A dozen players have made NHL debuts with the Calgary Flames since 2020
Photo credit:Terence Leung/Calgary Wranglers
By Ryan Pike26 days ago
Calgary Flames prospect Connor Zary is expected to make his National Hockey League debut on Wednesday night when the Flames host the Dallas Stars. Zary, the team’s first-rounder in 2020’s NHL Draft, joins a list of organizational prospects to make their first NHL appearance with the Flames.
Since 2020, 12 different players have previously debuted with the Flames.
Feb. 12, 2020 at Los Angeles: D Alexander Yelesin
Signed as a free agent out of Europe, Yelesin played 10:59 in his debut, and was even with two shots on goal and two hits. He played on the third pairing alongside Oliver Kylington. The Flames lost 5-3.
Feb. 13, 2021 at Vancouver: D Connor Mackey
Signed as a free agent out of college, Mackey played 13:56 and was minus-1. He played with Juuso Valimaki on the third pairing. The Flames lost 3-1.
Feb. 20, 2021 at Edmonton: F Glenn Gawdin
Signed as a free agent out of junior, Gawdin played 6:04 and was minus-1. He won 3 of 7 face-offs taken, and played on the fourth line with Dillon Dube and Milan Lucic. The Flames lost 7-1.
Feb. 25, 2021 at Ottawa: G Artyom Zagidulin
Signed as a free agent out of Europe, Zagidulin played 28:13 in relief of David Rittich in a 6-1 loss. (Zagidulin allowed two goals on 11 shots.) Zagidulin had dressed as Rittich’s backup for the previous two games after Jacob Markstrom suffered an injury, but the Ottawa game was his first NHL game action.
May 16, 2021 at Vancouver: F Adam Ruzicka
Drafted in the fourth round in 2019, Ruzicka played 9:46 in a 6-5 overtime win – this was part of those games the Flames and Canucks played while the Stanley Cup playoffs were happening. Ruzicka was plus-1 with an interference minor penalty and a shot on goal. He won 6 of 10 face-offs taken, and played on a line with Dominik Simon and Brett Ritchie.
May 19, 2021 vs. Vancouver: F Matthew Phillips
Drafted in the sixth round in 2016, Phillips played 14:19 in a 6-2 win – this was the final game of the cursed 2020-21 fan-less season, and the final game that the Flames played while the Stanley Cup playoffs were going on elsewhere. Phillips was even with two shots on goal. He played on a line with Milan Lucic and Adam Ruzicka.
Nov. 14, 2021 at Ottawa: F Walker Duehr
Signed as a free agent out of college, Duehr played 8:47 in a 4-0 win. He was even with zero shots on goal. He played on a line with Milan Lucic and Brad Richardson.
Nov. 7, 2022 at NY Islanders: D Nick DeSimone
Signed as a minor league free agent, DeSimone played 9:30 in a 4-3 overtime loss. He was minus-1 with one shot on goal, and played on a pair with Connor Mackey.
Jan. 21, 2023 vs. Tampa Bay: F Jakob Pelletier
Drafted in the first round in 2019, Pelletier played 6:50 in a 6-3 win. He was even with one shot on goal, and won zero of the two face-offs he took. He played on a line with Walker Duehr and Trevor Lewis.
Apr. 12, 2023 vs. San Jose: G Dustin Wolf and F Matt Coronato
Drafted in the seventh round in 2019, Wolf had dressed as backup twice for the Flames in 2021-22, once backing up Jacob Markstrom when Dan Vladar couldn’t enter the United States for COVID-related reasons and once backing up Vladar when the team gave Markstrom a few days completely off to recharge. His official NHL debut was in the 2022-23 season finale, a 23-save victory in a 3-1 win over the Sharks.
Drafted in the first round in 2021, Coronato played 14:38 on a line with Nazem Kadri and Jakob Pelletier. He was given a minor penalty for hooking, but was also plus-1 with four shots on goal.
Oct. 26, 2023 vs. St. Louis: D Ilya Solovyov
Drafted in the seventh round in 2020, Solovyov played 16:34 on a pairing with Chris Tanev. Logged a minor penalty for cross-checking, but was otherwise unscathed in the game and registered a shot on goal, a shot that was blocked, and a shot that he blocked from the other team. The Flames lost 3-0.
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