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Who are the Calgary Flames calling up to take Nikita Zadorov’s place?

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
2 months ago
On Thursday, the Calgary Flames traded Nikita Zadorov to the Vancouver Canucks. While Zadorov’s move doesn’t necessarily begin a sell-off, it does open a spot on the big club’s roster for another player.
In virtually all of his media appearances following the trade, general manager Craig Conroy dropped some clues about who’s coming up.
On Sportsnet 960 The Fan radio with Pat Steinberg prior to Thursday’s game with Dallas, here’s how Conroy addressed it:
“…it also gives us an opportunity to bring up a good young player that we believe in, and we think is going to be able to take that spot. Now I’m going to get to see him, if he can actually do it, game in and game out.”
Steinberg flat-out asked if Conroy would share who’s getting called up, but Conroy declined: “I’m not going to say today, but it’ll be soon.”
On the intermission of Sportsnet’s broadcast, speaking with Ryan Leslie, here’s what Conroy said:
“…being able to free up a spot [to bring] up a young guy that we feel very comfortable in…”
So, the implications from Conroy’s comments are two-fold:
  • It’s going to be a “young player,” implying younger than Zadorov (28).
  • While not explicitly stated, it seems like it would be somebody who’s played NHL minutes – it seems unlikely that the Flames would feel “very comfortable” with somebody entirely untested at the NHL level.
The Flames have six defencemen with the AHL’s Calgary Wranglers who are on NHL deals: Yan Kuznetsov (21), Ilya Solovyov (23), Jeremie Poirer (21), Brady Lyle (24), Colton Poolman (27) and Nick DeSimone (29). Poirier and Poolman are currently injured. DeSimone is older than Zadorov. Of the remaining players, Solovyov is the only one with any NHL games under his belt.
Based on all the information that Conroy has provided, it sure does point to Solovyov getting a call up imminently and the opportunity to carve out a full-time role for himself on the third pairing.
We’ll see what unfolds in the coming days.
The Flames return to action on Saturday night when they host the Canucks.

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