Handicapping the 2022-23 Calgary Flames roster as training camp begins

Photo credit:© Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
Friends, there are 67 players at Calgary Flames training camp. Obviously, not all 67 players are going to make the team. Heck, all 67 players don’t have an equal chance of making the team.
To help everybody navigate the many, many players in camp, here’s how things stack up as proceedings begin.

The locks

  • Goaltenders [2]: Jacob Markstrom and Daniel Vladar
  • Defencemen [6]: Noah Hanifin, MacKenzie Weegar, Oliver Kylington, Rasmus Andersson, Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev
  • Forwards [11]: Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, Blake Coleman, Andrew Mangiapane, Elias Lindholm, Tyler Toffoli, Dillon Dube, Mikael Backlund, Trevor Lewis, Milan Lucic and Kevin Rooney
These 19 players are all on one-way deals and are essentially cemented onto the roster. The least cemented guy may be Lewis, but he was a big part of the penalty kill last season and at the very least seems like a really reliable depth option for the club.
The locks eat up $77.95 million in cap space on their own.

On the bubble

  • Defencemen [4]: Juuso Valimaki, Nicolas Meloche, Connor Mackey and Michael Stone
  • Forwards [7]: Matthew Phillips, Cody Eakin, Sonny Milano, Jakob Pelletier, Cole Schwindt, Brett Ritchie and Adam Ruzicka
Depending on cap space, there are roughly four roster spots remaining – one defender and three forwards – and 10 guys duking it out for those spots. Basically all of these guys have some NHL experience (except for Pelletier) and they all seem like guys that could help give the Flames some flexibility at the bottom of their forward group.
Stone might have the inside track on the blueline since he’s been strong in the seventh defender role, while Milano, Ritchie and Ruzicka might have the inside track up front due to (a) waiver status and (b) their experience playing depth roles recently. (Note: If Valimaki’s not on the NHL roster, he’ll still eat up $425,000 in cap space due to the size of his one-way deal.)

Dark horses

  • Goaltender [1]: Dustin Wolf
  • Forwards [6]: Walker Duehr, Martin Pospisil, Ben Jones, Adam Klapka, Connor Zary and Clark Bishop
Wolf is awesome, but Vladar’s strong play last season and low, low cap hit make Wolf a dark horse in this camp.
In the forward ranks, it’s a mix of “quad-A” guys with good tools (Jones, Bishop), big bodies who could surprise in camp (Duehr, Pospisil, Klapka) and Zary, who fell off the radar last season due to an injury in camp but was really good in Penticton (and in the last couple months of the AHL season in 2021-22).

Depth options

  • Goaltender [1]: Oscar Dansk
  • Defencemen [6]: Dennis Gilbert, Colton Poolman, Nick DeSimone, Ilya Solovyov, Jeremie Poirier and Yan Kuznetsov
  • Forwards [3]: Rory Kerins, Ilya Nikolaev and Emilio Pettersen
These guys are all likely destined for the Wranglers, if due to nothing else but the numbers game.

Happy to be here (and hoping for NHL contracts)

  • Goaltender [2]: Daniil Chechelev and Brad Arvanitis
  • Defencemen [7]: Simon Lavigne, Rhett Rhinehart, Josh Brook, Jake Lee, Christoffer Sedoff, Cole Jordan and Cameron Whynot
  • Forwards [11]: Brett Sutter, Alex Gallant, Lucas Feuk, Mitch McLain, Calder Brooks, Matt Marcinew, Evan Boucher, Cooper Walker, Lucas Ciona, Jack Beck and Cole Huckins
These guys are all likely destined for the Wranglers (or are headed back to junior), and are hoping to impress enough to get on the radar for a future NHL deal.
Which bubble or dark horse players do you think have the best chance to break camp with the Flames? Let us know in the comments!

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