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A tale of two second-rounders: Yan Kuznetsov debuts, Dillon Dube scratched against Ottawa

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Photo credit:Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
On Tuesday night, Mikael Backlund will tie Mark Giordano for second spot on the Calgary Flames’ all-time games played leaderboard. As Backlund plays career game number 949, Yan Kuznetsov will play career game number 1… and Dillon Dube will be watching from the press box.
As one second-round pick makes his NHL debut, another will be looking for a reset.
A second-round pick back in 2020, Kuznetsov was touted by the scouting community as a projected shutdown defender. After spending time with the NCAA’s University of Connecticut and the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs, where he won a Memorial Cup, Kuznetsov went pro full-time in 2022.
The 21-year-old has seven points in 31 AHL games this season. He’s projected to play on the left side of the third defensive pairing against Ottawa, playing alongside Nick DeSimone.
A second-round pick back in 2016, Dube’s in his fourth full season with the Flames (and sixth pro season overall). He posted 18 goals and 45 points as a utility forward throughout the Flames’ top three lines last season. But the emergence of players like Yegor Sharangovich, Martin Pospisil and Connor Zary bumped Dube down the rotation. He’s been on the fourth line for most of the season.
Dube’s last point was Nov. 24 and his last goal was Nov. 16. He’s played 20 games without registering a point and 24 games without registering a goal.

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