How do the Calgary Flames stack up against the other Young Stars Classic teams?
Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
By Ryan Pike7 days ago
The lead-up to the 2023-24 National Hockey League season begins for the Calgary Flames this coming weekend in Penticton. The Flames are one of four teams headed to the Okanagan for the Young Stars Classic tournament, with the other three being the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets.
So how do the Flames stack up against the other three teams?
The Flames are bringing six players selected in the first three rounds of the NHL Draft: Matt Coronato (2021 first), Samuel Honzek (2023 first), Yan Kuznetsov (2020 second), William Strömgren (2021 second), Ilya Nikolaev (2019 third) and Jeremie Poirier (2020 third). Coronato is the only Flame prospect headed to Penticton with NHL games under his belt: he’s got one.
The Canucks have just three players that they selected in the first three rounds headed to the tournament: Danila Klimovich (2021 second), Hunter Brzustewicz (2023 third) and Sawyer Mynio (2023 third). They also have 2021 second-rounder Aatu Räty, who they received in the Bo Horvat trade from the New York Islanders, and 2021 third-rounder Josh Bloom, who they received from the Buffalo Sabres a year ago. If that seems lean, their last two first-rounders – 2022’s Jonathan Lekkerimaki and 2023’s Tom Willander – are otherwise occupied; Lekkerimaki is in Sweden and Willander is headed to college.
Blueliners Akito Hirose and Cole McWard, both college free agent signings, combined for 12 NHL games last spring. Forward Aidan McDonough is also at the tournament and has six NHL games under his belt, while Räty has 15. They’ll all be looked at to carry the mail for the Canucks here.
The Jets have a bunch of prospects taken in the first three rounds headed to this event (eight, precisely): Chaz Lucius (2021 first), Brad Lambert (2022 first), Colby Barlow (2023 first), Daniel Torgensson (2020 second), Nikita Chibrikov (2021 second), Elias Salomonsson (2022 second), Dmitry Kuzmin (2021 third) and Daniil Zhilkin (2022 third).
The Jets roster doesn’t feature anybody with NHL games under their belts, but they have a lot of really promising players going.
The Oilers are bringing three players selected in the first three rounds: Xavier Bourgault (2021 first), Beau Akey (2023 second) and Jayden Grubbe (acquired via trade, but was originally a 2021 third). The Oilers roster doesn’t feature anybody with NHL games on their resume.
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