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NHL.com's top Flames prospects

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 30 teams throughout August. Today, the Calgary Flames.

As the Calgary Flames continue their rebuild, their prospect pool continues to grow through the NHL Draft. The Flames are seeing significant results from numerous players to the point of consideration for a roster spot in the not-too-distant future.

"If you look at the players in the minor league system, over the course of the last two years it's been 11 guys that have turned pro," general manager Brad Treliving said. "You have to make decisions on people. You go forward now, and we drafted nine guys this year that in a year or two are going to, too."

The timing is a positive sign for the Flames, who have preached internal growth in an effort to find more consistent results.

Here are the Flames' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

1. Matthew Tkachuk, LW

How acquired: Selected with No. 6 pick of 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: London (OHL): 30-77-107

The skilled, physical Tkachuk, 18, will try to join Sam Bennett and Sean Monahan as highly regarded first round picks to make the quick jump to Calgary's roster.

Tkachuk is the son of five-time NHL all-star Keith Tkachuk, who played 18 seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues and Atlanta Thrashers. He had 38 goals in 65 games for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program in 2014-15 before moving to the Ontario Hockey League last season.

"They're not penciling anybody in," Tkachuk (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) said at Flames development camp in July. "They don't care if you're 18 years old, 25 or whatever. You have to prove yourself. I obviously have had to prove myself my whole career. The NHL is a whole different level. Proving myself in training camp is all that's on my mind right now."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

2. Jon Gillies, G

How acquired: Selected with No. 75 pick of 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Stockton (AHL): 7 GP, 2-3-1, 2.31 GAA, .920 SV%

After finishing his collegiate career at Providence College with an NCAA championship and winning Frozen Four most valuable player, Gillies, 22, had a tough first year in professional hockey with Stockton of the American Hockey League. After earning a shutout in two of his first three games, Gillies (6-6, 235) had season-ending hip surgery in December to repair an injury sustained two years earlier.

"It feels nice to be able to trust movements, trust that I'm always going to have power in that push without a sharp, shooting pain in my leg," Gillies said. "It's little things like that. It's more mental than anything, just knowing I have a good, healthy hip and I can trust it completely."

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

3. Mark Jankowski, C

How acquired: Selected with No. 21 pick of 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Stockton (AHL): 8 GP, 2-4-6; Providence (NCAA): 38 GP, 15-25-40

The wait has been long, but Jankowski finally will make the jump to professional hockey after four seasons at Providence College. Jankowski had 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) in 38 games as a senior to close his college career, and then had six points in eight games on an amateur tryout with Stockton to finish last season.

"I know everybody develops differently and I knew when I was drafted I wasn't going to come in right away and make the team," Jankowski (6-3, 185) said. "I knew it was going to be a process and development, so I was just taking it day by day when I was in college and tried to work my hardest every single day, whether it was in the gym or how I eat or how I sleep or practicing on the ice. It's every single day, that development. I think I'm there now."

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

4.

Hunter Shinkaruk, LW

How acquired: In trade with Vancouver Canucks for Markus Granlund, Feb. 23, 2016

Last season: Calgary/Vancouver: 8 GP, 2-1-3; Stockton/Utica (AHL): 62 GP, 27-24-51

Shinkaruk, 21, has the opportunity to make the biggest impact of any Flames rookie this season. After scoring 51 points in the AHL last season, the first-round pick (No. 24) in the 2013 draft will have the chance to start the season in Calgary. He had a good showing during a seven-game audition with the Flames after being acquired from the Canucks in February, scoring his first three NHL points.

"I think when I got the taste of playing the last seven games, I know I can play in that league," Shinkaruk (5-10, 181) said. "It's up to me to make sure I work on little details in my game, getting stronger this summer, and at the end of the day, there's no doubt in my mind I can play and that's where my mindset is. I'm not thinking about anything else."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

5. Oliver Kylington, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 60 pick of 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Calgary: 1 GP, 0-0-0; Stockton, AHL: 47 GP, 5-7-12

Last season was one of adjustment for Kylington. Not only was it his first taste of professional hockey in North America, but Kylington, who turned 19 in May, was the youngest player in the AHL. He had five goals and seven assists in 47 games with Stockton, and made his NHL debut in Calgary's final game of the regular season.

"The adjustment for the ice and the game was fast. I didn't have any problem with that," Kylington (6-foot, 183) said. "The off-ice [conditioning] was a bit hard in the beginning. The boys on the team were good to me. The leadership, the staff was really good in helping me off the ice. It was ongoing the whole season, but I felt comfortable after a couple weeks. It was good."

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

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