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2021 FlamesNation Prospect Rankings: On the bubble
By Mike Gould2 years ago
Welcome back to FlamesNation’s 2021 prospect rankings.
We introduced this year’s series yesterday with a rundown of the 13 Calgary Flames prospects who did not appear on any of the lists submitted by our contributors (Ryan Pike, Pat Steinberg, the two Mikes, Paige Siewert, PJ Parmar, Craig Petter, and Shane Stevenson).
Earlier this month, each of our participating writers was tasked with compiling a list of their top 20 Flames prospects from a pool of 42 eligible names. Once all eight lists were complete, FlamesNation managing editor Ryan Pike assigned point values to each individual prospect based on their various placements.
Spoiler alert: I ranked Connor Zary as the Flames’ top prospect on my list. As such, he received the maximum of 20 points towards his overall total. Conversely, 2020 third-round pick Cole Huckins slotted in at No. 20 on my list and received a single point.
Seven different Flames prospects amassed a total of 100 points or more. In the end, just two points separated prospects No. 20 and 21 on our aggregated list. The 13 prospects mentioned yesterday all received no votes and, fittingly, zero points.
Today, we’re taking a look at the nine Flames prospects who received votes from our panelists but missed out on earning enough points to qualify for our final list.
Beck received one 20th-place vote. He’s a left-handed winger who the Flames selected in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. Beck plays for the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League; he missed the entire 2020–21 season as a result of the league’s COVID-19 shutdown.
The Richmond Hill, ON product is one of Calgary’s younger prospects — he only turned 18 in April — and he produced relatively well as a 16-year-old rookie in 2019–20. Among OHL players in their draft-minus-one seasons, Beck ranked 17th with 19 points in 56 games (according to Pick224). He’ll have a chance to establish himself as one of Ottawa’s offensive leaders when the OHL resumes play in 2021–22; if so, he’ll likely occupy a much higher spot on our next list.
Parsons, a decorated junior goaltender who Calgary selected in the second round of the 2016 draft, also received one 20th-place vote. The 23-year-old has struggled to remain healthy since making the jump to professional hockey in 2017–18; Parsons appeared in just one game during the 2020–21 season, allowing five goals on 25 shots.
This upcoming season is truly make-or-break for Parsons, who has officially re-signed with Calgary on a one-year deal. He has a career .888 save percentage in 28 AHL games over three seasons with the Stockton Heat but he’ll have another chance to right the ship in 2021–22. He’ll face stiff competition in Stockton’s crease and he’ll need to stay healthy to give himself the best chance to remain in the Flames’ future plans.
Werner will likely be one of two goaltenders vying with Parsons for AHL starts in 2021–22 (like Parsons and Beck, he earned a single 20th-place vote). The 24-year-old Swede signed a one-year deal with Calgary as a UFA on Jul. 28 after the Colorado Avalanche opted not to tender him a qualifying offer earlier the same week.
A veteran of precisely two NHL games with the Avalanche, Werner has spent the bulk of his North American professional career in the AHL with the Colorado Eagles. He served as Colorado’s AHL starter in 2019–20, posting an 18-10-1 record in 31 games to go along with a .909 save percentage. Werner combined a 6-4-1 record with a .908 save percentage as an Eagle in 2020–21.
Chechelev received one 18th-place vote and, accordingly, three points. The Flames selected the lanky Russian goaltender in the fourth round of the 2020 draft (Chechelev went unselected in 2019).
The NHL’s Central Scouting bureau elected not to rank Chechelev on its 2020 list. Of course, results always beat rankings; immediately after being taken by Calgary, Chechelev rattled off a streak of 13 consecutive wins to begin the 2020–21 season. After winning his first 10 MHL games of the year with Russkie Vityazi Chekhov, Chechelev earned a promotion to Russia’s second-tier professional league and won his first three VHL games with HK Ryazan.
The 20-year-old Chechelev ultimately played the majority of his games in 2020–21 with Ryazan, posting a .912 save percentage to go along with an 8-7-3 record in 21 contests. His .922 save percentage in 19 MHL games ranked 20th among the league’s 74 goaltenders (min. 10 GP).
Two of our writers bestowed 19th-place votes upon Nodler, pushing him ahead of Chechelev by only a single point. Nodler is a right-handed centre who the Flames selected in the fifth round of the 2019 draft; he joined the NCAA’s Michigan State Spartans to begin the 2019–20 season and emerged as the team’s No. 1 centre in 2020–21.
MSU put forth a relatively weak team last season but Nodler nonetheless managed to stand out for his motor and complete game. Despite managing only three goals and 11 points in 27 games, Nodler actually ranked just two points back of the team lead. Just two 22-year-olds ranked ahead of Nodler, himself a 19-year-old sophomore, on the scoring leaderboard for the 2020–21 Spartans.
Nodler turned 20 in April and appears set to return to Michigan State in 2021–22. He should be the top player on the upcoming iteration of the Spartans; if all goes well, Nodler could be a candidate to sign an entry-level contract with Calgary next summer.
Philp received two votes (14th and 20th) and earned a total of eight points from our panellists. Despite being one of Calgary’s oldest prospects, Philp has legitimate NHL upside and could feasibly become an effective two-way bottom-six forward for the Flames as soon as the 2021–22 campaign.
Over the last two seasons, Philp leads all Stockton Heat players with 27 goals in 82 games. He’s a right-handed forward capable of slotting in on either wing and down the middle; his 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 30 AHL games ranked third on the 2020–21 Heat.
Philp signed a one-year extension with Calgary on Aug. 6. He’ll likely get a long look in training camp.
Whynot received four votes (17th, 19th, 19th, and 20th), good for nine points. The Flames picked him with their second of two third-round selections, 89th overall, in the 2021 draft.
A 6’1″, 180-pound left-handed defenceman out of the QMJHL, Whynot tallied an impressive 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 34 games with the Halifax Mooseheads in 2020–21. According to Pick224‘s 2020–21 data, Whynot ranked second in scoring among all first-year draft-eligible QMJHL defencemen. With Whynot on the ice at 5-on-5, the Mooseheads outscored their opposition 40-24; without him, they scored just 55 goals and surrendered 68.
The Kentville, NS product turned 18 in May and likely has two more years of major junior ahead of him. He could make the jump to Calgary’s professional ranks in the 2023–24 season.
Zavgorodniy tied Whynot with nine points, receiving three votes (16th, 18th, and 20th). He’s a speedy little winger who thrived in his three QMJHL seasons with the Rimouski Océanic before experiencing some growing pains in his debut go-round with the Stockton Heat.
The 2018 seventh-round pick made the jump to the AHL in 2020–21, playing 29 of Stockton’s 30 games and scoring four points (one goal, three assists). He failed to score in his first 19 games with Stockton before being made a healthy scratch on Apr. 2; after returning to the lineup, his shift-to-shift consistency noticeably improved and he registered all four of his points in a five-game span from Apr. 6–22.
Zavgorodniy stands just 5’9″ but weighs 173 pounds. He’s very skilled with the puck and has good offensive instincts but he could stand to improve without possession. Zavgorodniy only just turned 21 on Aug. 11 and still has two years remaining on his entry-level contract.
Jordan amassed 15 points on the back of four votes (12th, 18th, 19th, and 20th). One of the older prospects selected in the 2021 draft, Calgary took him in the fifth round with the 141st-overall pick.
The 6′, 173-pound lefty combines excellent skating ability with a great first pass and strong defensive awareness. According to Pick224, Jordan ranked third on the 2020–21 Moose Jaw Warriors with an average of 16:37 per game; he totalled 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 23 contests, fourth-most among first-year draft-eligible WHL defencemen.
2021 FlamesNation Prospect Rankings
The no-votes | On the bubble
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