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5 Calgary Wranglers we hope get Flames auditions this season

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Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers
Ryan Pike
25 days ago
There are 15 games remaining on the Calgary Flames schedule and while the club remains mathematically alive in the playoff hunt, it seems prudent to start thinking about how to build for success next season. The Flames have already auditioned a lot of fresh faces from the American Hockey League’s Wranglers this season.
So… who else are we hoping gets a quick look-see from the big club before the NHL season ends? Here are five players – none of whom have played a minute with the Flames as of yet – that could merit consideration.

Clark Bishop

A 27-year-old forward that can play wing or centre, Bishop has been a really useful utility forward for the Wranglers over the past two seasons after spending time in the Hurricanes and Senators organizations. Last spring, he formed a heck of a checking line with Kevin Rooney and Brett Sutter. With Rooney and A.J. Greer seemingly vying for fourth line duty going forward, it may be worth testing out Bishop this season to see if he’s a fit. If he is, suddenly a big lineup headache from the past season – the fourth line lacking cohesion – is dealt with.

Artem Grushnikov

One of the pieces acquired from the Dallas Stars in the Chris Tanev trade, Grushnikov turns 21 this week and projects as a very Tanev-y defensive defender. The big question is how far away is he? The Flames have already tested out defensive defenders like Ilya Solovyov and Yan Kuznetsov for a few games this season, so getting a look at Grushnikov could provide some intel on how he slots in developmentally relative to the other two gentlemen at the NHL level.

Ben Jones

A 25-year-old centre, Jones is a pending Group VI unrestricted free agent. He’s also been a really useful and consistent Wranglers forward, playing in every game this season to date and playing in every game situation. While Jones is a little older than some of the Flames’ up-and-coming forwards, it may be worth trying him for a game or two at the NHL level just to get a sense of if he’s a “Quad-A” guy or perhaps has future NHL upside.

Jeremie Poirier

At the pro level, Poirier may be the most exciting Flames blueliner right now – at least perhaps until Hunter Brzustewicz goes pro. Poirier lost a ton of developmental time due to his arm laceration from a skate earlier this season. But since returning, he’s managed to consistently produce points and add a bit of dynamism to the Wranglers attack. It would be a nice reward for him, as well as a good chance to assess his progression, if he could get an NHL outing under his belt.

William Strömgren

Finally, there’s Strömgren. He got off to a slow start to his first season in North America, but the 20-year-old winger has really built his game nicely and he’s really taken advantage of the additional ice time he’s been given due to the call-ups of various other Wranglers forwards of late. Much like Grushnikov, it would be beneficial to see how he’s progressing relative to the team’s other young forwards, and figuring out what he could be at the NHL level.
Who do you want to see get Flames auditions from the Wranglers? Let us know in the comments!
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