Nick DeSimone was a great leader for the Calgary Wranglers last season in more ways than one
Photo credit:Candice Ward
2 months ago
Nick DeSimone was another piece to the leadership puzzle for the Wranglers’ first season as a team. His group was joined by Matthew Phillips as the other alternate captain and Brett Sutter as the team’s captain. DeSimone had a four-game NHL look in his 2022-23 season but it was short-lived. Instead, he played a key role on the Wranglers’ top pair of defenders.
By the numbers
DeSimone consistently played on the top pairing alongside Ilya Solovyov. He showed just as much potential in the first few months of the season (if not more) than Dennis Gilbert. Gilbert earned himself nearly a full-time role with the Flames last season and isn’t expected to look back to his AHL days anytime soon.
In his last season, where he was racking up the minutes and earned himself a spot in the top five scorers on the team. Sitting at fourth overall, DeSimone had eight goals and 38 assists for a total of 46 points in 65 games. Great numbers for a defenceman that placed him eighth in league defencemen scoring.
This level of production tied his personal best season with the San Jose Barracuda back in 2018-19. Not bad for his eighth season in the league. Of his goals, four were power-play goals and one was a game-winner. His +/- rating for the year was a professional career best of +28.
Nick DeSimone also had a significant impact on post-season play. This was his fifth year in the running for the Calder Cup and his experience made for another source of veteran leadership in high-stakes games. He unsurprisingly played in all nine playoff games and scored two goals and assisted on four for a total of six points. This put him fifth in team post-season scoring.
He was most impactful in the Abbotsford Canucks series where he had five of his six points. He racked up the most points in their second game of the series with three assists. In the last game against Coachella Valley, he netted one for Calgary but it was not enough to keep them alive in the run for the Calder Cup.
The Wranglers’ standout defender enters his third year with the organization in the 2023-24 season. DeSimone signed a two-year contract last summer on July 13th and will play out the last year of that contract this upcoming season. Based on his placement in the organization’s depth chart, he will likely start the season once again with the Wranglers in October. Pending further off-season roster changes and possible injuries in-season, he may skate a few games with the Flames this year as well. I would expect him at Flames training camp and in a few, if not all preseason games.
For DeSimone’s year with the Wranglers and his poise as one of the team’s recognized leaders, I give him an A rating for his 2022-23 season. I would expect him to keep a letter on his jersey for next season and he may even give a run for the captaincy if Brett Sutter does not return.
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