2023 FlamesNation prospect rankings: The no-votes

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
10 months ago
Welcome to the 2023 edition of FlamesNation’s annual prospect rankings!
Earlier this month, seven members of our writing team crafted lists ranking the Calgary Flames’ top 20 prospects. Our final list aggregates the votes submitted by the following writers:
  • Ryan Pike
  • Mike Gould
  • Paige Siewert
  • Shane Stevenson
  • Jeff Middleton
  • Robert Munnich
  • PJ Parmar
Over the next month, we’ll count down from No. 20 until we reveal the name atop our collective list. In the end, each of our writers will describe their respective ranking methodologies; in the same concluding piece, all of our individual lists will be published.
Every Calder Trophy-eligible player on the Flames’ reserve list as of the end of July was eligible to be ranked. 31 players fit that description.
Before we get to the players we ranked in the top 20, we need to address the 11 players that didn’t make that listing. Up first, the players who didn’t receive any votes during our balloting process.

Players not receiving a vote

Eight prospects didn’t crack the top 20 on any of the submitted ballots.
Jake Boltmann
One of the Flames’ two 2020 third-round picks – the other being Jeremie Poirier – Boltmann is headed into his senior year at the University of Notre Dame. He’s no offensive dynamo, but he may project as the best pure shutdown defender in the Calgary system.
Daniil Chechelev
Selected in the fourth round in 2020 with the pick the Flames received for Michael Frolik, Chechelev has had an uneven road through pro hockey and has spent the past two seasons as a good (but not great) goaltender in the ECHL. It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up this season.
Demetrios Koumontzis
A 2018 fourth-round selection, Koumontzis spent five seasons with Arizona State University and was quite good in his freshman season, but failed to progress much further than that during the remainder of his tenure.
Carl-Johan Lerby
Originally a free agent signing out of Sweden, Lerby played a season in the AHL and then went back to Sweden. The Flames qualified him as a restricted free agent and hold onto his rights through June 30, 2025. He’s under contract for 2023-24 with Sport in the Finnish Liiga, and probably isn’t a prospect of note anymore. (But if he becomes super-awesome in the next two Finnish seasons, the Flames still stand to benefit.)
Cade Littler
A seventh-round pick in 2022, Littler was very good in the BCHL with Wenatcheee last season. A big-bodied centre originally committed to Minnesota State University (Mankato), he de-committed when their coach left and is now destined for the University of North Dakota for 2024-25. In the meantime, he’ll spend 2023-24 in the United States Hockey League with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Brady Lyle
A free agent signing this off-season, Lyle’s an undrafted blueliner who’s (a) played well in two NHL organizations so far and (b) been the odd-man-out due to organizational depth in two NHL organizations so far. If nothing else, he’s a versatile minor-league blueliner who can generate points and run a power play. But he’s still fairly young, so maybe there’s more upside there than just “good AHLer.”
Ilya Nikolaev
A third-round pick in 2019, Nikolaev has experienced a bunch of changes over the past few years. First he made the jump from Russian hockey to the USHL, where he played really well with a good team. Then he went full-time pro, spending most of last season in the ECHL with Rapid City and playing quite well for big swaths of the season.
Josh Nodler
A fifth-round pick in 2019, Nodler hasn’t had a great collegiate run. He entered college as a well-regarded freshman prospect, but his development stalled out a bit at Michigan State and he’s bounced around a bit over the past few seasons – he spent 2022-23 with the University of Massachusetts and has transferred to Bowling Green State University for his redshirt senior year in 2023-24. The Flames reportedly lost his signing rights on August 15, but he was eligible for this list when we all voted.
Eetu Tuulola
A sixth-round pick way back in 2016, Tuulola played his entry-level deal with Stockton and then headed back to Finland. The Flames qualified him as a restricted free agent and hold onto his rights until June 30, 2025. He’s probably not a prospect of note anymore, but (again) the Flames hold his rights and could benefit if he becomes super-awesome in the next two seasons.
Yegor Yegorov
A sixth-round pick in 2023, Yegorov is heading into his second season with MHK Dynamo Moskva in Russia’s junior league, the MHL. He was one of their two secondary goaltenders last season and is vying for a bigger role in 2023-24. He’s one of the youngest players drafted in the 2023 class, with an August 30 birthday. He’s a long-term project, as many late-round goaltenders tend to be.

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