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Which prospects gained or lost momentum in 2023-24? A Calgary Flames prospect update

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Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
Ryan Pike
20 days ago
Folks, aside from Cade Littler and the Penticton Vees remaining active in the BCHL playoffs, the sun has set for the Calgary Flames’ prospects in the 2023-24 season.
With the season essentially complete for everybody, we thought we should go player by player to see which up-and-comers gained momentum in their climbs towards the National Hockey League, which ones lost momentum, and those that merely maintained their prior momentum.
Let’s dive in!

Parker Bell – LW/C, Tri-City Americans, WHL / Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s fifth round pick (155th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
WHL season to date5933316450353123126.86
AHL season to date200000010.00
2022-23 (WHL)5525396451362818728.82
On one hand, Bell spent the majority of the season in the WHL as an overager rather than becoming a full-time pro. On the other hand, he was quite effective for Tri-City. Let’s call this “maintained.”

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
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date30022222361.82
2022-23 (NCAA)37145353423.69
Boltmann didn’t have a great year. He had two points, way down from the five he had as a junior. He lost momentum.

Hunter Brzustewicz – D, Kitchener Rangers, OHL / Calgary Wranglers, AHL

19; Vancouver’s third round pick (75th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Vancouver
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
OHL season to date6713799246653414036.37
AHL season to date
2022-23 (OHL)686515732312111022.20
Brzustewicz was added to the Flames’ crop of prospects prior to the trade deadline. He had a really strong season for Kitchener, especially offensively, so he definitely gained momentum.

Lucas Ciona – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s sixth round pick (173rd overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 11th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date55426565674.35
2022-23 (WHL)6328477553543719429.48
Last season, Ciona captained a team that won the WHL Championship and contended for the Memorial Cup. This season he dealt with the growing pains of learning how to play pro hockey. Down the stretch, when the Wranglers got some bodies back from the NHL (and finally got healthy) he spent a bunch of time as a healthy scratch, a victim of the numbers game. He lost momentum.

Matt Coronato – RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s first round pick (13th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 2nd-ranked prospect
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Season to date4115274228271714040.82
2022-23 (NCAA)3420163631191614124.31
Coronato kinda yo-yoed between the NHL and AHL this season. But he made a ton of progress, playing in all situations in the AHL and serving as their most potent offensive weapon. And by the time he returned to the NHL late in the season, the work he did on his 200-foot game with the Wranglers became quite evident. He gained momentum.

Riley Damiani – C, Texas Stars/Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Dallas’ fifth round pick (137th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Dallas
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date661113241916139414.49
2022-23 (AHL)591318312418148720.94
Damiani joined the Wranglers at the trade deadline. He was primarily a bottom-six forward. He was generally fairly effective, but his offensive production dipped from 2022-23. He lost momentum.

Artem Grushnikov – D, Texas Stars/Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Dallas’ second round pick (48th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Dallas
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date63156565653.80
2022-23 (OHL)658917101491166.93
2023-24 was Grushnikov’s first season a pro. He was a victim of the numbers game late in the season – the Wranglers had a lot of blueliners healthy and had to make some tough decisions – but we’d argue that Grushnikov gained momentum.

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

19; Calgary’s first round pick (16th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 4th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
WHL season to date331021312216118623.26
WJC season to date531432110n/a
AHL season to date200000010.00
2022-23 (WHL)4323335640362613432.25
Honzek missed a ton of time due to injury and his point production dipped. He lost momentum.

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
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
J20 season to date27381171175415.10
SHL season to date700000000.00
HockeyEttan season to date40111115n/a
2022-23 (J20)34268373473.82
Hurtig’s season started late due to recovery from his off-season shoulder surgery, but he played a big role for Rögle’s junior team and he played a bunch of pro games, too. He gained momentum.

Ben Jones – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing; 12th-ranked prospect
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date7221224334282220823.80
2022-23 (AHL)7117375441282120230.31
Jones played in every game for the Wranglers. His production dipped a bit, but he still played a bit part for the club. He maintained momentum.

Joni Jurmo – D, Ilves Tampere/KooKoo Kuovola, Liiga/CHL / Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Vancouver’s third round pick (82nd overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Vancouver
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Liiga season to date46145343634.03
CHL season to date60111118n/a
AHL season to date
2022-23 (Liiga)52581381161189.27
Jurmo’s offensive production was down quite a bit from last season. He lost a bit of momentum.

Rory Kerins – C, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 14th-ranked prospect
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date5416163227221811523.62
2022-23 (ECHL)3817203731252111722.36
Kerins’ game saw some big swings, but he spent the entire season in the AHL and he had some really strong stretches offensively. He gained momentum.

Adam Klapka – RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Free agent signing; 18th-ranked prospect
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date6521244534312218227.59
2022-23 (AHL)6013122518161110316.61
Klapka maintained his strong offensive run from the back half of 2022-23, and he showed some potential during his brief NHL appearances. He gained momentum.

Demetrios Koumonztis – D/RW, Idaho Steelheads, ECHL

23; Calgary’s fourth round pick (108th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft
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Season to date4791019111410849.28
2022-23 (NCAA)3771118121076713.28
Koumontzis spent the entire season in the ECHL. He lost momentum.

Yan Kuznetsov – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

21; Calgary’s second round pick (50th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 17th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date6358139128888.22
2022-23 (AHL)63514191119116512.02
Kuznetsov’s offensive production was down a little bit. His two-way play remained rock-solid, though, and he played a bit in the NHL. We’d argue he maintained his momentum.

Jaden Lipinski – C, Vancouver Giants, WHL / Calgary Wranglers, AHL

19; Calgary’s fourth round pick (112th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft; 16th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
WHL season to date6724426647332318124.39
AHL season to date100000000.00
2022-23 (WHL)6619325136352315219.14
Lipinski was a constant in the Giants’ lineup and was quietly one of the WHL’s top centres at the face-off dot while scoring at just shy of a point-per-game pace. He gained momentum.

Cade Littler – C, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, USHL / Penticton Vees, BCHL

19; Calgary’s seventh round pick (219th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
USHL season to date1383119863019.43
BCHL season to date249122117965.51
2022-23 (BCHL)512939684736278.75
Littler split his season between the USHL and BCHL. His offensive production dipped from 2022-23. He lost a bit of momentum.

Brady Lyle – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date47691597310212.72
2022-23 (AHL)51724311613612424.22
Lyle’s offensive production was half of his previous season’s production. And he’s already signed a deal in the KHL for next season. He lost momentum.

Etienne Morin – D, Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL / Calgary Wranglers, AHL

18; Calgary’s second round pick (48th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft; tied for 5th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
QMJHL season to date5812374932211319119.67
AHL season to date100000010.00
2022-23 (QMJHL)6721517247342121325.03
Morin had fewer points in 2023-24 than he had assists in 2022-23, and he missed some time, too. He lost momentum.

Sam Morton – C, Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks, NCAA / Calgary Wranglers, AHL

24; Free agent signing
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
NCAA season to date3724103432201915124.00
AHL season to date135277552521.46
2022-23 (NCAA)106287332821.00
Morton came into the Flames’ system on a try-out deal – as his NHL deal doesn’t begin until next season – and was so good that they couldn’t take him out of the Wranglers’ lineup. He gained momentum.

Ilya Nikolaev – C/LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL / Rapid City Rush, ECHL

22; Calgary’s third round pick (88th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft
GPGAPP15v5
P
5v5 P1SHNHLe
AHL season to date29336666338.25
ECHL season to date62687551630.61
2022-23 (ECHL)401320332122159718.94
Nikolaev spent most of the season on the AHL roster, but he was a frequent scratch. He lost momentum.

Jakob Pelletier – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Calgary’s first round pick (26th overall); 3rd-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date1857128764526.57
2022-23 (AHL)351621373218149242.13
Pelletier missed a ton of time due to injuries, his production was way down, and his game lost a bit of swagger. He lost momentum.

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 date23310135524422.53
2022-23 (AHL)699324120211317223.68
Poirier missed a ton of time due to injuries, but his production was only down slightly. He seemed to get most of his swagger back late in the season and into the playoffs, but we’ll say he lost a bit of momentum.

Cole Schwindt – C/RW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

22; Florida’s third round pick (81st overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft; Acquired in a trade with Florida; 9th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date6614223627231512821.74
2022-23 (AHL)7014183220161011818.22
Schwindt made a few NHL appearances and was a top six fixture for the Wranglers this season. He gained a bit of momentum.

Ilya Solovyov – D, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

23; Calgary’s seventh round pick (205th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft; 8th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date51510151014108811.72
2022-23 (AHL)684141891688210.55
Solovyov’s per-game scoring pace nudged up slightly, but he also played a bunch of NHL games and looked pretty decent (especially late in the season). He gained momentum.

William Strömgren – LW, Calgary Wranglers, AHL

20; Calgary’s second round pick (45th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft; 19th-ranked prospect
GPGAPP15v5
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date68720272318157415.82
2022-23 (SHL)45358665318.69
Strömgren was decent enough early on, and then from the midway mark of the season onward he was one of the Wranglers’ most consistently effective players. He gained momentum.

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
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5v5 P1SHNHLe
Season to date3512132519161210023.02
2022-23 (BCHL)5045459073474011.81
Suniev transitioned into college from the BCHL and was a really effective offensive player. He gained momentum.

Daniil Chechelev – G, HC Vityaz, KHL / Ryazan-VDV, VHL

22; Calgary’s fourth round pick (96th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft
GPTOISV%
KHL season to date158.880
VHL season to date5271.908
2022-23 (ECHL)392135.892
Chechelev barely played this season. He lost momentum.

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 date16934.913
2022-23 (NCAA)191104.912
Sergeev had an up-and-down season – he didn’t play for the better part of two months – but he had a few stretches of really effective play book-ending his year. We’ll say he maintained momentum.

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 date362082.922
2022-23 (AHL)553239.932
This season was the first time in five seasons that Wolf wasn’t named his league’s top goaltender. But the reason for that is because he spent a third of the season in the NHL. Let’s call this “maintained.”

Yegor Yegorov – G, MHK Dynamo Moskva, MHL

18; Calgary’s sixth round pick (176th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft
GPTOISV%
Season to date251319.917
2022-23 (MHL)15786.915
Yegorov gained momentum. He played way more often than he did a season ago, and he maintained and slightly improved his numbers from 2022-23.

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