Welcome back to my 31 in 31 top ten prospect series.
Yesterday, we took a dive into the Buffalo Sabres farm system that consisted of a healthy mix of youth looking to prove themselves, borderline NHLers, and long-term projects. This list was highlighted by Lawrence Pilut, Victor Olofsson, and Rasmus Asplund. Today, we’re going to head north of the border and look at what the Calgary Flames have going on in terms of prospects. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
1. Juuso Valimaki (D, 1st Round, 16th Overall in 2017)
Valimaki came into the picture back in 2017 as a first round pick while playing for the Tri-City Americans. The 6’2 Nokia, Finland native played out his final WHL season last year and after putting up points at over a point-per-game pace, the Flames decided he was ready for the NHL immediately and he skipped the AHL entirely. He’s currently played 22 NHL games and registered a goal and an assist.
2. Dillon Dube (RW, 2nd Round, 56th Overall in 2016)
Dube was a projected first round pick in the ever stacked 2016 NHL Draft but he slipped all the way to 56th overall where the Flames were more than happy to pick him up. Though recently assigned to the AHL, Dube has already gained 20 games of NHL experience (with five points in that span) and it’s likely not the last that he’ll see this season.
3. Andrew Mangiapane (LW, 6th Round, 166th Overall in 2015)
A small forward out of Bolton, Ontario, Mangiapane has been consistently proving that he can handle the AHL. Putting up 46 points in 39 games with the Stockton Heat last season and 14 points in 13 games this season, the former Barrie Colt is on the brink of making the bigs full-time. He’s appeared in 12 games thus far but hasn’t managed a single point yet.
4. Oliver Kylington (D, 2nd Round, 60th Overall in 2015)
In incredibly early 2015 draft rankings, scouts had Kylington projected to go in the top five. Despite this, his play faltered and he ended up slipping to 60th overall for the Flames to grab him. His offensive totals were mediocre for the last few seasons, but he’s truly broken out this season, putting up 14 games in 18 games for the Stockton Heat. He’s also had the fortune of appearing in four NHL games, but hasn’t put up any points in that span.
5. Jon Gillies (G, 3rd Round, 75th Overall in 2012)
Gillies has been the Flames number one goalie prospect for quite some time right now. He would typically be much higher on the list, but his incredibly slow start to the 2018-19 AHL season caused him to drop. After a number of successful AHL campaigns, Gillies currently sports a record of 4-7-0 with a .856 save percentage and a 4.26 goals against average. Still, he’s had enough successful AHL seasons and a decent NHL stint to keep him in a somewhat respectable position on the list.
6. Glenn Gawdin (C, 4th Round, 116th Overall in 2015)
After a successful final season of absolutely ripping up the WHL with the Swift Current Broncos, the 6’1 Richmond native is in his first AHL season with Calgary where he currently has 11 points in 23 games. Given his solid size and the fact that he plays centre, he has a good amount of value and has a good place in the Flames organization.
7. Adam Ruzicka (C, 4th Round, 109th Overall in 2017)
Speaking of centres that have good size, Ruzicka is another guy who’s off to a solid start this season. The 6’4 Slovakian currently has 27 points in 28 games for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL and is playing in what could be his final junior season. The Flames have the option to move him to the AHL after this year or let him play out his overage season in junior, so next season and thus the next step remains unconfirmed for Ruzicka.
8. Matthew Phillips (C, 6th Round, 166th Overall in 2016)
Everyone loves the story of a guy going to play for his hometown team, right? Well this could very well be the case for Phillips. Born and raised in Calgary, he played out his final WHL season captaining the Victoria Royals last season and is off to a solid start in the AHL with nine points in his first 20 games. Standing at a measly 5’7 and 154 lbs, the only thing holding him back is his size. But smaller players have defied odds in the past before and Phillips could certainly continue that trend.
9. D’Artagnan Joly (RW, 6th Round, 171st Overall in 2017)
Even if D’Artagnan Joly doesn’t make a name for himself in the NHL, he already has one of the best names in recent memory, so he can hold that close to him. In all seriousness, Joly is off to a good start with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL this year with 23 points in 29 games. His size on the right-wing could help shoot him up the depth charts as he develops his game.
10. Spencer Foo (RW, Undrafted, Signed in 2017)
Another owner of an awesome name, Spencer Foo generated tons of interest after an incredible finish to the season with Union College of the NCAA in 2016-17. He’s producing at a decent pace with 14 points in 23 games for the Stockton Heat, but at age 24 he will likely need to up his totals if he wants to maintain a good spot on the depth chart.
Thanks for reading! Tune in tomorrow where we’ll take an extended look at the Carolina Hurricanes’ top ten prospects.