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The major junior jumble: a Calgary Flames prospect update

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Photo credit:Rob Wilton/Vancouver Giants
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
The National Hockey League’s trade deadline is pure, unbridled chaos, friends. But the looming trade deadlines in Canada’s three major junior leagues are arguably even wilder.
In the WHL, Tri-City (Parker Bell) and Vancouver (Samuel Honzek & Jaden Lipinski) occupy the seventh and eighth playoff spots in the Western Conference. Prior to Wednesday, the Americans added Mason Finley from Edmonton and the Giants unloaded some draft capital to add Ty Zimmer from Lethbridge. There’s a big gap between the top four or five Western Conference teams and everybody else, but Tri-City and Vancouver may be aiming for an upset.
In the QMJHL, Moncton (Etienne Morin) sits second or third in the Q’s Eastern Conference, depending on if you judge by points or points percentage. Either way, they’re nestled into the playoff picture and have yet to make a big move.
Long playoff runs can be helpful for a young player’s development. And this is definitely going to be Bell’s last year, and it’s probably the last junior season for Honzek considering he can go to the AHL next season and still have his deal slide. So keep an eye on these teams down the stretch, especially in the Dub; beautiful chaos could unfold down the stretch and in the playoffs.
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 date2916153125171511626.47
2022-235525396451362818728.82
Bell had three even strength goals over three games. The Americans were a bit out-matched this week, losing two of three (by a combined score of 18-6) but Bell posted respectable numbers (as he has all season).

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

22; Calgary’s third round pick (80th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date18000000200.00
2022-23 (NCAA)37145353423.69
Boltmann has no points so far in his senior year.

Lucas Ciona – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s sixth round pick (173rd overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 11th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date29112121332.75
2022-23 (WHL)6328477553543719429.48
On one hand, Ciona has two points this season and his NHLe is obviously way lower than he had last year in Seattle of the WHL. On the other hand, he’s learning the ins and outs of pro hockey, and he’s playing a checking role while he’s doing it. (If you’ve seen Wranglers games, #17 is usually noticeable in terms of throwing his body around and fore-checking hard. He just doesn’t put a lot of pucks on net.)

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 date251216282119148744.63
2022-23 (NCAA)3420163631191614124.31
A frequent question we get in the mailbag, one of the most frequent in fact, is “Hey Ryan, when is Coronato getting called back up?” And the simple answer is “When they have a spot for him.” Heck, he got a shout-out from Flames president of hockey ops Don Maloney during an intermission interview during Sunday’s game. He’s good, he’s put in a lot of good work in the AHL, and now it’s probably just a question of when they have a suitable role for him to jump into.
In the meantime, he’s one of the top-scoring rookies in the entire AHL.

Samuel Honzek – LW/C, Vancouver Giants, WHL/Slovakia, WJC

19; Calgary’s first round pick (16th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 4th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
WHL season to date64598332437.15
WJC season to date531432110n/a
2022-23 (WHL)4323335640362613432.25
Honzek returned from World Juniors on Tuesday and had a power play goal and power play assist in a 6-5 shootout win for the Giants. They got a bit of help for Honzek and Lipinski via the trade deadline, so now they need to claw their way into a post-season spot.

Axel Hurtig – D, Rögle BK, J20 Nationell/SHL / Kristianstads IK, HockeyEttan

18; Calgary’s seventh round pick (208th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
J20 season to date133364642717.11
SHL season to date100000000.00
HockeyEttan season to date1011111n/a
2022-23 (J20)34268373473.82
The second half of the J20 Nationell season began this past week. Hurtig played twice and scored a goal.

Ben Jones – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing; 12th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date331112231820157927.78
2022-23 (AHL)7117375441282120230.31
I feel like a bit of a broken record about Ben Jones, because he’s been really consistent and really good for the Wranglers. He might not have a single elite attribute that forces him onto the NHL roster, but his game arguably has no holes and he feels like somebody that could be worth trying out as a fourth-line centre at some point.

Rory Kerins – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 14th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date2591120161295831.88
2022-23 (ECHL)3817203731252111722.36
Kerins dressed once this week, as the Wranglers rotate bodies through their top nine. He’s quieted down a bit offensively in recent weeks after getting off to a fantastic start.

Adam Klapka – RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Free agent signing; 18th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date311010201815138025.71
2022-23 (AHL)6013122518161110316.61
Bad news: no points for Klapka in a pair of weekend games. Good news: Klapka generated six shots despite not getting any points. Even a “quiet” week for Klapka offensively involves the big man getting some pucks on net.

Demetrios Koumonztis – D/RW, Idaho Steelheads, ECHL

23; Calgary’s fourth round pick (108th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date17134332305.40
2022-23 (NCAA)3771118121076713.28
Playing as a depth winger on the bottom six of an ECHL team, Koumontzis had three assists over three games.

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 date31257575389.00
2022-23 (AHL)63514191119116512.02
With Dennis Gilbert hurt, the Flames brought Kuznetsov to the NHL for the weekend to act as the club’s seventh defender for the back half of their road trip. He’s since been returned to the AHL.

Jaden Lipinski – C, Vancouver Giants, WHL

19; Calgary’s fourth round pick (112th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 16th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date3812253727141010224.11
2022-23 (WHL)6619325136352315219.14
Lipinski had a really productive week. He had four primary assists over a pair of games. Since Samuel Honzek’s departure to the World Juniors, Lipinski has played eight games and amassed one goal and seven assists. (For a Giants team without a lot of established offensive weapons, this is very nice work from Lipinski.) He had three points in the first game after Honzek’s return, too.

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 date1347118535.55
2022-23 (BCHL)512939684736278.75
Littler had a power play goal and a power play assist this past week.

Brady Lyle – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date3357126627514.49
2022-23 (AHL)51724311613612424.22
After being a bit quiet offensively for a few weeks, Lyle set up a power play goal this week. He was a bit of a power play specialist last season – and in his AHL career so far – so hopefully this is the start of a trend in that direction.

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 date33820281713811121.03
2022-23 (QMJHL)6721517247342121325.03
Morin had four points this week over two games, including scoring or assisting on three goals during a five goal Moncton comeback win over Saint John. And, as usual, he’s generating a ton of shots. He’s tied for sixth in points among all QMJHL blueliners.

Ilya Nikolaev – C/LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Calgary’s third round pick (88th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date182355551711.07
2022-23 (ECHL)401320332122159718.94
Nikolaev played once and was scratched for the Wranglers’ other game this weekend.

Jakob Pelletier – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Calgary’s first round pick (26th overall); 3rd-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date
2022-23 (AHL)351621373218149242.13
Look who’s back! Pelletier has been activated from the Flames’ injury reserve and sent to the AHL. He’s played 101 AHL games and his next point will be his 100th AHL point. He’s a Coronato-level offensive producer, though his 200-foot game and checking are a bit more polished than Coronato’s.
We’ll see how long it takes for Pelletier to get back into the lineup.

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 date33719262019135031.40
2022-23 (AHL)6119254435352911828.75
Pettersen is doing a fantastic job of being a must-watch player for the Wranglers lately. He had three points in a Wranglers win over Henderson, and he’s become a player that can just put together 10 strong minutes in a period and put a bunch of points on the board. If he can keep this run going, he’ll be hard to keep in the AHL.

Jeremie Poirier – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; 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 remains out “indefinitely” after suffering a serious laceration early in the season.

Martin Pospisil – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; 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

19; Calgary’s second round pick (59th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft; 10th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date (Liiga)19112111133.90
Season to date (U20)746107661423.43
Season to date (CHL)60110011n/a
2022-23 (Liiga)22235353148.42
Rönni played twice in the SM-sarja U20 this week.

Cole Schwindt – C/RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Acquired in a trade with Florida; 9th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date338917131396020.53
2022-23 (AHL)7014183220161011818.22
Schwindt is a key centre in the Wranglers’ top six. He gets tough match-ups and he’s sort of the two-way conduit between the blueliners and the more offensive-minded wingers on the team. He scored a goal this week, and had the game-deciding shootout goal in the other Wranglers win.

Ilya Solovyov – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Calgary’s seventh round pick (205th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 8th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date25246464499.56
2022-23 (AHL)684141891688210.55
Solovyov played twice and registered zero points.

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 date30134433265.31
2022-23 (SHL)45358665318.69
Strömgren has settled into an interesting little niche for the Wranglers. He’s a checker who uses positioning rather than physicality to pressure the opposition, and he’s starting to generate a few more scoring chances as he’s figuring out the AHL game. (He set up a goal this week.)

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

19; Calgary’s third round pick (80th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 13th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date18861412874825.06
2022-23 (BCHL)5045459073474011.81
Suniev had an assist from a prior week disappear due to a stat correction… and then he scored a goal in UMass’ lone game this week. He’s having a very consistent (and productive, given his age relative to the rest of his team and conference) freshman season.

Connor Zary – LW/C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; 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, Ryazan-VDV, VHL

22; Calgary’s fourth round pick (96th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft
GPTOISV%
Season to date158.888
2022-23 (ECHL)392135.892
Chechelev finally got to play a game, suiting up for Ryazan over the weekend in a 4-2 loss. It was his first game of any real consequence since Apr. 14, 2023.

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 dressed as a backup this week. Again. He hasn’t seen game action since Nov. 10.

Dustin Wolf – G, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Calgary’s seventh round pick (214th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft; 1st-ranked prospect
GPTOISV%
Season to date211228.930
2022-23 (AHL)553239.932
Wolf faced 68 shots over two games. He allowed one goal. He’s pretty good at getting in the way of pucks.

Yegor Yegorov – G, MHK Dynamo Moskva, MHL

18; Calgary’s sixth round pick (176th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft
GPTOISV%
Season to date17936.929
2022-23 (MHL)15786.915
Yegorov played once and allowed two goals in a loss.

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