3Dmitry Zavgorodniy
Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/CHL Images

A few Flames prospects could be World Junior bound

The Quebec portion of the Canadian Hockey League’s annual series with the Russian national team has been completed. The Calgary Flames don’t have any prospects in the Ontario or Western components of the Canada Russia Series, so it’s time to take a gander at which of their prospects could be headed to the World Juniors.

Jakob Pelletier – Canada

Pelletier is one of many, many young forwards trying to crack a pretty deep forward group for this year’s Canadian team. He made a good case for himself through two games with the QMJHL squad, putting up two assists in each game (for four helpers total).

The Flames’ 2019 first rounder was not invited to the World Junior Summer Showcase. Five QMJHL forwards were invited. He’s got as many or more points as all of them aside from uber-prospect Alexis Lafreniere and is presently top 10 in the Q in points. He’s not a slam-dunk for the team, but he’s given himself a fighting chance. He’s played for Hockey Canada three times in recent years, so he’s not exactly a stranger.

Dmitry Zavgorodniy – Russia

The Flames’ seventh round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft was flat-out awesome for Russia in two games. He had a four point game in the 4-3 Russia win in the first game and scored a heck of a goal in their 4-3 loss in the second game.

Zavgorodniy has been one third of the top offensive line in Canadian junior hockey with Cedric Pare and Lafreniere. Barring something crazy happening, he’ll be part of Team Russia. He’s previously represented his country at the Hlinkas, the Under-18s and the World Junior A Championship.

llya Nikolayev – Russia

Nikolayev is headed to represent Russia at the Four Nations Cup, a European junior tournament. Thus far, he’s produced well for his junior team and he has played for Russia at four recent tournaments. Given his attributes and his performances for the national team alongside others that will probably make that team – notably Canucks prospect Vasili Podkolzin – he’ll have a strong chance to make the team.

Dustin Wolf – United States

The fourth-from-last player selection at June’s draft, Wolf was a superb goaltender last year in the Dub and he remains a superb goaltender. The USA roster at the Summer Showcase ended up with three goalies and Wolf was one of them.

He’s presently the top goalie in the WHL. He’s a virtual lock to make the team, at the very least as a backup to Spencer Knight.

Emilio Pettersen – Norway

Pettersen played for Norway at last year’s Division 1 World Juniors. Barring his arms and legs falling off during the next month, he’ll play for them again – he’s probably going to be their best player, too.