FlamesNation prospects report: Taking a glance at the NCAA prospects
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
7 months ago
In the previous edition of the FlamesNation prospects report, we took a look at the Canadian Hockey League prospects. Shortly after that was published, Seattle Thunderbirds forward Lucas Ciona put up a miraculous six-point night that featured a hat trick and a trio of assists. He was named the Western Hockey League’s Player of the Week.
In this edition of the prospects report, we are going to take a peek at a handful of Flames prospects who have got their season underway in the NCAA.
Arsenii Sergeev – University of Connecticut
Let’s kick things off with a goaltender! Yaroslavl, Russia native Arsenii Sergeev was drafted in the seventh round of the 2021 NHL Draft. Last season he played for the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and put on a stellar performance. Through 41 games, he posted an astonishing record of 30-6-2 and held 2.08 goals against average (GAA) and a .918 save percentage (SV%). He was named the USHL Goaltender of the Year and named to the USHL First All-Star Team.
This season, he is playing for the University of Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA. Through four games so far, he has posted a 3-1-0 record along with a 2.24 GAA and a .929 SV%. Sergeev is a project goalie and one that the Flames certainly do not need to rush considering they have the likes of Jacob Markstrom starting and top prospect Dustin Wolf on the come up.
Sergeev’s game has made some impressive improvements since being selected 205th overall by Calgary in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He possesses a fairly versatile toolkit, and plays with a calm demeanor, definitely a trait you’d look for in a goaltender. Once Sergeev finds his groove, he’s able to ride some impressive streaks. His strong play this season left him with an impressive stat line, as he recorded a 30-6-2 record, with a .918 save percentage and 2.08 goals against average. Sergeev also recorded six regular season shutouts. He also earned USHL Goaltender of the Year and USHL 1st team all-star honours. Sergeev’s playoff performance was up and down, but he still managed to register decent numbers.
Demetrios Koumontzis – Arizona State University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native Demetrios Koumontzis was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Draft. During his draft year, he played for the powerhouse Edina High in the Minnesota high school league. That season he registered 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists) in 24 games and even had a four-goal night. He committed to the Arizona State University Sun Devils where he has played the last five seasons and looks to be another project player in the Flames pipeline.
In his first year with the Sun Devils, he registered 20 points in 35 games, not bad during a freshman campaign. Over the last couple of years, he has had trouble staying healthy which has significantly dropped his stock. Last season he put up 11 points (4 goals, 11 assists) in 23 games. So far this season, as a fifth-year senior, he has three goals and four points in eight games and looks to be back on track.
Joel Henderson of DobberProspects had this analysis of Koumontzis’ game back in 2019:
“Koumontzis is a versatile, fast, talented forward who prides himself on his playmaking abilities and his work ethic. He loves to be the first in on the forecheck and has the speed to create havoc for defenders. Instead of throwing his body on the line in the offensive end, he would rather apply pressure by taking away time and space and then using good position on defenders to create for teammates. You could find him playing LW the majority of the time but has suited up at center for some games, as well as on the second PP and PK. He is very defensively responsible and can be a one-man breakout if needed. From the defensive end to the offensive end, you can guarantee he will beat whoever is shadowing him one-on-one. From a fantasy perspective, he has enough speed and ability to be dangerous in multiple roles on a team.”
Joshua Nodler – University of Massachusetts
Joshua Nodler is another American-born prospect in the Flames pipeline. Nodler, who was born in Oak Park, Michigan, played his youth hockey with the prestigious Honeybaked organization in the Detroit area. He was drafted by the Flames in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft.
Nodler, 21, registered 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League during his draft year. He was named to the USHL All-Rookie Second Team. That same year he represented the USA twice, once at the WJAC-19 tournament alongside NHL prospects Shane Pinto (OTT), Bobby Brink (PHI), Ronnie Attard (PHI), and Zac Jones (NYR), who helped lead them to a championship. He also was the USA’s leading scorer at the Hlinka Gretzky tournament, registering seven points in five games and capturing a silver medal.
Following his draft year, Nodler played at Michigan State University and put up eight points in 36 games despite higher expectations. Over the past two seasons, he has registered 11 and 15 points respectively. This year, he was transferred from Michigan State to the University of Massachusetts, otherwise known as UMass, the same school that developed Stanley Cup Champion and Conn Smythe winner Cale Makar. In just five games this season, Nodler has registered three points.
Jake Boltmann – University of Notre Dame
Jake Boltmann was selected third round, 80th overall, in the 2020 NHL Draft. The Edina, Minnesota native also played his high school hockey for the powerhouse Edina High. In 2019-20 he was named to the Hornets’ leadership group and was named captain of the club. The right-shot defenseman registered 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) in 25 games. He also had a brief stint in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars, putting up nine points in 17 games.
During his rookie campaign at the University of Notre Dame, Boltmann was held pointless through 19 games. However, last season, he recorded 13 points in 40 games and was a plus-5. So far this season, he has one goal through six games. As you can tell, putting up points is not his primary trait but he has seen a top-four role so far all year. He is a defensive defenceman and his game has been described as sandpaper-like, meaning he has a bite, something that would fit the Flames’ mold.
However, he is another project player, and still, needs to crack the Wranglers roster before we can even begin to talk about an NHL career. Here’s a scouting report from Raw Charge:
“On Boltmann the player, from the limited amount of video I was able to find on him, he is a defenseman that likes to jump up into the rush a lot. This indicates to me that he both wants to be a leader on the ice and go where the puck is offensively, but also that he’s probably playing at a level too low for his skillset right now in Minnesota high school. On the good side, he’s already committed to Minnesota of the NCAA, which will be a great place to develop for up to four years.”
While that is an older scouting report (he subsequently de-committed from the University of Minnesota and went to play for the Fighting Irish), you can get a sense of who Boltmann is. Another major project player in the Flames system, but is a player who has the potential to carve out his game into an NHL career.
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