Photo credit:courtesy Penticton Vees
Calgary Flames prospect Aydar Suniev named Hockey East’s rookie of the week
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
One of the Calgary Flames’ newest prospects has been honoured by his conference for a strong weekend of work. University of Massachusetts freshman Aydar Suniev has been named Hockey East’s rookie of the week.
Originally from Kazan, Russia, the 19-year-old Suniev came over to North America as a teenager and has been playing in a lot of high-end prep and junior leagues ever since. After posting 45 goals and 90 points with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees last season, he was a third-round selection by the Flames (80th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft. This pick was acquired by the Flames from New Jersey (along with Yegor Sharangovich) in the Tyler Toffoli trade. (The pick was originally Calgary’s, though, sent to Seattle in the Calle Jarnkrok trade, sent by Seattle to Columbus in the Oliver Bjornstrand trade, and sent from Columbus to New Jersey for Damon Severson.)
Making the jump to college hockey with UMass, Suniev’s been playing on the left side of the Minutemen’s second and third line, and getting second unit power play time. He went off offensively this weekend against Alaska Anchorage, posting five points (two goals, three assists) on Friday and adding a goal on Saturday. After that outburst, he has seven goals and 12 points in 15 games in a pretty strong collegiate conference.
Per USCHO.com, Suniev sits tied for 24th among college freshmen in points and tied for 14th in goals. Considering he’s a third-rounder with relatively little high-end hockey experience before this season – he played a single BCHL season, compared to others who have played considerable time in the USHL before making the jump to college – his performance so far is pretty solid.
Time will tell if this weekend of big points production is an outlier, or a sign of further scoring to come.
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