It’s early, but several Flames prospects are putting up strong offensive numbers
Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike25 days ago
Folks, the Calgary Flames are on a bit of a losing streak right now. It’s natural to wonder if there’s some fresh faces on the farm that could help out. There’s probably no magic bullet solution for the Flames right now, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some prospects off to strong starts to the 2022-23 season.
Here are eight players who are producing at over a 30 point NHL Equivalent pace, as calculated using Hockey Abstract’s 2018 conversion rates! (Your mileage may vary.)
Matthew Phillips (Calgary Wranglers)
If you’ve consumed any hockey content over the past six games, you’ve heard about Matthew Phillips. He’s small, but he can produce. He’s at 55.79 NHLe right now, which is very good, via nine goals and five assists in 10 games. He has 11 primary points, but just five primary points at even strength.
He’s reliant on special teams for his production, which makes sense given his size. But the kid is legit offensively.
Matt Coronato (Harvard Crimson)
Another guy reliant on special teams right now is Coronato. Converted to a full-time centre this season, Coronato has 40.18 NHLe via three goals and four assists in four games. He has six primary points, but just two at five-on-five.
Coronato’s not Harvard’s best player right now, but he’s one of a handful of players driving the bus offensively.
Lucas Ciona (Seattle Thunderbirds)
Recently signed to an entry-level deal with the Flames, Ciona has 38.10 NHLe via seven goals and 13 points in 13 games. He’s come by his production fairly honestly: he’s got 16 primary points, including a dozen at five-on-five. He’s a legit offensive threat at the WHL level.
Connor Zary (Calgary Wranglers)
Essentially in his first real pro season after missing camp last season, Zary’s off to a good start with a 39.85 NHLe. He has six goals and four assists in 10 games, including seven primary points and four at five-on-five. He’s still pretty raw, but his two-way game is catching up to (and enabling) his offensive production.
Ben Jones (Calgary Wranglers)
Jones is a fourth-year pro and you’d hope he would be good. But he is! He has a 35.87 NHLe via three goals and six assists over 10 games. He has six primary points, but just a single five-on-five primary point. He’s a power play specialist right now, but he’s really good at it.
Jack Beck (Ottawa 67’s)
Beck has missed a bit of time recently with an upper body injury, and it’s a shame because he was off to a superb start. He has a 34.43 NHLe off of two goals and 11 assists in 10 games. 10 of his points were primary, and six of those were at five-on-five. After being a goal-scoring threat last season, so far this season he’s been a dish-master. (He’s been getting tons of shots on net, only his shooting percentage is quite low to begin the year.)
Jeremie Poirier (Calgary Wranglers)
Is 20-year-old AHL rookie Poirier a shutdown guy? Nope! He’s an offensive threat already, though, with a 31.88 NHLe off one goal and seven points in 10 games. He has three primary points and just two five-on-five primary points, because he is a defenceman who usually gets second assists whether on the power play or not. But for a guy with an offensive mindset to his game, his skillset is translating to the AHL really well early on.
Jakob Pelletier (Calgary Wranglers)
Many were hoping that Pelletier would push for an opening night job with the Flames. That didn’t happen, and his camp was largely disappointing. While he’s not scoring at the torrid pace he was as a rookie, his 31.88 NHLe early on is nothing to sneeze at. He has three goals and five assists over 10 games, with six primary points (and three five-on-five primary points). Like his entire team, he’s a bit dependent on special teams for production right now, but he’s producing fairly consistently.
Which early season prospect performance is most impressive to you? Let us know in the comments!
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