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Kulak to make 2016-17 debut in Vancouver

The Flames will make an adjustment to their defensive corps tonight

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson /

VANCOUVER, BC -- The Calgary Flames will be making a couple of tweaks to their defensive corps ahead of tonight's game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Head coach Glen Gulutzan has confirmed Brett Kulak will making his 2016-17 debut this evening, replacing Dennis Wideman in the lineup. Defenceman Nicklas Grossman is also expected to be a scratch.

"We wanted to get Brett in," Gulutzan said. "We ended up playing (Wideman) on the right side yesterday. We just wanted to get a left shot in there. And we're back-to-back ... we're carrying eight (defencemen) and Brett played well in exhibition and we wanted to get a young guy in the game tonight.

"His mobility and his ability to move pucks and get up in the play ... He's a smart player. He gives us a little offence but he has great mobility and a good first pass."

This is the second year Kulak has landed on the Flames' opening night roster. Last season, he started the season in Calgary and ended up getting eight games in with the Flames. He also played 59 games in the American Hockey League with the Stockton Heat, scoring three goals and 17 points in that stretch.

"He's a great young kid," Gulutzan praised. "He's worked incredibly hard in our organization to move his way up. We're happy for him, to get this opportunity."

Kulak was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft, going 105th overall. He spent his Western Hockey League career in Vancouver with the Giants, scoring 35 goals and 128 points in 216 regular season games.

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