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Are we talking enough about Jaden Lipinski? (A Calgary Flames prospect update)

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Photo credit:James Doyle/WHL
Ryan Pike
23 days ago
Folks, it’s natural for everybody to fixate on particular prospects. But part of the fun of covering a hockey team is seeing some players blossom in the background.
From the 2023 draft class, the Flames grabbed high-skill players in Samuel Honzek, Etienne Morin and Aydar Suniev with their first three picks. But the fourth guy they grabbed, Honzek’s teammate Jaden Lipinski from the Vancouver Giants, arguably has had the biggest breakout season in 2023-24 from that draft crop.
On paper, Lipinski is a really intriguing prospect. He’s a 6’4″, 205 pound right shot centre. He was leaned on heavily by the Giants during the season, playing in 67 of their 68 games during the regular season and eating up a lot of minutes due to Honzek’s absence and the team being a bit lean on experienced skill players before adding a couple at the trade deadline.
And while being relied upon heavily, he performed really well. His 66 points were tied for the team lead. He led the Giants in shots. Nobody took more face-offs than he did on the team – he took 619 more draws than the next-best Giant. Nobody on his team won draws at a higher rate, either – he won 57.4% of them. Heck, in the entire Western Hockey League, only Prince Albert’s Aiden Oiring took more face-offs than Lipinski, and only Red Deer’s Kai Uchacz won more draws.
Yes, there are several players in the Flames’ developmental pipeline with higher offensive ceilings than Lipinski has. But man, if you look at the tools he has and how he’s used them so far, it’s easy to imagine Lipinski becoming a really useful, valuable player for the Flames in the coming years.
Let’s dive into this week’s prospect update!

Parker Bell – LW/C, Tri-City Americans, WHL / Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s fifth round pick (155th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
WHL season to date5933316450353123126.86
AHL season to date
2022-23 (WHL)5525396451362818728.82
With Tri-City’s season ending – and the Americans missing the post-season – the Flames re-assigned Bell to the Wranglers last week. He hasn’t worked his way into the lineup yet.

Jake Boltmann – D, University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, NCAA/Big 10

22; Calgary’s third round pick (80th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date30022222361.82
2022-23 (NCAA)37145353423.69
Boltmann’s NCAA season and college career are complete.

Hunter Brzustewicz – D, Kitchener Rangers, OHL

19; Vancouver’s third round pick (75th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Vancouver
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date6713799246653414036.37
2022-23 (OHL)686515732312111022.20
Three games into the Rangers’ playoff series with Erie, they have a 2-1 series lead. Brzustewicz only has two assists so far, but he’s played a lot for Kitchener.

Lucas Ciona – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s sixth round pick (173rd overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 11th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date54426565644.43
2022-23 (WHL)6328477553543719429.48
Ciona played once and was scratched twice for the Wranglers last week.

Matt Coronato – RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s first round pick (13th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 2nd-ranked prospect
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4015274228271713741.84
2022-23 (NCAA)3420163631191614124.31
Coronato is in the NHL. He’s eligible to return for the AHL’s playoffs.

Riley Damiani – C, Texas Stars/Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Dallas’ fifth round pick (137th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Dallas
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date631113241916139315.18
2022-23 (AHL)591318312418148720.94
Damiani played once and was scratched twice for the Wranglers last week.

Artem Grushnikov – D, Texas Stars/Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Dallas’ second round pick (48th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Dallas
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date59156565634.05
2022-23 (OHL)658917101491166.93
Grushnikov has formed a pretty effective defensive pairing alongside Ilya Solovyov for the Wranglers.

Samuel Honzek – LW/C, Vancouver Giants, WHL/Slovakia, WJC

19; Calgary’s first round pick (16th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 4th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
WHL season to date331021312216118623.26
WJC season to date531432110n/a
2022-23 (WHL)4323335640362613432.25
Honzek has a goal and six shots through two playoffs games against Everett so far. The Giants and Silvertips have split the first two games in their series.

Axel Hurtig – D, Rögle BK, J20 Nationell/SHL / Kristianstads IK, HockeyEttan

18; Calgary’s seventh round pick (208th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
J20 season to date27381171175415.10
SHL season to date700000000.00
HockeyEttan season to date40111115n/a
2022-23 (J20)34268373473.82
While Rogle’s J20 playoffs are done, Hurtig has joined Kristianstads for their post-season.
As an aside, HockeyEttan’s entire structure is kind of wild and fun. They play in four region-based divisions for the first half of the season – north, east, south and west. The top five teams in each division move onto to one of the two region-based divisions for the second half – north and south. Kristianstads finished in the top two of their second-half division, which earned them a bye into the semi-final round of HockeyEttan’s playoffs – bypassing the play-in and quarterfinal rounds. The six semi-final winners go into their own special playoffs, with the winner playing the last-place team from the second-tier HockeyAllsvanskan in an attempt at getting promoted up a rung in Swedish hockey.

Ben Jones – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing; 12th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date6621214233282319225.36
2022-23 (AHL)7117375441282120230.31
Jones is the only player to have dressed for every Wranglers game this season. He remains a really consistent, steady presence in their lineup. He had a goal through three games last week.

Joni Jurmo – D, Ilves Tampere/KooKoo Kuovola, Liiga/CHL / Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Vancouver’s third round pick (82nd overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Vancouver
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Liiga season to date46145343634.03
CHL season to date60111118n/a
AHL season to date
2022-23 (Liiga)52581381161189.27
Jurmo signed his entry-level deal last week and was assigned to the Wranglers. He has yet to work himself into a game.

Rory Kerins – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 14th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4913162924191510723.59
2022-23 (ECHL)3817203731252111722.36
Kerins played in all three games last week and tallied one goal.

Adam Klapka – RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Free agent signing; 18th-ranked prospect
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date6021234333292116428.56
2022-23 (AHL)6013122518161110316.61
We’ve discussed Klapka a lot this season, because he’s been really good and really consistent. He matched last season’s games played mark last week… and already has 18 more points than he did last season. He had three points in three games last week and continues to perform well.

Demetrios Koumonztis – D/RW, Idaho Steelheads, ECHL

23; Calgary’s fourth round pick (108th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4591019111410819.69
2022-23 (NCAA)3771118121076713.28
Koumontzis had a goal this week in the ECHL.

Yan Kuznetsov – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s second round pick (50th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 17th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date5957129118858.11
2022-23 (AHL)63514191119116512.02
Kuznetsov has bounced around a few different pairings the last week or so, but he’s quite steady for the Wranglers.

Jaden Lipinski – C, Vancouver Giants, WHL

19; Calgary’s fourth round pick (112th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 16th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date6724426647332318124.39
2022-23 (WHL)6619325136352315219.14
Lipinski had three assists (and won two-thirds of his face-offs) in Vancouver’s series-opening win over Everett. He was held off the scoresheet in the second game, which the Giants lost.

Cade Littler – C, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, USHL / Penticton Vees, BCHL

19; Calgary’s seventh round pick (219th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
USHL season to date1383119863019.43
BCHL season to date249122117965.51
2022-23 (BCHL)512939684736278.75
Littler is out with an injury. As of yet, no timeline for his return has been announced by the Vees.

Brady Lyle – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date46691597310013.00
2022-23 (AHL)51724311613612424.22
Lyle is injured. He last played on Feb. 19.

Etienne Morin – D, Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL

18; Calgary’s second round pick (48th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft; tied for 5th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date5812374932211319119.67
2022-23 (QMJHL)6721517247342121325.03
The good news is Morin has three assists through three playoff games. The bad news is Moncton is trailing 3-0 in their series with Chicoutimi.

Sam Morton – C, Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks, NCAA / Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
NCAA season to date3724103432201915124.00
AHL season to date83255331924.91
2022-23 (NCAA)106287332821.00
Man, Morton’s been really effective for the Wranglers. He’s found himself a good spot on the top line, scoring twice last week, and doesn’t look a bit out of place despite having a pro career that’s less than 10 games old.

Ilya Nikolaev – C/LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL / Rapid City Rush, ECHL

22; Calgary’s third round pick (88th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
AHL season to date29336666338.25
ECHL season to date1101111322.96
2022-23 (ECHL)401320332122159718.94
Nikolaev was sent down to the ECHL to get some game reps with Rapid City. He scored a goal in his first ECHL game of the season.

Jakob Pelletier – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Calgary’s first round pick (26th overall); 3rd-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date123585332326.57
2022-23 (AHL)351621373218149242.13
Pelletier had a quiet offensive week, but he remains a fixture on the Wranglers’ top line.

Jeremie Poirier – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s third round pick (72nd overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; tied for 5th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date18310135523928.78
2022-23 (AHL)699324120211317223.68
Poirier seems to still be knocking the rust off after missing so much time – it’s most evident in his defensive zone play – but he’s consistently noticeable with the puck.

Cole Schwindt – C/RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Florida’s third round pick (81st overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Florida; 9th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date6014193325211411921.92
2022-23 (AHL)7014183220161011818.22
Schwindt hasn’t blown the doors off offensively this season – his is more of a patient two-way game – but his versatility in terms of position and the situations he can play in have made him really valuable for the Wranglers.

Ilya Solovyov – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Calgary’s seventh round pick (205th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 8th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date48591491398111.62
2022-23 (AHL)684141891688210.55
Solovyov and Grushnikov have become the de facto shutdown pairing for the Wranglers, which has opened the other pairings up for more offensive-minded deployments.

William Strömgren – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s second round pick (45th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 19th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date62616222014127114.14
2022-23 (SHL)45358665318.69
It feels like we’ve been singing Strömgren’s praises since just after Christmas, but he’s really blossomed as a consistent middle-six winger for the Wranglers and somebody they use in basically every game situation.

Aydar Suniev – LW/C, University of Massachusetts Minutemen, NCAA/Hockey East

19; Calgary’s third round pick (80th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 13th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date3512132519161210023.02
2022-23 (BCHL)5045459073474011.81
Suniev’s season is finished, as the Minutemen were beaten in double overtime by Denver in the regional semi-final round. The game was superb and Suniev showed really well in a tight-checking style of game.

Daniil Chechelev – G, HC Vityaz, KHL / Ryazan-VDV, VHL

22; Calgary’s fourth round pick (96th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft
GPTOISV%
KHL season to date158.880
VHL season to date5271.908
2022-23 (ECHL)392135.892
Chechelev’s season is finished.

Arsenii Sergeev – G, University of Connecticut Huskies, NCAA/Hockey East

20; Calgary’s seventh round pick (205th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 15th-ranked prospect
GPTOISV%
Season to date16934.913
2022-23 (NCAA)191104.912
Sergeev’s season is finished. He’ll be joining Penn State for the 2024-25 season.

Dustin Wolf – G, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Calgary’s seventh round pick (214th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft; 1st-ranked prospect
GPTOISV%
Season to date352025.923
2022-23 (AHL)553239.932
Wolf is in the NHL. He’s eligible to return for the AHL’s playoffs.

Yegor Yegorov – G, MHK Dynamo Moskva, MHL

18; Calgary’s sixth round pick (176th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft
GPTOISV%
Season to date251319.917
2022-23 (MHL)15786.915
Yegorov’s season is finished.

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