Five Calgary Flames prospects continuing to impress at mid-season
Photo credit:Provided by the Stockton Heat
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
There are a lot of young players in the Calgary Flames system. Some improve. Some don’t. But as we approach the middle of the 2021-22 hockey calendar, five prospects who came into the season with a lot of momentum have continued to impress.
Here are the five prospects who are continuing their strong performances thus far this season.
The Flames’ first-round pick in 2021, Coronato came into the 2021-22 season coming off a superb season with the USHL’s Chicago Steel. A goal-scoring machine in junior, Coronato hasn’t set the NCAA scoresheets ablaze quite yet, but he’s stepped into a really good Harvard team and been a steady, top contributor as he adjusts to the rigors of NCAA athletics and high-end academics. He was the top-ranked player in our off-season rankings.
The Flames’ first-round pick in 2019, it would’ve been easy to doubt Pelletier’s ability to jump into pro and excel right away. He’s not a huge player and he was coming out of a QMJHL circuit with a reputation for gaudy offensive numbers… and for its players to come down to earth a bit in their first pro seasons. But Pelletier has been arguably as good for the Stockton Heat as he was for Team Canada at the World Juniors or for Val-d’Or and Moncton in the Q. He’s among the top AHL scorers – as a 20-year-old – and he plays in every important situation for the Heat. He was the third-ranked prospect in our off-season rankings.,
Drafted fourth-from-last in the 2019 NHL Draft, Wolf was a superb WHL goaltender whose only criticisms were based on trying to project future success. (He’s listed at six-feet tall, which is small by goaltender standards, you see.) But Wolf excelled in the WHL and so far he’s excelled in the AHL. He’s among the top performers in the AHL as a 20-year-old. He’s been every bit as impressive as Pelletier has been, and every bit as impactful relative to the rest of the league. He was the fourth-ranked prospect in our off-season rankings.
Since he’s gone pro, Phillips has been one of the leading offensive players for the Stockton Heat. A sixth-round pick back in 2016, this WHL product isn’t a big fella, but he’s been a really useful player for Stockton. He wears a letter. He plays on their first line. He consistently scores (or sets up) key goals. He’s arguably going to face challenges finding a foothold in the NHL due to his size, but Phillips can just flat-out play at the AHL level. He was the fifth-ranked prospect in our off-season rankings.,
A fourth-round pick in 2017, Ruzicka was well-regarded by OHL prospect evaluators but criticized a bit for his inconsistency. In short: everyone felt that he’d be a really good player if he could bring the same level of commitment on a game-by-game basis. As a pro, Ruzicka’s become more and more consistent and he’s become one of the more interesting packages of size and talent in Calgary’s system. He’s currently with the Flames – and when he’s not, he’s Stockton’s first line centre. He was the sixth-ranked prospect in our off-season rankings.
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