Calgary Flames prospect report: Offensive help on the way

Watch as the Calgary Flames draft Juuso Valimaki with the 16th overall pick.

As the Calgary Flames struggle to find secondary scoring they can at least be heartened by the fact they have some prolific offensive players on the farm and in their system.

In terms of being able to summon immediate help, the Flames have the AHL’s second-highest scorer and October player of the month in Andrew Mangiapane.

Two Flames prospects in junior are in the top five of scoring leaders in their respective leagues.

Here’s a peek at some of the more notable Flames prospects through the first month of the season.

AHL

Andrew Mangiapane, 21, LW
Drafted: Sixth round, 166th overall, 2015
Season to date: 11 GP | 6 G | 10 A | 16 P | +10

Even after his centre, Mark Jankowski, was called up from the Stockton Heat by the Flames, Mangiapane has continued the type of pace he was accustomed to in junior where he was a 51-goal scorer.

Currently second in the American Hockey League in points as part of the hottest line in the minors, the 5-foot-10, 182-pound native of Bolton, Ont. was the only player in the AHL to open the season with points in 10 straight games.

Reason for optimism…
Named AHL player of the month for his rousing start, Mangiapane is second in the loop at plus-10 and has been shooting the puck a ton.

The two-time 100-point man for the OHL’s Barrie Colts scored 20 goals last season in Stockton despite being a first-year pro who was unable to work out all summer due to a groin injury. This year he came in healthy, had a solid camp with the Flames and has tremendous confidence and chemistry on the Heat’s top line.

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Rasmus Andersson, 21, D
Drafted: Second round, 53rd overall, 2015
Season to date: 10 GP | 1 G | 7 A | 8 PTS | +5

The knock on the Swedish rearguard has long been his fitness levels, but he’s 11 pounds down from the weight he finished at last season.

More focused so far this season than any before, Andersson has 20 shots on goal and is still the creative offensive force the Flames drafted him to be. He’s playing with more pace than in the past and earned a call-up to the Flames after Travis Hamonic went down with an injury.

Oliver Kylington, 20, D
Drafted: Second round, 60th overall, 2015
Season to date: 11 GP | 1 G | 6 A | 7 PTS | +6

The left-handed Swede continues to progress in his third year with the Heat, further limiting the number of mistakes he used to make.

Coach Ryan Huska says he’s taken major steps early on as a key player on a team that has started the season well. Rasmus Andersson was the first defensive call-up made by the Flames, but Kylington is also a player to consider in these situations later on.

Spencer Foo, 23, RW
Acquired: Free agent in 2017
Season to date: 11 GP | 1 G | 4 A | 5 PTS | -2

Expectations were high on the Edmonton native who signed with the Flames this summer after garnering Hobey Baker consideration following a 62-point season (in 38 games) with Union College.

He struggled at the Flames main camp and it was quickly apparent he would need considerable seasoning in Stockton.

The speedy winger is slowly adjusting to life in the pros armed with a brilliant work ethic and seeing plenty of ice-time with Morgan Klimchuk on the second power play unit.

Jon Gillies, 23, G
Drafted: Third round, 75th overall in 2012
Season to date: 6 GP | 4-2-1 | 2.42 GAA | .920 SP

Playing twice as much as tandem-mate David Rittich, Gillies is off to a great start on a Stockton Heat squad that has opened the season 7-3-0-1.

The 6-foot-6, 223-pound American is the obvious first call-up should injury or an Eddie Lack stumble arise with the big club.

Gillies gained confidence in training camp with the Flames, as well as the one NHL game he played last year when he allowed just one goal in a win.

WHL

Dillon Dube, 19, LW
Drafted: Second round, 56th overall, 2016
Season to date: 15 GP | 7 G | 11 A | 18 PTS | -4

One of the best prospects in the WHL night in and night out, Dube’s speed and skill stand out even on a powerhouse team like Kelowna.

Adapted well to being a checking winger for Team Canada at last year’s world juniors, but this year he’s expected to play a more prominent role and maybe wear a letter, too.

Matthew Phillips, 19, C
Drafted; Sixth round, 166th overall, 2016
Season to date: 19 GP | 15 G | 20 A | 35 PTS | +13

The former 50-goal scorer in WHL Victoria is on an even greater pace this year as he’s opened the season as the WHL’s third-leading scorer.

The Calgary native is the captain of the Royals and is pushing for a spot on Canada’s world junior squad by virtue of his start.

The question continues to be whether the 5-foot-7, 155-pound offensive dynamo can overcome his size at the next level. His skillset is so off-the-charts he’ll certainly get that chance to prove himself.

Juuso Valimaki, 19, D
Drafted: First round, 16th overall, 2017
Season to date: 12 GP | 4 G | 8 A | 12 PTS | +4

The Finnish defenceman continues to be a point-a-game player as he was last year in Tri-City.

A strong, steady blueliner, his camp with the Calgary Flames demonstrated he’ll undoubtedly be a top-four defenceman in the NHL.

There was no room with the big club for him to make a push this year, but he might make it harder for management to send him back down again next year.

OHL

Adam Ruzicka, 18, C
Drafted: fourth round, 109th overall, 2017
Season to date: 18 GP | 13 G | 15 A | 28 PTS | +9

A big, solid prospect dominating with the Sarnia Sting, Ruzicka is third in OHL scoring thanks to a start that has raised many eyebrows around the league.

Dropping in the draft because of his compete level, the 6-foot-4, 202-pound Slovakian teen has certainly addressed that criticism early on.

A testament to his full engagement is the fact he’s fired 76 shots on goal so far. The scariest thing about him is the expectation he’ll fill out and be an even bigger presence moving forward.

NCAA

Adam Fox, 19, D
Drafted: Third round, 66th overall, 2016
Season to date: 3 GP | 0 G | 5 A | 5 PTS | +2

Considered a blue chip prospect by the Flames, the Harvard rearguard is actually being considered for the U.S. Olympic team.

Fox has already excelled on the world stage as a stud for the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the World Junior Championship last year.

At the very least he’s a shoe-in to return to the Christmas tourney as one of the American team leaders.

ECHL

Tyler Parsons, 20, G
Drafted: Round 2, 54th overall, 2016
Season to date: 7 GP | 2-4-0 | 4.69 GAA | .870 SP

Despite being, arguably, the Flames’ top goalie prospect there was no room on the Stockton Heat for the former Memorial Cup and World Junior Championship winner.

The Flames placed him with Kansas City of the ECHL, where the first-year pro has been trying to adjust to a play in a notoriously more scramble-happy league.

Regardless of his numbers, if there is a goaltending injury anywhere in the Flames system he’d likely be moved immediately to the AHL.