his season.

Dmitry Zavgorodniy

A product of Russia, Zavgorodniy is headed back to the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic for a third North American season. He’ll be part of what could be one of the more exciting junior teams in Canada, as the Oceanic have uber-prospect Alexis Lafreniere on their roster – he’s the presumptive top pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, and he’s just great.

But beyond Lafreniere, Zavgorodniy will be a huge part of Rimouski’s offensive attack and he’ll get a ton of ice time. He’ll also likely be in the mix for Russia’s World Junior roster – he missed the cut last year, but Russia typically takes mostly 19-year-olds so it wasn’t completely off-base that he didn’t get chosen.

The Flames will have zero Ontario Hockey League prospects this season, as Adam Ruzicka has signed his pro deal and will be going pro barring anything unforeseen in camp.

  • Off the wall

    Prospects. It reminds me of something that happened a few weeks ago…

    Mrs Otw forgot her rain jacket and texted me to bring her one.
    I’m not a delivery guy, as I have to work for a living. But nonetheless, I drove home, grabbed it and took it to her school.

    Mrs Otw can’t just let me deliver the jacket and leave, nope.. she has to introduce me to everyone and the class she works in.

    Well, the teacher had the class outside, ready to come in after recess. Mrs Otw tells the teacher that I’m Otw, her spouse.
    The teacher hugs the stuffin’ right outta Otw. Otw is awkward, but accepts it graciously.

    The teacher lines the kids up and asks the children to guess who I am.

    “Is he a new teacher?” asks one of the students.
    “No, replies the teacher, he’s with Mrs Otw. A important person in her life “

    Another student replies, “ I know it’s her Dad”
    One by one they take guesses at who I should be. Not one got it right! I even was “Grandpa” to one of them.

    One thing about children. They are honest and sometimes you wish they weren’t.
    It’s no wonder I tell Mrs Otw not to call me ‘Dad’ in public. She’s 13 years younger than me and apparently much younger looking than I am.

    Prospects, we tend to equate them with how we perceive them. But the truth of the matter, is that we ( like the children) sometimes just get it horribly wrong and blurt out what we see, (I should really colour my goatee brown instead of the current silver)

    If you have high hopes for our prospects, just remember children have a way of bringing us back down to earth.

    Btw, it’s Mrs Otw birthday today. I usually get her a 7-11 slurpee, cuz it’s FREE today!

    I know, call me romantic!

      • Off the wall

        Haha. One thing I left outta the story, is that the class had “bring your stuffie day “

        Otw marched into class with the students and started doing his Elmo voice, cuz there was an Elmo stuffie. The class loved it.

        The teacher kicked me outta the class. Told me is was story time..🙄 Huh, she should know better?!

    • Ed Whalens ghost

      Hey pal, I’m with ya, Mrs. Ghost is 10 years younger and the kids are young enough to be my grandkids (buddy, same age, was a grandpa before I was a dad), so I typically get the grandpa comments…. Suffice to say I was partying on Electric Ave in 89… I want to see another cup before Alzheimers sets in dag-nab-it… Oh, and “Get off my lawn!”…

      • Ed Whalens ghost

        Happiness is getting nosebleed seats to a Flames game as a Christmas present and having a Saddledome worker ask your 6 year old daughter who her favorite player is and ask if she’d like to see him closer and upgrade you to lower bowl behind the Zamboni entrance…. 6 lego Flames players, 2 pucks and counting……

    • freethe flames

      I have a child bride as well; not quite as young as yours but 10 years. Now I look a lot older than her; my winter job is wearing a red suit and the hairdresser uses less and less of the white dye every year.

    • Hockeysense9393

      You guys rock!! Now I feel much better knowing there are quite a few older folks on here as well. Slurpee for the wife….hmmm. Thank you for the great idea and hope you don’t mind me stealing the idea to spoil the better half with something truly sweet. Just got off work, cracked a beer, and came to check on some great reading…and my 4 day relaxation starts with a smile and chuckle. Thanx guys…

      Electric Ave eh? I still tell people stories about Coconut Joes, Three Cheers, and the Skyroom haha

      Ohhh the memories

        • Hockeysense9393

          Yeah I didn’t like it there much myself. Didn’t they have like $1 draft nights though? I have hazy memories of Radio City before it became the Keg. There are some things you just don’t talk about.

        • Justthateasy

          Yep those neglected draft lines are a sure fire way to end up with a headache. Usually they’re cleaned once a month. Some places like one particular Legion (284) has them cleaned twice a month and that beer is as quaffable as it was in the old days. ( not a testimonial as the food has let me down lately) haha

    • freethe flames

      Absolutely not; those should set his max cap hit. His numbers are lower than Lehkonen and lower PPG than Armia. Over the last two years Armia numbers and Bennetts are almost the same with Armis playing significantly fewer games. 2 x$2.5m based upon these two contracts is the most Bennett should be paid.

      • freethe flames

        Speaking of contracts that will be used for guys I was thinking about Rittich; the Talbot number of $2.75m and the contract for the starter in Edmonton will be discussion numbers if this gets to arbitration but I suspect tehNrazek contract of 2 x $3,125m might end up close to his number. If we got Rittich and Bennett for between $5,5m and $6 m combined that would be a good thing.

      • HarveysFleaCollar

        I dunno..I’m a closet Canadiens fan and watch all their games..Sammy brings way more to the table than either or. Would be a very interesting negotiation process and would live to be a fly on the wall

        • freethe flames

          Arbitrators are going to look at the counting numbers and they will be the biggest factors. I don’t want to diminish Bennett’s intangibles as I like what he brings in his role but when you compare these counting numbers and the counting numbers of guys like Kapenan and Johnsson and their contracts I can’t see him getting $3m.

          • Hockeysense9393

            He burned a year off his ELC in 2014-15 so he has 2 years left before he’s a UFA
            (I think that’s right?)

            So that may ultimately determine his worth probably with 3M being the middle ground. Last 2 years of RFA would probably be just under 3 like $2.85 say. If you are going 3-4 years, it would probably be around Ferland’s number (3.3-3.5)

            His last contract was a little bit of both “show us” and “let me prove” type of thing. Now the Flames have a better understanding about who this player is becoming, but I have a feeling that Bennett still may want to bet on himself.

            What if he DOES break out some day.

          • Hockeysense9393

            You’re absolutely right FTF…and that’s what the Flames will say in/before arbitration. Ultimately? Kap (3×3.2), Johnsson (4×3.4), & Ferland’s (4×3.5) deals set the market, and now it comes down to term. Term dictates % always…

            He is going to be a very young UFA. Even if this is his MO…a lot of his types of players usually explode for 2-3 years from mid 20’s on. That would take him into his “big” contract years.

            The Flames will most likely choose a 2 year term if it goes to arbitration, therefore that will probably be where Bennet’s camp starts anyways. If it were my player, I would tell him to take the average for a 1 1/2-2 years negotiation and then choose where you want to make home for the rest of your career.

          • Albertabeef

            According to PuckPedia Benny is a UFA in 3 years, two year contract still leaves the Flames in control. Tkachuk longest bridge is 3 with UFA in 4 years. Just for the record you become a UFA after 7 seasons or after turning 27(and after current signed contract ends).

            If a player plays in his 40th game of the season, it counts as an accrued year of service counting towards the seven years required to become an unrestricted free agent.
            https://www.tsn.ca/mckenzie-10-game-threshold-holds-different-meaning-for-different-teams-1.117970

            One game played just burns a year off the ELC making it faster that you get to make more than the ELC maximum.

      • freethe flames

        Hockeysense the Kapenan and Johnsson counting numbers are significantly higher than Bennett’s counting numbers, heck Lehkonan numbers are higher than Bennetts, Armia’s numbers playing 20 less games are virtually the same so suggesting he gets paid like Kapanen/Johnnsson/Ferland is IMO a stretch.

        • Kevin R

          Might entice Bennett to taking a 5 year at 3.5mill per. I would pay that little extra to get a few UFA years out of him. Gives Bennett a little security. I truly believe Bennett will get better.

          • Baalzamon

            Even if he doesn’t, he’s a perfectly fine player, and highly versatile. Hardly irreplaceable, but definitely valuable.

            That being said, 3.5 per for him right now is a little on the intractable side, with the cap situation being what it is.

        • Hockeysense9393

          Ok yeah that’s what I was wondering about. I know the rules are the age of 27 or 7 years employment, but I was wondering about the first year when he played one game to kill a year from ELC. I think you are right though sir…40 games to kill a year of eligibility. Thank you.

          My initial point of comparing salaries (3.3-3.5) was with a year or two of his UFA being used.
          So a 2.6-2.8 / 2-3 year contract? I wonder where arbitration would place him.

  • Albertabeef

    So a question to all Flames Fans out there. So Johnny was the first Flame of this era to hit 36+ goals in a season this past season. Tkachuk and Mony were only behind Johnny by two goals, while Lindholm hit a career high of 27. Who do you think will be the first Flame of this era to score 40, and will any of them score 50 in a season?

    • Baalzamon

      The next to score 40 might actually be Tkachuk to be honest. Monahan’s the easy choice (sniper, plays with Gaudreau), but Tkachuk has a more diverse scoring arsenal. And of course… yeah Gaudreau might do it too.

      I don’t really see anyone in the organization getting 50 though. Maybe it’ll be Tool, haha.

    • freethe flames

      Last year all 4 of those guys had career years; the question going forward is can they build on that. Finding a way to add to that group would be a good thing; unfortunately unless TRe can make a hockey trade before the season it will be difficult. All 4 of these guys should see some growth in their game even if their numbers don’t go up. Where the real growth should occur is in Dube and Mangiapne and some minor growth in Bennett(whose numbers could go up) and Janko. This is a good thing but will it be enough.