The Calgary Flames are a veteran team that is contending for the Stanley Cup this year. Only two players under the age of 25 are on the roster: Adam Ruzychka and Dylan Dube. The average age is 28.61 years.

The team’s core has undergone a major overhaul in recent years, from the old guard of Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Mark Jordan, Sam Bennett and Sean Monaghan to Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, Elias Lindholm and arguably the best overall defense in the NHL.

Calgary’s AHL affiliate has moved closer to home as the Calgary Wranglers, where the team can more easily trade players and focus closely on player development.

The Flames’ draft history over the past decade is suspect. The team has only two players from the last seven drafts: Dylan Dube and Adam Ruzychka. The team struggled to develop prospects into NHL players and had several misses in the early rounds with Tyler Parsons, Mason McDonald, Hunter Smith, Emile Poirier and Morgan Klimchuk falling in the first and second rounds.

The future has some potential as all four Flames prospects have tremendous potential and the depth of the pool has potential as well.

  1. Jacob Pelletier, LW/C – Calgary Wranglers (AHL)

Age: 21 years
Ht/Wt: 5-9/161
Drafted: First round 2019 26thousand overall Calgary Flames

The Flames are being patient with Pelletier’s development because they feel they have a potential top line player next to him. His offensive strengths translate very well to professional hockey. He has leadership qualities, and he also plays well physically despite being below average NHL size.

Pelletier has a high hockey IQ, reads and anticipates plays, and that has helped him be more effective on defense. Perhaps the only weakness in his game is his foot speed, it could be better.

His rookie season in the AHL was impressive with 27 goals and 62 points in 66 games. He missed the Hall of Fame to start the season, but don’t be surprised if he finishes the year in the NHL.

  1. Matt Coronata, RW/LW – Harvard University (NCAA)

Age: 19
Ht/Wt: 5-10/183
Drafted: First round 2021 13thousand overall Calgary Flames

Coronato has been very impressive as its development has rocketed. The sniper scored 48 goals in 51 games in a USHL draft year with the Chicago Steel, leading them to a championship and also earning forward of the year honors. As a freshman with the Crimson in his D1 year, he continued to impress with 36 points in 34 games, including 18 goals. His play earned him a spot on Team USA at the 2022 WJC, where he had seven points in five games. Coronata will return to the NCAA for his freshman season and will likely finish the year in the professional ranks.

  1. Dustin Wolfe, G – Calgary Wranglers (AHL)

Age: 21 years
Ht/Wt: 6-0/157
Drafted: Seventh round 2019 214thousand overall Calgary Flames

The Flames could steal a seventh-round home run from Wolfe in 2019. Six feet may be short by today’s NHL standards for a goaltender, but his record and game are impeccable. His WHL career stats with the Everett Silvertips are a staggering 106-34-6 record with 24 shutouts and a 1.84 GAA and .935 SV%.

His first season in the AHL was outstanding, starting 47 games with a 33-9-5 record and taking home the Goaltender of the Year award. In rookie camp and the preseason, Wolfe looked great and is not only the best goaltender in the organization, but arguably the best goaltending prospect in the NHL.

  1. Connor Zary, C – Calgary Wranglers (AHL)

Age: 21 years
Ht/Wt: 6-0/179
Drafted: First round 2020 24thousand overall Calgary Flames

Zara’s move to the AHL was good, but not great. In 53 games, the sharpshooter scored 13 goals and 25 points, and added two more points in 13 playoff games. His shot will be his ticket to the NHL, as it is his greatest asset.

His size and skating are currently below NHL averages, and he will need to work on his acceleration and separation to get more time and space to unleash his shot. Adding strength will also help him at the professional level and in the NHL. As a sophomore, he will need to step up to earn more ice time and fight for an NHL recall.

  1. Jeremy Poirier, LD – Calgary Wranglers (AHL)

Age: 20
Ht/Wt: 6-1/190
Drafted: Third round 2020 72th overall Calgary Flames

Poirier capped off his prolific offensive junior career with a Memorial Cup championship. Selection in the third round “Polyma” continues to work in the defensive zone. He’s certainly improved in that section, but still gets beat on rushes and makes questionable reads in the defensive zone.

In attack, he is lethal, from his breakthrough passes to joining or leading a rush, to directing the attack from the moment he creates chances and attacks. Poirier will be in his first season in the AHL and the Flames coaching staff will begin refining his game to see if they can develop him into an NHL player.

  1. Rory Kerins, C/LW – Calgary Wranglers (AHL)

Age: 20
Ht/Wt: 5-10/174
Drafted: 2020 sixth round 174thousand overall Calgary Flames

The Flames have a history of throwing late-round darts at highly skilled, short players. See Glenn Gaudin, Matthew Phillips, Ryan Francis, Dmitry Zavhorodny, and more. Eventually one of those picks will hit.

Kerins had almost a point per game season in his draft year. He then sat out during the pandemic and had a breakout season when the OHL returned, finishing second in the league with 43 goals and 118 points in 67 games with the Soo Greyhounds. Kerins will look to bring that offensive punch to the AHL in his rookie season. He may need two or three seasons before he is a legitimate NHL contender.

  1. Jack Beck, RW/LW – Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

Age: 19
Ht/Wt: 5-11/161
Drafted: 2021 sixth round 168thousand overall Calgary Flames

Beck is on the list of COVID victims. His first season in the OHL with the loaded 67’s team went unnoticed. His draft season was a total loss, but he was still selected by the Flames. Their scouting paid off as he had a strong D+1 season with 44 points in 36 games when the Hockey returned. His final season in the OHL could be a breakthrough for Beck as he will play a key role in Ottawa and could become a rising player in Calgary’s ranks.

  1. Topi Roni, C – Tappara (Liiga)

Age: 18
Ht/Wt: 6-2/181
Drafted: 2022, second round 59thousand overall Calgary Flames

The Flames’ second-round pick from the 2022 draft brings a little bit of everything, but doesn’t really have much quality. Finn has size, skates well, plays two ways and has an offensive edge.

As a teenager, he plays in the League, but with limited minutes. He played in 79 draft games in several clubs and leagues, including the U18s, where he scored four points in six games with Suomi. Ronnie may spend a few years in his native Finland developing before coming to North America.

  1. William Stromgren, LW – Brynas IF (SHL)

Age: 19
Ht/Wt: 6-3/176
Drafted: 2021, second round 45thousand overall Calgary Flames

Stromgren’s strengths are his skating, puck skills and hockey sense. Despite his size, he lacks the physical elements of the game. But the biggest concern among scouts is his lack of ability to use teammates effectively or play a team system. Perhaps the move from Rogle to Brinas will give him the time and opportunity to develop to address his shortcomings.

  1. Yan Kuznetsov, LD – Calgary Wranglers (AHL)

Age: 20
Ht/Wt: 6-4/209
Drafted: Second round 2020 50thousand overall Calgary Flames

The Russian defender follows a unique path of development. Drafted by the NCAA from the University of Connecticut, where he played two seasons, he left the NCAA to play professional hockey. After 12 games in the AHL before the start of the 2021 campaign, he was assigned to the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs, where he played a key role in their Memorial Championship run. And now back for another shot at professional hockey, the strong and physical defenseman will look to take the next step. His NHL upside is likely limited to a bottom-pairing defenseman.

Honorary awards:

Matthew Phillips – His time in the NHL is running out.

Mathias-Emilio Pettersen – After two years of stagnation, he needs to make an offensive move.

Cole Schwindt – Part of the blockbuster Tkachuk-Huberdo comeback, Schwindt scored 40 points in his AHL rookie season.

Martin Pospisil – The exciting winger had health problems. 47 games last year was a career high.

2022-23 Top 10 Calgary Flames Prospects