Calgary Flames assign Jakob Pelletier to AHL’s Wranglers

Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
30 days ago
On their Tuesday off, the Calgary Flames made a roster move. They’ve assigned winger Jakob Pelletier to the American Hockey League’s Calgary Wranglers. In a corresponding move, the Wranglers have sent forward Mark Duarte to the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush.
Pelletier, 23, was the Flames’ first-round pick back in 2019. He’s in his third year of his entry-level deal. After two strong seasons in the AHL – and a cup of coffee in the NHL in 2022-23 – he was pencilled in for an opening night roster spot for the 2023-24 season.
Then, Pelletier wrecked his shoulder from a hit from Seattle Kraken forward Marian Studenic during the second pre-season game. That shoulder injury required surgery, which kept Pelletier off the ice until January. Pelletier played four games with the Wranglers, posting two goals and three points, before being recalled to the NHL following the All-Star break.
Since his call-up, Pelletier’s had his ups and downs. In 13 NHL games he has one goal and three points. He hasn’t been bad, but he’s lacked his usual doggedness on pucks, something head coach Ryan Huska has pointed out in media availabilities over the past few weeks. Because he hasn’t looked like Peak Pelletier, the winger has bounced basically all over the lineup, eventually landing in the press box as a healthy scratch for the past two games.
Once Connor Zary is back at 100%, the Flames would be carrying three extra forwards if they kept Pelletier up on the NHL roster. Considering Pelletier is 23 and has played just 19 games so far this season, the kid absolutely needs to get minutes. And with the number of bodies the Flames have on their roster, he would be in tough to get regular minutes and a big role at the NHL level.
Sending him down to the Wranglers allows Pelletier to play a big role, be a difference-maker in his team’s games, and get his swagger back. While it’s disappointing to see a first-round pick go down to the minors, it’s probably the right move for Pelletier’s development and to cement the Wranglers’ playoff aspirations.
The Flames are back in action on Saturday in Vancouver. The Wranglers are back in action on Tuesday at home against Bakersfield.
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