While some truly awful stuff swirls in the world at large, the hockey world keeps puttering along. The Calgary Flames have conducted some business with a pair of college signings. But they also have some looming prospect decisions to make as spring begins to turn into summer.
Here’s a quick rundown of the prospect decisions the Flames do (and don’t) need to make soon.
Somewhat pressing business
A pair of draft-related decisions are looming on June 1. The Flames have until that date to sign Linus Lindstrom and Milos Roman or lose their NHL rights.
Lindstrom, 22, was the Flames’ fourth round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. He’s spent the past four seasons where he’s been for his entire playing career: Sweden. He’s spent four seasons with Skelleftea AIK and has a contract for next season there as well. He had an offensive breakout this season with 20 points in 48 games.
Roman, 20, just completed his overage season with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. He was the Flames’ fourth round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. He’s been a rock solid junior, but hasn’t turned the corner and become outstanding at anything. He had 47 points in 62 games for Vancouver.
Lindstrom seems more likely to be offered an NHL deal than Roman, but neither are slam-dunks.
Stuff to get around to
The Flames can sign Dustin Wolf at any point. They have until June 1, 2021 to lock up their seventh round pick from 2019, but based on chatter it doesn’t seem like the signing will be particularly contentious. He seems likely to sign sometime in the summer or fall, as he has another year left in junior anyway. He’ll definitely be named the WHL’s top goaltender when the awards are given out and will probably also win the award for the entire CHL. He’s legit.
In Europe, the Flames have until June 1, 2021 to sign Filip Sveningsson, their seventh round pick in 2017. Sveningsson just finished his second full pro season and it was uneven. In 2018-19, he was superb and helped IK Oskarshamn earn promotion to the SHL. This season he wasn’t as good and Oskarshamn collectively wasn’t great. He’s a free agent and looking for a new Swedish home, and it would make more sense for the Flames to wait to sign him when he’s coming off a strong year.
Emilio Pettersen just finished his sophomore season with the University of Denver, being named a conference all-star and emerging as one of the top under-20 college scorers in the county. The Norwegian import was the Flames’ sixth rounder in 2018 and because he’s in college, the Flames have until Aug. 15, 2020 to sign him. Pettersen seems likely to head back for another year for reasons we’ve already examined, and I can’t help but think that next summer is when he goes pro – especially if Denver goes on a long NCAA playoff run.
Deal with it later
And then there’s the prospects that are on the back-burner for awhile because they don’t need to be signed for quite some time:
- Aug. 15, 2022: Demetrious Koumontzis (Arizona State), Mitchell Mattson (Michigan State)
- June 1, 2023: Lucas Feuk (AIK)
- Aug. 15, 2023: Josh Nodler (Michigan State)
- Technically indefinite: Ilya Nikolayev (Loko Yaroslavl)
There’s no transfer agreement between the NHL and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, so technically once a Russian player is drafted the NHL club retains their rights forever. But Nikolayev’s deal in Russia expires after 2020-21 so that gives you an idea of when the Flames might try to suss out what he wants to do. He’s already been to a development camp, so that puts him ahead of other recent Russian picks.
Things are rolling now with the simulations. The Oilers have turned around a rough start into a two game win streak in the last two with a 5-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche and then a 7-4 win over the Sharks on Friday night. Oilersnation is proud to put these on for you and hearing stories like a 6 year old that can’t stop talking about the stream the next day is EXACTLY why we do it. You have a lot of options for distractions tonight and every night, but we are just happy to be one option and if you want to, we’d love to have you join us at 6pm MT for a couple of hours of Oilers hockey.
Shortly before game time, the video will play here:
We don’t really know what we’re doing here other than just trying to be a beacon of fun and laughs for Edmonton Oilers fans everywhere. If you have ideas/comments/thoughts on the game or something you want to see on the site, feel free to comment below and let us know. We had 2068 unique viewers for Wednesday’s stream of a game, and we hope you enjoy this break with us tonight too.
The line ups are going to remain the same as the old adage goes, “if it ain’t broke”
Here is what you chose –
Thanks to user i/_ethan.co
Ennis – McDavid – Kassian
RNH – NeonLeon – Yam
AA – Sheahan – Archie
Neal – Khaira – Chiasson
Thanks to user t/Sid_Hockeyfan
Klef – Larsson
Nurse – Bear
Jones – Benning
Thanks to voting on Instagram
If you would like to have your say, make sure you tune into all our social platforms (twitter, facebook and instagram) always, but especially on Wednesday again for another vote to pick the lineups.
Score predictions anyone?
A couple years ago, you could have been forgiven if you hadn’t heard of Emilio Pettersen. But over a pair of seasons in college hockey, Pettersen has emerged as one of the more exciting players in the Flames organization.
He’s not a gigantic player, but he’s quietly been one of the top players in the NCAA – both within his age group and overall.
A brief history
A product of Manglerud – a district of Oslo, Norway – Pettersen rose to prominence as a youngster with a series of YouTube videos showcasing his sweet dangles. He utterly dominated U16 hockey in Norway during his 13-year-old season.
Looking for a challenge, Pettersen came over to North America. He played prep league hockey at 14 and 15, and USHL hockey at 16 and 17. On the basis of a strong season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, he was the Flames’ sixth round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft.
He just completed his second season of college with the University of Denver Pioneers (before he even turned 20).
The case for Pettersen
It takes a special kind of person to leave home at 14 to pursue their career. Pettersen crossed the ocean to play prep school hockey. He’s increased his production or jumped up a level in hockey every season for much of the past decade. He’s a worker.
For a player just a few years removed from prep school, Pettersen has been very impressive. Heck, compared to everyone in college hockey he’s been pretty impressive. He was 7th in NCAA scoring among under-20 players as a freshman and 5th among under-20 players as a sophomore. He was second on Denver in points as a freshman and lead them as a sophomore.
In short? He’s a productive player in a tough college conference. And he’s one of the top players, if not the top guy, on one of college’s best teams.
The case against Pettersen
The big knock on Pettersen right now is that he hasn’t moved the needle a ton at even strength. More than half of his scoring in each of his first two seasons has been on the power play. He needs to prove he can be a dominant player at five on five, too.
Other than that? Pettersen’s played pretty well against grown men at a high level of hockey. He’s not huge, but he’s not teeny tiny either, and his style of play isn’t one that relies too much on elusive speed. He’s a good hand but it has yet to be seen if he can keep improving his two-way game. His overall ceiling isn’t quite clear.
Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat is one of the many NHL’ers holding out hope for a continued NHL season — one that may see the Canucks playing in the playoffs.
The stoppage, of course, due to the COVID-19 pandemic has pumped the brakes on what has been an unsuspected, but successful season for the Vancouver club.
On a conference call Friday with other Pacific division captains Connor McDavid, Mark Giordano and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Horvat had this to say:
“Either go by points percentage, or play more regular-season games,” he said. “Obviously, to make it completely fair, you’d want to play more regular-season games to get in. But if we’re going to start playoffs right away, that would put us in on (win) percentage but it’s tough to make that call — that’s for sure.”
“It definitely makes it harder because there’s nothing like being in game shape — it’s totally different — and to be in your best shape is a huge advantage,” said Horvat, who relocated from Vancouver to his new off-season home in London, Ont. 10 days ago with his pregnant wife, Holly, who’s expected to deliver the couple’s first child in July. – The Province
If the playoffs were to start tomorrow and things would be based off points percentage, Vancouver would square up against the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs. The Canucks would finish the year third in the division.
But if more regular-season games would be played out, Vancouver would be right back to where they found themselves on March 12 — tied for the last Western Conference wildcard spot with the Nashville Predators, who hold the tie-breaker.
On Twitter: @zjlaing