When could reinforcements be headed to the Calgary Wranglers?
Photo credit:Brian Liesse/WHL
By Ryan Pike6 months ago
Three hockey clubs play out of the palatial Scotiabank Saddledome, friends. Two of them are in a battle for their playoff lives: the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames and the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen. The third, the American League’s Calgary Wranglers, were the first club in the AHL to clinch a playoff spot.
Looking ahead to the potential of a lengthy playoff run, we ponder: Could the Wranglers be getting some roster reinforcements from the Flames organization? And if so, when?
From the Flames
Folks, we’re not sure if the Flames will make the playoffs. It’s possible, but the odds are against them. Whenever the Flames’ season ends, Jakob Pelletier and Walker Duehr are eligible to return to the AHL. Both players were significant pieces for the Wranglers and would give them a lot more forward depth.
From the ECHL
The Flames’ ECHL affiliate, the Rapid City rush, are six points out of a playoff spot with 15 games remaining. They could still make it.
Whenever they’re done, there are two players on NHL deals (Rory Kerins and Ilya Nikolaev) and four players on AHL deals (Daniil Chechelev, Jon Martin, Matt Marcinew and Lucas Feuk). All could be brought up to the Wranglers. Kerins, in particular, has been really good both in the AHL and ECHL, but he’s with the Rush because he needs regular game reps and the AHL roster is chockablock of forwards this season.
From major junior
We’ve got good news and bad news, friends.
The good news is there are a few pretty good prospects playing in junior, including Lucas Ciona, Parker Bell and Jack Beck.
The bad news is a lot of the best prospects are on teams that will be playing for while most likely.
- Ciona is captain of the Seattle Thunderbirds, who are a legitimate Memorial Cup contender.
- Beck is alternate captain of the Ottawa 67’s, who are the top regular season team in the OHL.
Bell’s Tri-City Americans are a good but not great WHL playoff team. Cameron Whynot’s Halifax Mooseheads are tied for the top spot in the QMJHL standings, but the Q’s playoffs are usually made of pure chaos. Cole Huckins’ Sherbrooke Phoenix are just behind Halifax in the Q standings.
It seems likely that Ciona (Seattle), Beck (Ottawa) and Whynot (Halifax) are playing for awhile in the playoffs. But the others could be available for the Wranglers on amateur try-out deals as early as the end of the first round of the junior playoffs (at the end of March).
In short: the Wranglers are good, deep team. They’re probably going to get deeper with some additions from elsewhere in the Flames organization, but it probably won’t start happening until the end of March or into April as prospects start getting eliminated from their respective playoffs.
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