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The Wranglers are rolling (and other notes): a Calgary Flames prospect update

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
It’s probably safe to say that the regular season hasn’t started off the way that the Calgary Flames would have hoped it would. Through seven games they have just two wins, and there aren’t too many individual performances so far they can hang their hats on.
But down on the farm with the Calgary Wranglers, through two weekends, there are quite a few really impressive players. To single a few out on a team that’s won three of four outings thus far (with their lone loss being in overtime):
  • Connor Zary leads the AHL in assists (8) and is tied for second in points (8)
  • Adam Klapka is right behind Zary in points (7)
  • Jeremie Poirier is second among all AHL blueliners in points (also 7), and the player with more points than him is Abbotsford’s Christian Wolanin, who’s seven years older than Poirier and has played one more game than he has this season
The Wranglers lost Matthew Phillips to Washington and Jakob Pelletier to the NHL (and injury) from last season’s team. But so far, some of their youngest, newest players have been difference-makers.
Let’s dive into our weekly 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 date63587443033.02
2022-235525396451362818728.82
In his second week back in junior as an overager, Bell has settled in nicely as a driver of Tri-City’s offensive attack. Yes, half of his production is on special teams. But so far when the Americans need somebody to score a key goal at a key time, Bell’s either scoring it or setting it up.

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

21; Calgary’s third round pick (80th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date500000040.00
2022-23 (NCAA)37145353423.69
Notre Dame’s off to a weird start. They’ve won twice in five games, but they managed to beat a really good Boston University team. (Then the Terriers demolished them in their rematch the following day.) So far, Boltmann is a team-worst minus-6.

Lucas Ciona – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s sixth round pick (173rd overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 11th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date410111149.96
2022-23 (WHL)6328477553543719429.48
Four games into his pro career, Ciona’s finding a good niche for himself as a energy forward. He’s playing with Ben Jones and Mitch McLain on the third line, and he scored his first pro goal this past weekend. For somebody who’s brand-new to pro hockey, he’s off to a really promising start.

Samuel Honzek – LW/C, Vancouver Giants, WHL

18; Calgary’s first round pick (16th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 4th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date
2022-23 (WHL)4323335640362613432.25
Honzek is out 6-8 weeks with an injury.

Axel Hurtig – D, Rögle BK U20, J20 Nationell

18; Calgary’s seventh round pick (208th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date
2022-2334268373473.82
Hurtig remains out as he recovers from off-season shoulder surgery.

Ben Jones – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing; 12th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4123131629.89
2022-23 (AHL)7117375441282120230.31
Jones is playing a little bit further down the rotation than he did last season, but he’s still producing consistently on the third line.

Rory Kerins – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 14th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date
2022-23 (ECHL)3817203731252111722.36
Kerins was a scratch for the first four Wranglers games.

Adam Klapka – RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Free agent signing; 18th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date44375641069.74
2022-23 (AHL)6013122518161110316.61
Klapka built his game really nicely last season, eventually emerging as one of their top players in the last few months of the season (and into the post-season). So far, he’s kept that up and has been one of the most consistently noticeable Wranglers.

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 date401111129.96
2022-23 (AHL)63514191119116512.02
More of a defensive presence than a point-producer, Kuznetsov registered an assist this week.

Jaden Lipinski – C, Vancouver Giants, WHL

18; Calgary’s fourth round pick (112th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 16th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date80444222112.38
2022-23 (WHL)6619325136352315219.14
The Giants remain without Samuel Honzek, which sort of throws their entire line scheme out of whack (and makes guys like Lipinski play a bit higher in the rotation than they usually do). As a result: the Giants have had some challenges early on.

Cade Littler – C, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, USHL

19; Calgary’s seventh round pick (219th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date96397752522.96
2022-23 (BCHL)512939684736278.75
Littler slowed down a little bit offensively, in that he’s no longer flirting with goal-per-game territory. But he remains a first line centre for a pretty good USHL side. For his Draft+2 season, it’s a very good spot for him to be in.

Brady Lyle – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4101111119.96
2022-23 (AHL)51724311613612424.22
Nominally a power play specialist, Lyle’s off to a quiet offensive start and has yet to register a point on the power play for the Wranglers.

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 date84376332920.38
2022-23 (QMJHL)6721517247342121325.03
Morin registered a pair of assists this past week. He’s capable of big outbursts of offensive output, but so far for Moncton this season it’s merely been a steady trickle of scoring.

Ilya Nikolaev – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s third round pick (88th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date
2022-23 (ECHL)401320332122159718.94
Nikolaev was a scratch for the first four Wranglers games.

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 date4022222619.93
2022-23 (AHL)6119254435352911828.75
Pettersen was moved onto the second line, alongside Clark Bishop and Adam Klapka, for this past weekend. He responded with a couple assists.

Jeremie Poirier – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; 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 had a scary near-miss situation in Friday night’s Wranglers game, as an Abbotsford player lost an edge and took Poirier’s legs out from under him. Poirier left the game, but was cleared and played the following night. Poirier is one of the more exciting players in the Flames system, and he’s the straw that stirs the drink for the Wranglers’ power play.

Martin Pospisil – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Calgary’s fourth round pick (105th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4314411839.85
2022-23 (AHL)2046108554819.93
Pospisil maintain his point-per-game pace with a pair of goals. It’s early, but he’s looking quite effective on the Wranglers’ top line.

Topi Rönni – C, Tappara Tampere, Liiga/CHL

18; Calgary’s second round pick (59th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft; 10th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date (Liiga)12112111136.18
Season to date (CHL)60110011n/a
2022-23 (Liiga)22235353148.42
Rönni has taken leave from Tappara following the receipt of a court summons related to an investigation into a rape allegation.

Cole Schwindt – C/RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Acquired in a trade with Florida; 9th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4213221629.89
2022-23 (AHL)7014183220161011818.22
After a really good first week Schwindt was a bit quieter offensively against Abbotsford, but he remains a key cog in the Wranglers’ lineup in all situations.

Ilya Solovyov – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Calgary’s seventh round pick (205th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 8th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date41121211019.93
2022-23 (AHL)684141891688210.55
Solovyov is a shutdown fixture for the Wranglers alongside Nick DeSimone, but he had a pretty productive week offensively, too. That’s obviously not his bread and butter, but it’s a big bonus to get from a defence-first guy.

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 date401111129.96
2022-23 (SHL)45358665318.69
Strömgren is playing fourth line minutes with Brett Sutter and Alex Gallant as he learns the North American pro game.

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

18; Calgary’s third round pick (80th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 13th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4213311824.17
2022-23 (BCHL)5045459073474011.81
Suniev is playing the left side of the third line for the Minutemen, getting gradually eased into the college game with power play reps and fairly sheltered usage by the UMass coaching staff. He’s finding a good offensive rhythm early on.

Connor Zary – LW/C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s first round pick (24th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; tied for 5th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date4088653779.70
2022-23 (AHL)7221375836312118332.10
Our best guess is that when the Flames sent Zary down to the AHL, they advised him to be a difference-maker for his hockey club. So far, so good. Zary is the AHL’s leader in assists through the first couple weeks of play. He’s the left wing on the Wranglers’ top line alongside Cole Schwindt and Martin Pospisil.

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 date3177.913
2022-23 (NCAA)191104.912
Sergeev and Ethan Haider, a senior who transferred in from Clarkson, have been splitting starts to begin this season. Neither guy is getting a ton of run support from their team so far, but Haider has better numbers early on – his save percentage is .941 through three games.

Dustin Wolf – G, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s seventh round pick (214th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft; 1st-ranked prospect
GPTOISV%
Season to date3183.910
2022-23 (AHL)553239.932
On one hand, Wolf started twice against Abbotsford and picked up two victories. He’s currently undefeated in three starts. On the other hand, Wolf allowed eight goals across two games – six of them in a 7-6 track meet win over the Canucks – and so his numbers aren’t quite as gaudy as they have been in the past.

Yegor Yegorov – G, MHK Dynamo Moskva, MHL

18; Calgary’s sixth round pick (176th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft
GPTOISV%
Season to date7359.905
2022-23 (MHL)15786.915
Since returning from his stint practising with the KHL’s Dynamo Moskva, Yegorov has dressed twice and started once. His start ended after 24 minutes, though, as MHK was on their heels against Mikhailov Academy and changed up goalies down 3-0. (They ended up winning 5-4.)

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