Photo Credit: Saga Westin, Courtesy Skelleftea AIK

Where Flames prospects will be playing: Europe

Given their history and tendencies regarding drafting and developing European players, it’s likely not shocking to learn that there will be a significant European presence for the Calgary Flames in 2019-20. It’s also likely not a shock to find out that most of their prospects are playing in Sweden.

Spencer Foo

The Flames technically hold Foo’s NHL rights for two more seasons, but that expires just as his KHL deal does. He’s signed for two seasons with Red Star Kunlun, based in scenic Beijing, China. Unless something changes, it’s unlikely he’ll be back with the Flames.

Ilya Nikolayev

The first player the Flames have drafted out of Russia since 2013, Nikolayev is in the unique situation of being a player contracted to a pretty decent KHL club. He played last season with Loko Yaroslavl, the junior branch of the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

Loko should be pretty good in 2019-20. They’ll probably get back Nikolayev, Boston Bruins pick Roman Bychkov, New Jersey Devils pick Daniil Misyul, Edmonton Oilers pick Maxim Denezhkin, Florida Panthers pick Grigori Denisenko, undrafted prospect Daniil Gutik and Carolina Hurricanes pick Kirill Slepets. Some of these guys will graduate to their KHL club, which will be coached by Craig MacTavish. If nothing else, Nikolayev will be playing on a good team with some good players.

Carl-Johan Lerby

Signed for two seasons by the Flames, but on loan to the SHL for the 2019-20 season, Lerby has played for the Malmo Redhawks organization since 2012. Malmo was a middle of the pack team in 2018-19 and didn’t have any significant change-over in their roster – aside from adding Adam Ollas Mattsson – so they’ll probably be middle of the pack again.

Lerby’s a SHL veteran and Malmo’s top offensive defender, even at the wise old age of 22, so he’ll play a ton.

Lucas Feuk

Feuk, whose name rhymes with folk, was drafted by the Flames after a pretty strong season with Sodertalje SK’s junior team in the SuperElit league. He’s under contract for one more season and is aiming to push into full-time pro duty in HockeyAllsvenskan.

Sodertalje’s junior team made the playoffs but were booted out in the first round last season, while their pro side finished three points outside of the playoffs. Feuk might be in the tough position of either playing a ton in a junior league that might not challenge him, or playing a lot less but being challenged as a pro.

Linus Lindstrom

Lindstrom’s entering the final season of his current contract with Skelleftea AIK of the SHL. He had a decent year, though some mid-season struggles saw him briefly loaned to BIK Karlskroga of Allsvenskan – pssibly the first time he’s play on a club team outside of his hometown.

Lindstrom’s been a middle six player for Skelleftea the last few seasons, but likely he’ll try to push for a top six spot in potentially his final season in Europe for awhile. Skelleftea’s one of the better SHL clubs (though they’re a notch below the circuit’s elite teams).

Filip Sveningsson

Sveningsson had a heck of a 2018-19 season, aside from a fairly meh World Juniors. He spent the entire season with IK Oskarshamn of Allsvenskan and was the top-scoring under-20 player in the league. Oskarshamn even won promotion to the SHL, so Sveningsson will play out the last season of his current contract at the highest level of Swedish hockey.

It’s hard to say how Oskarshamn will be this season, as typically the team that wins promotion gets booted back down the very next season (or at most a couple seasons later).

  • Ludis Fanaticus

    I check out this site on a near daily basis.
    I enjoy the comments, often more than the lead story.
    At this time of year, I suppose, its no shock that things are looking a bit stale, with little currently happening (publicly) in the Flames office.

    Way off topic.

    I have often thought that hockey suffers from a lack of statistical descriptors that a fan can recognise while enjoying the game.
    Fans of baseball watch for a No Hitter, Perfect Game, 1-2-3 Inning, Save, Grand Slam, Cycle, and more.
    What do we have in hockey?
    Shutout, Hat-trick, and popularised in my lifetime; Gordie Howe Hat-Trick.
    I think we deserve more.

    Perhaps a name for a game of great dominance. Say you win all three periods? (The Flames did this three time last season; Nov. 25 and January 13 v Arizona and March 21 v Ottawa , and were on the losing end of one; October 25 v Pittsburgh as well as one in the playoffs April 19 v Colorado)
    Or a game of greater dominance. Say you shut out your opponent and score in every period? (The Flames accomplished this once last season; Oct 9 v Nashville)
    Or how about a title for winning the season series against an opponent?
    I’m sure you get the idea.

    With all the great minds here surely someone can coin a term for these everts, or others.
    Some day, when people say, ‘I was at the game last night and saw a total Hainsworth’, someone here can say, ‘Hey, I invented that.’

    Barba non facit philosophum

    • Jobu

      There’s a lot you could do with combos of the other defensive stats like takeaways, hits, block shots, etc.

      Basketball has the triple double. Maybe if a player gets 3 in 3 categories. A triple triple?

  • buts

    Almost mid July and BT has done what to improve our team since game 5 of the first round? Well we have lost 1 of the only 2 forwards that will consistently hit in the loss Hathaway. Bill Peters probably won’t have the impact because he replaced such a brutal coach and now our soft as a marshmallow lineup is supposed to learn, toughen up and grow up from last year? I said before and will say again this core is in its prime and I will judge BT on what he doesn’t this summer. Right now he’s digging a grave.

    • BringtheFire 2.0

      Buts, what should Tre do this summer? Instead of complaining tell everyone exactly what needs to be done to make this team better.

      Pretend he’s reading right now. Enlighten us with specifics.

      • freethe flames

        [email protected]; I agree with buts opinion that it’s frustrating to have to wait for BT to get things done. I for one have posted lots of ideas; mostly I have tried to stay on what I think are reasonable suggestions. The first reality that has to be considered is cap space and while I first thought that buying out Stone and burying a few contracts could get it done after crunching the numbers few times it is clear BT has to make a trade. The second thing is finding a partner or two that wants what you are selling. The KadriBarrie deal gives me hope that we can find a deal for TJ and a middle six forward whose cap hit is less than TJ’s $4.6 hit. Complicating the TJ deal is his NTC clause but I actually think that Detroit, Ottawa and even Montreal could use him and have players that fit for us. In both Detroit and Ottawa he would be a significant upgrade on what they have. In Ottawa’s case he would also be a good mentor for their young core. He would be very easy to move as a rental at the TDL if need be. I can think of several players on each of Ottawa and Detroit that we could use. I also would not be afraid to add either Czranik or Janko to a trade. Both teams also have the cap space and picks to directly trade for him w/o a player coming back.
        Frolik as I outline below is a different deal altogether. If we can get picks fro him or a deal like I propose further down it would give some more breathing room.
        I think it’s going to cost @$15m to sign Bennett, Rittich, Mangiapane and Tkachuk and we currently have $9.4m; buying guys out and burying a few contracts would still leave us about @2m short. BT has his work cut out for him.

    • Luter 1

      buts is bang on with losing Hathaway and at least replacing that component. Does anybody believe this present lineup is tough enough to win a playoff series? If Tre cannot find or figure out a reasonable replacement for Hathaway then we are in trouble because we’re either undervaluing that type of player or were sleeping through the time when guys like him were available. I say go big or go home – Reaves – sure he’s overpaid (get Vegas to buck up a little) but no one complained when England got overpaid and actually stood up for teammates. We are missing that on this team at the moment.

      • freethe flames

        We need to get better; need we get beat up in the play offs? I don’t think so; we need to get grittier and better. More speed will help. I’m not sure how we can afford Reaves? Please show a way for this team to be able to add Reaves contract? I actually would look at England as our 7th D for a one year deal The problem with Engs when he was here is was significantly overpaid. What he has made in Vegas is what he should have been paid here.

        • Luter 1

          How does more speed make us grittier? What makes a team play more gritty is when young guys like Mang, Dube and Bennett can go out nd throw the body around without getting KO’ed a shift later by Gubranson. This happens when Gubranson knows that Reaves is waiting in the wings to pound the crap out of him. Even think about taking advantage of Johnny and out he comes. This team has enough speed, they just had their speed nullified by an aggressive Avs D that pounded us pretty good.
          We can continue to bury our head in the sand and say this team is gritty, tough, whatever you want to call it to go somewhere in the playoffs. Last two years show we aren’t.

  • Man yells at cloud

    This has nothing to do with this article to start. Not really Flames related either. My topic of choice is Jordan Binnington. This contract signing intrigued me immensely. The goalie of the Stanley cup champs signed for $8.8 mil over two years. Stanley cup Champ goalie for $4.4 mil. Then I remember he is a ROOKIE. The Blues paid $8.8 mil to a goalie with a grand total 33 reg season and 30 playoff games. A player that has only played in 63 NHL games who was at the beginning of the season standing in goal for the San Antonio Rampage has got a $4.4 per season contract. That’s an amazing story. St.Louis was smart as well by doing a 2 year show me again contract instead of a longer term contract that could handcuff them if he was a one trick pony. Anyways I am high as a kite so if this made no sense I apologize.
    Now get off my grass!….oops….lawn!

  • freethe flames

    Completely off topic: Where is a good landing place for Frolik? First I think he is still a useful player and if we had the cap space for him I would be in a rush to move him. I was just looking at capfriendly as to how buying him would work. We would save $2m less than half of his cap hit; so trading him and retaining part of his cap would actually be better than buying him out. So what is he; IMO he is a 3rd line(middle 6) two way forward who can still play the PK, gives you an honest effort each night. is playing for one last contract(he should be motivated) but is over paid at $4.3m; I wonder if the Flames ate $1m if he would more trade able.

    • Skylardog

      I believe he is tradeable for assets at the TDL. Right now, he is tradable as an addon to a hockey deal involving other parts.

      It is not just the Flames that took the comments of his agent as a problem. Do you really need a player who has a whiny agent? Diminished his value as a veteran that could provide leadership to a young team. The teams that would be interested in the summer are ones with young players that need a veteran presence. Contenders have no interest as cap is also their problem, not just an issue for the Flames.

      But veteran leaders are still out there as UFAs so why pay assets to get what is available for free?

      So eating some salary may be a necessary evil to move him. But why move him then? He is a very good third line winger. Do we really want a $2m cap hit to not have him here? Defeats the whole purpose of moving him. Remember, he needs to go because of cap constraints. Being a UFA next year makes him the movable asset.

      One of the things that makes a buyout so hard to do is that all of the players we have are still capable of playing at the NHL level and could bring back something in a trade. It is timing that is making this difficult. We need the cap space now, but the assets have value at the TDL. Even Stone with a decent season could get us a second at the TDL. Buy him out and not only do you lose the asset, but the asset is costing money next season.

      Tre is in a pickle.

      We are now 87 days into the summer with no sign of movement on anything other than getting a back up and Quine signed.

      • freethe flames

        Sky; I agree my preference would be not to move him until the TDL where his value will go up. My question is how does Tre become cap compliant this off season? After looking at contracts that have been signed elsewhere buying out Stone and burying some salaries the only hope is Tkachuk giving a home town discount.

        • Justthateasy

          We don’t need to be married to Tkachuk even though he has a chatterbox leadership quality.
          He is an instigator, not necessarily a finisher. IE, turtling example. My point is that he has limitations. I would say he should accept a two-year deal at a lower cap and then go on to the dizzying heights. If not, the return would be sizable.

  • freethe flames

    One rumour I have read is that the Pens would like to move Bjugstad; he is signed for 2 x$4.1; he is big RHF whose numbers are very similar to Frolik’s. Here’s Bjustad’s numbers for the last 6 seasons: 38/43/34/14*/49/26* and Frolik’s: 42/42/32/44/25*/34*. (missed games because of injuries *) The trade would give both players a new look, we would save a little. It might have to be part of a more complex deal; draft picks and third string goalies but it might work. Flames move Frolik, Gilles and a second to Pens for Bjugstad, Jarry, and a 3rd. Spit balling ideas waiting for a new article of for BT to make some news.

    • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

      I’m actually really excited to follow Carl-Johan Lerby, Ilya Nikolayev, Lukas Feuk and Filip Sveningsson. Linus Lindstrom really isn’t much of a prospect for me anymore, as he hasn’t scored much or developed at all the last three years, but maybe he has a breakout this year, which is basically the last year he has to show he is worth something. 2016 wasn’t the strongest draft, but he was a reach for me in the fourth round at that time. I would have taken Victor Mete who was a consensus Top. 60 player at that time by most, but that is history now. 2016 was a really good draft for us, so I can’t complain (Tkacuk, Dube, Fox, Parsons, Phillips), but Lindstrom was the one pick I didn’t like that year.

  • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

    Really interested to follow Carl-Johan Lerby, as hell ooked really good at the development camp. Hope he can continue to grow his game this year and become an elite defender in the SEL this year. Smart move by the Flames to pick him up when they haven’t drafted any defenders the last couple of years.

    • freethe flames

      I agree that signing unsigned FA is a way to help stock the cupboards. Yelesin looked good as well. The other way is unsigned NCAA and overages from the CHL like McKenna.

  • drogon

    Being part of a failed trade in previous months will make it difficult for Brodie, Frolik and Jankowski to be included in our 2019-20 roster.
    BT, BP & Don Maloney have ties with Coyotes, Hurricanes, Islanders & Rangers due to previous jobs.
    But in the case of BT & BP, they also have ties with the IIHF WC and it seems that some of our targets have originated from there.
    *possible target
    *Kyle Turris
    *Brayden Schenn
    *Jonathan Huberdeau

    Troy Brouwer (signed, bought out, gone)
    Nazem Kadri (failed)
    *Taylor Hall
    *Sean Couturier
    *Brayden Schenn

    Mike Smith (signed, gone)
    *Taylor Hall
    *Brendan Gallagher
    *Derick Brassard
    *Sam Reinhart
    *Boone Jenner

    Cam Talbot (signed)
    *Kyle Turris
    *Brayden Schenn
    *Jean-Gabriel Pageau
    *Tyson Jost

    Mark Stone (failed)

    Probabiity is high that the next target could be a known commodity from the IIHF WC.

    • freethe flames

      How many of these guys are likely available? I don’t really know. We have thrown around a Turris for Neal trade a few times but his contract is for more money and term than Neal’s; not sure they want to go down that road.

      • drogon

        I think there’s a trend in regard to the IIHF WC. We’ll see.
        Nothing is impossible but Neal will be extremely difficult to trade as the cash is moving towards younger players, a low possibility could be Victor Rask.
        There are just a few assets in the NHL that are not available like Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Patrick Kane…

      • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

        I’d take Kyle Turris all day over James Neal as he is two years younger and really battled injuries last year so the drop off is more explainable, but I highly doubt anyone is taking Neal off our hands, so it is all moot.