The 2020 NHL Draft is just five weeks away and the Calgary Flames will likely have selections in six of the seven rounds. As we creep closer to draft weekend, it’s worth looking at what players the Flames have in their prospect cupboards.
Here’s a snapshot of the club’s stockpile of players aged 23-and-under (as of Sept. 15).
The Flames have 15 under-23 forwards in their system.
Matthew Tkachuk (22) and Dillon Dube (22) are NHL regulars playing on the second and third lines respectively. Tkachuk is an alternate captain, the team’s highest-paid player, and probably the best all-around Flame. Dube is an up-and-comer who can grow a stellar beard.
Matthew Phillips (22) pushed for NHL time last season and got a call-up, but didn’t end up dressing. Behind him, Adam Ruzicka (21), Eetu Tuulola (22) and Martin Pospisil (20) showed a lot of growth in Stockton last season – Ruzicka is arguably right there with Phillips and Glenn Gawdin for call-ups or open roster spots in 2020-21.
Not yet playing a pro game but looking promising are Jakob Pelletier (19), Dmitry Zavgorodniy (20) and Emilio Pettersen (20). Pelletier and Zavgorodniy received awards consideration in the QMJHL, Pettersen in the NCHC conference. Zavgorodniy and Pettersen will play pro whenever hockey starts.
In Europe, the Flames have Swedes Lucas Feuk (19) and Filip Sveningsson (21) and Russian Ilya Nikolayev (19). Feuk and Sveningsson have played pro (though neither are pro regulars yet) while Nikolayev hasn’t made his pro debut yet.
Finally, in the NCAA, the Flames have Demetrious Koumontzis (20), Josh Nodler (19) and Mitchell Mattson (22). Mattson is admittedly a fringe prospect at this point given his age and lack of NCAA experience, but the other two have a ton of potential as two-way players.
There’s arguably no sure-fire offensive needle-mover among the Flames’ yet-to-arrive U-23 forwards, though Ruzicka has the frame to potentially buck the trend while Pelletier and Pettersen have very developed games despite their ages.
The only U-23 defender in the Flames system is Juuso Valimaki (21). He’s excellent but coming off a couple significant injuries.
They need to draft more defensemen.
Tyler Parsons (22) just snuck under our cut-off by two days. He was good in the ECHL but needs AHL seasoning. Dustin Wolf (19) is a great junior goalie who’s a year away from playing pro hockey.
Overall, the Flames have good secondary depth at forward but lack a lot of U-23 depth on the back end and in goal.