The Calgary Flames have added another goaltender to the North American mix for the upcoming 2021-22 season. The club announced on Wednesday that 20-year-old Russian netminder Daniil Chechelev has been signed to an American Hockey League contract with the Stockton Heat.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 8, 2021
A product of Khabarovsk, Russia, Chechelev was a fourth round selection of the Flames in the 2020 NHL Draft. He came up as a youngster through the Neva St. Petersburg system, but got recruited by the Vityaz Podolsk organization and played most of his higher-level hockey as a junior in that system.
Chechelev established himself as a really good MHL (major junior) goalie in 2019-20 and 2020-21 with Russkie Vityaz Chekhov (the Russian Knights) and got a couple call-ups to the KHL to practice with the big club, but otherwise spent time with the VHL (minor pro) HC Ryazan and was a rock-solid minor league goalie. But with the Flames drafting him and Chechelev’s apparent desire to pursue an NHL future, seemingly no KHL organization wanted to sink resources into him short-term and then see him head elsewhere in the long-term.
And so, Chechelev joins a Flames minor league bunch that will likely include Dustin Wolf, Adam Werner, Tyler Parsons, Matt Greenfield and Andrew Shortridge. Since they’re on AHL deals, my understanding is Greenfield, Shortridge and Chechelev can all be loaned to the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks, as can Wolf, who’s on an entry-level deal.
There could be a lot of movement between the two minor league clubs – Stockton and Kansas City – this season, but the priority will probably be to make sure the two youngest goalies (Wolf and Chechelev) get tons and tons of work in.