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Hectic schedule catches up to the Wranglers a bit: a Calgary Flames prospect update

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Photo credit:Mike Zitek/Ontario Reign
Ryan Pike
2 months ago
As of Wednesday morning, the Calgary Wranglers sit second in the American Hockey League’s overall standings – three points back of the Hershey Bears – with a 13-4-1 record.
Their overall season has been superb so far, but they laid a bit of an egg on Sunday against Abbotsford.
The likely culprit behind their 7-2 loss to the Baby Canucks? The schedule. Their Nov. 26 shellacking was in their 10th game in 17 days, featuring a couple out-and-back trips and a ton of hockey in a league that typically only features two or three games per week – and big gaps between bursts of action.
Despite losing Jeremie Poirier to a fairly significant laceration and Connor Zary and Martin Pospisil to the NHL, the Wranglers keep chugging along. A lot of the credit should go to Matt Coronato and Rory Kerins, who joined the Wranglers lineup during November – Coronato from the NHL and Kerins from the press box – and have been consistent difference-makers for that group.
Let’s dive into this week’s prospect snapshot!

Parker Bell – LW/C, Tri-City Americans, WHL

20; Calgary’s fifth round pick (155th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date16891715996526.31
2022-235525396451362818728.82
He’s an overager in the Dub, so it comes with the territory, but Bell has been really consistent offensively since being assigned to the Americans. He’s one of their more dangerous offensive weapons and almost all of his points are either goals or primary assists.

Jake Boltmann – D, University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, NCAA/Big 10

21; Calgary’s third round pick (80th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date10000000140.00
2022-23 (NCAA)37145353423.69
Boltmann plays on Notre Dame’s third pairing in a shutdown role. He has zero points.

Lucas Ciona – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s sixth round pick (173rd overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 11th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date16112121164.98
2022-23 (WHL)6328477553543719429.48
Ciona hasn’t generated a ton of offence, playing a bottom six role for the Wranglers. But given his playing style and likely NHL role (if he progresses), his gig is about playing smart, physical two-way hockey. This season is all about him learning to be an effective pro.

Matt Coronato – RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s first round pick (13th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 2nd-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date12781512864549.82
2022-23 (NCAA)3420163631191614124.31
Coronato is second on the Wranglers in points despite spending his first month with the Flames. He’s a superb offensive player, but the defensive details of his game could use a bit of tidying up. (That’s admittedly a nitpick; the kid can flat-out play.)

Samuel Honzek – LW/C, Vancouver Giants, WHL

18; Calgary’s first round pick (16th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 4th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date
2022-23 (WHL)4323335640362613432.25
Honzek could make his season debut on Friday. He’s with the Giants but wasn’t quite 100% for this past week’s games. He’s slated to depart Vancouver for Slovakia’s World Junior camp on Dec. 10.

Axel Hurtig – D, Rögle BK U20, J20 Nationell

18; Calgary’s seventh round pick (208th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date92353532320.59
2022-23 (J20)34268373473.82
We’ve heard good things about Hurtig since his return to action from off-season surgery. His team is 7-1-1 since his return, with Hurtig playing exclusively on the top defensive pairing. He’s almost matched last season’s offensive output in far fewer games.

Ben Jones – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing; 12th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date1861016111494235.42
2022-23 (AHL)7117375441282120230.31
Jones is the Wranglers’ current points leader. There’s not a ton of flashy things about Jones’ game, but that’s sort of his strength; he’s a rock-solid all-around AHL centre that can play with just about any two wingers and get good minutes out of ’em.

Rory Kerins – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 14th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date124597642729.89
2022-23 (ECHL)3817203731252111722.36
Last season, Kerins played the whole year in the ECHL because the Wranglers didn’t really have a top-nine spot open for him. He learned the pro game last season, and maybe that’s what made him so ready for the opportunity that opened up when the recalls went up to the Flames. Either way, he’s been one of the best Wranglers in November.

Adam Klapka – RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Free agent signing; 18th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date188614121084931.00
2022-23 (AHL)6013122518161110316.61
Klapka has been super consistent for the Wranglers. He’s big. He plays big. He uses his size well to get inside defenders and score goals around the blue paint. He scored three goals this week. He’s a really good AHLer.

Demetrios Koumonztis – D, Idaho Steelheads, ECHL

23; Calgary’s fourth round pick (108th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date200000050.00
2022-23 (NCAA)3771118121076713.28
Technically the Flames hold Koumontzis’ pro rights for one more season. He’s been an extra defender for the Steelheads this season but just finally got into a pair of games this week.

Yan Kuznetsov – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s second round pick (50th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 17th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date18022121184.43
2022-23 (AHL)63514191119116512.02
Kuznetsov is a lot quieter offensively than he was a year ago. Granted, his whole game is defence-first, but a bit more offensive pop would be nice to see.

Jaden Lipinski – C, Vancouver Giants, WHL

18; Calgary’s fourth round pick (112th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 16th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date247101713975717.54
2022-23 (WHL)6619325136352315219.14
Lipinski has been one of the offensive heartbeats of the Giants through a tough first chunk of the season. He’s one of the players that could really benefit from Honzek’s return, as he might get slightly easier deployments (or slightly upgraded linemates). Either way, it’s hard to fault Lipinski for how well he’s helped his team hold things together during a lean time.

Cade Littler – C, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, USHL / Penticton Vees, BCHL

19; Calgary’s seventh round pick (219th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
USHL season to date1383119863019.43
BCHL season to date10000000.00
2022-23 (BCHL)512939684736278.75
After spending the first chunk of the season in the USHL, Littler departed and joined the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. Playing on the first line, he was held off the scoresheet in his first game (but was used in the shootout). The Vees lost to Vernon by a 2-1 score.

Brady Lyle – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date183583514117.71
2022-23 (AHL)51724311613612424.22
Lyle had an assist this week. He’s primarily a power play specialist, but he’s been chipping in here and there at five-on-five, too.

Etienne Morin – D, Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL

18; Calgary’s second round pick (48th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft; tied for 5th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date19513188836122.06
2022-23 (QMJHL)6721517247342121325.03
Morin’s offensive numbers have taken a bit of a dip, admittedly, and he’s fairly reliant on the power play for his points. But he’s also one of the more offensively productive QMJHL blueliners in that circuit, so even Morin in what’s been a “down year” offensively is pretty impressive. (He had two assists this week.)

Ilya Nikolaev – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s third round pick (88th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date72244441022.77
2022-23 (ECHL)401320332122159718.94
Nikolaev’s been playing in a bottom six role this season (when he’s gotten in). He’s been pretty effective in his limited appearances, but he hasn’t had the type of blowaway performance like Kerins has had that makes it impossible to take him out of the lineup. Still, he seems to have forced a bit of a bottom-six rotation to form, which is a positive step for a player trying to carve out a niche for himself.

Emilio Pettersen – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Calgary’s sixth round pick (167th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft; 20th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date183912101082326.57
2022-23 (AHL)6119254435352911828.75
When Pettersen is on his game, he’s quite good. He had two assists this week and helped create chances, offence and momentum for his club.

Jeremie Poirier – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s third round pick (72nd overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; tied for 5th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4167242969.74
2022-23 (AHL)699324120211317223.68
Poirier is out indefinitely after suffering an arm laceration that required surgery.

Martin Pospisil – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Calgary’s fourth round pick (105th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date63366221139.85
2022-23 (AHL)2046108554819.93
Pospisil is in the NHL.

Topi Rönni – C, Tappara Tampere, Liiga/SM-sarja U20/CHL

18; Calgary’s second round pick (59th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft; 10th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date (Liiga)13112111135.70
Season to date (U20)1224322565.50
Season to date (CHL)60110011n/a
2022-23 (Liiga)22235353148.42
Ronni got a couple games in this week, one in Liiga, one with their junior club, his first since returning to the club in early November. He’s been a frequent scratch for his Liiga team otherwise, though.

Cole Schwindt – C/RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Acquired in a trade with Florida; 9th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date183475532315.50
2022-23 (AHL)7014183220161011818.22
Projected as a two-way centre, Schwindt has been playing on the top two Wranglers lines lately. He had an assist this week.

Ilya Solovyov – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Calgary’s seventh round pick (205th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 8th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date162353533012.45
2022-23 (AHL)684141891688210.55
Solovyov keeps doing his thing, playing a defensive role but getting points here and there. He’s actually ahead of last season’s scoring pace.

William Strömgren – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s second round pick (45th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 19th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date16022211104.98
2022-23 (SHL)45358665318.69
As with Ciona, Stromgren projects as a bottom-six, checking forward. As with Ciona, this season is primarily about getting him used to the pro game in North America. He’s part of the aforementioned bottom six rotation, so he’s been scratched a couple times so far.

Aydar Suniev – LW/C, University of Massachusetts Minutemen, NCAA/Hockey East

18; Calgary’s third round pick (80th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 13th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date124266333016.11
2022-23 (BCHL)5045459073474011.81
Suniev registered a power play assist. He’s a freshman and still learning the college game, so UMass is sheltering him quite a bit in his usage. But he’s getting a lot of puck touches on the power play.

Connor Zary – LW/C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s first round pick (24th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; tied for 5th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date619107641566.42
2022-23 (AHL)7221375836312118332.10
Zary is currently in the NHL.

Daniil Chechelev – G, HC Vityaz Podolsk, KHL

22; Calgary’s fourth round pick (96th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft
GPTOISV%
Season to date
2022-23 (ECHL)392135.892
As a player drafted from Russia – which doesn’t have an active transfer agreement right now – the Flames retain Chechelev’s NHL rights indefinitely. He’s been practising with his old KHL team, Vityaz, and signed a deal with them this week. It’s unclear if he’s sticking with the big club or going to their minor league team in Ryazan.

Arsenii Sergeev – G, University of Connecticut Huskies, NCAA/Hockey East

20; Calgary’s seventh round pick (205th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 15th-ranked prospect
GPTOISV%
Season to date6340.897
2022-23 (NCAA)191104.912
Sergeev suited up as backup this week. He hasn’t played in a few weeks as senior Ethan Haider has gotten the majority of the starts.

Dustin Wolf – G, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s seventh round pick (214th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft; 1st-ranked prospect
GPTOISV%
Season to date11624.916
2022-23 (AHL)553239.932
Wolf started three times. He had a shutout, another win where he allowed one goal, and was pulled in his third game after allowing four goals in 21:36. (That last game was the previously-mentioned Abbotsford rout where nothing went right for the Wranglers.) Wolf remains among the AHL leaders in every goaltending category.

Yegor Yegorov – G, MHK Dynamo Moskva, MHL

18; Calgary’s sixth round pick (176th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft
GPTOISV%
Season to date11599.921
2022-23 (MHL)15786.915
Yegorov dressed as backup twice but didn’t see any action.

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