2 Calgary Flames prospects among The Hockey News’ top 100 NCAA players to watch
Photo credit:courtesy UConn Athletics
By Ryan Pike1 month ago
Over the past few years, Calgary Flames fans have watched with excitement as 2021 first-round pick Matt Coronato did fun hockey things in the NCAA. The forward emerged as one of the top college forwards in North America, and made his NHL debut last spring. He’s been great in NHL pre-season, too.
Despite Coronato’s departure, the Flames still have two collegiate prospects on Ryan Kennedy’s top 100 NCAA prospects to watch list over at The Hockey News.
The two prospects appearing are University of Connecticut goaltender Arsenii Sergeev (at 20th) and University of Massachusetts forward Aydar Suniev (at 62nd). Yes, it’s a bit odd that both of the Flames’ prospects on a list of American collegiate players were born in Russia.
A seventh-round pick in 2021, Sergeev is basically the embodiment of the argument “Hey, take a goalie late every year!” A standout in the North American Hockey League – a junior league a rung down the ladder from the United States Hockey League – Sergeev had a tremendous 2021-22 season and was named the USHL’s top goaltender. He moved onto UConn as a freshman and was part of a tandem in net with Logan Terness, eventually getting slightly more starts and working his way into 1A status. (Terness transferred elsewhere during the off-season.) If Sergeev can define himself as a sure-fire NCAA starter this season, look out.
The only weird thing about Suniev has been his visa status. A Russian import who played hockey for both Canadian and American-based teams, he’s faced some immigration challenges since coming over – that’s the reason we didn’t see him at Flames development camp in July. But ignoring administrative hassles, the kid can flat-out play hockey. An offensive-minded winger, he had 45 goals (and 90 points) in 50 games with the Penticton Vees last season and was a third-rounder in 2023. He needs to fill out physically and round out his game a tad, but you can’t argue with his scoring output.
Head on over to The Hockey News to see the other 92 names on Kennedy’s extensive list!
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