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The Calgary Flames are betting on Yegor Sharangovich’s potential

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Photo credit:Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
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At his introductory press conference, Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy stated that he wouldn’t head into the 2023-24 season with seven pending unrestricted free agents on the books. He reduced that number to six on Tuesday evening, when he traded winger Tyler Toffoli to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Yegor Sharangovich and a 2023 third-round selection.
Sharangovich was signed to a two-year contract extension with a $3.1 million cap hit on Wednesday morning.
Speaking with FlamesNation, Conroy explained how the trade came together.
“For me, a lot of the trades, the teams I talked to, were maybe player for player,” said Conroy. “Really, in most cases it was around the same age, same dollar figure, and I said going into it it’d be nice to get a younger player with some upside. And if I could get a draft pick, looking to get a draft pick. That was kind of my thought process going in. And when you talked to everybody and gauge what they could do and where he fit with them, this really was the deal that made the most sense to me.”
Conroy noted that he and Eastern pro scout Steve Pleau had several viewings on Sharangovich, and noted how much Pleau really liked the player.
“You go through: good size, skates well, very good penalty-killer, which helps,” said Conroy. “And then, if he got some opportunity on the power play, with that shot, that’ll be a bonus, too.”
The past two seasons were a mixture of bitter and sweet for Sharangovich with the Devils. He was a bright spot on a disappointing Devils team in 2021-22, posting 24 goals and 46 points and sitting fourth among forwards in scoring. (At five-on-five, he was tied for second with 16 goals and tied for third with 32 points.)
But as the Devils surged in 2022-23, the club loaded up with mid-season acquisitions to bolster their depth. Before the acquisition of Timo Meier on Feb. 26, Sharangovich had 27 points through 59 games (with 20 points coming at five-on-five). He had two tough games on the road against Colorado and Vegas immediately after the trade, and soon found himself in the press box watching for six games as Meier took his previous spot alongside Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt.
In the final 14 games of the season, bouncing around throughout the bottom six forward mix, Sharangovich had three points. Before Meier’s arrival, his all-situations shooting percentage was 11.88%. Afterwards, it plummeted to 3.33%.
The Flames are betting that the Sharangovich that was a 0.5 points-per-game player in over most of the past two seasons is the one they’re acquiring – and they’re bullish on his potential if given a bigger role and some time on the power play. (Conroy quipped “We’re going to give him a chance to do what he does.”)
“He’s got a really good shot and he knows how to get open and he goes to the net,” said Conroy. “And again, the penalty kill is a bonus, too.”
The Flames eased their tight salary cap situation a little bit via the swap, trading out Tyler Toffoli’s $4.25 million cap hit (for one more season) for Sharangovich’s newly-signed $3.1 million cap hit (for two more seasons).
“It also opens up, like we talked about some young players getting in the lineup, it’s going to give those guys an opportunity, too,” said Conroy. “And that’s one of the things I talked about in the press conference, getting young guys in and letting them have a real opportunity. So, I think this is a situation where as much as Tyler got to play on the team, it just frees up those spots on the power play and different situations in a top six role for some of the younger guys to come in and battle for. Obviously you have to earn it, but at least they’ll probably think ‘oh, there’s an opportunity here.'”
The 2023 NHL Draft goes June 28 & 29 in Nashville.
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