NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, the Calgary Flames.
The Calgary Flames aren't far from a plethora of prospects making it to the NHL to complement an already young core featuring forwards Johnny Gaudreau (23), Sean Monahan (22) and Sam Bennett (21), and defenseman Dougie Hamilton (24).
The growth of the prospects is necessary after Calgary traded a first-round pick and two second-round picks to acquire Hamilton in a trade with the Boston Bruins on June 26, 2015. The Flames also traded 2018 first- and second-round picks, and either a second-round pick in 2019 or 2020, to the New York Islanders for defenseman Travis Hamonic, who turns 27 before this season, on June 24.
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Several prospects are on the horizon, and those who are further away are showing plenty of promise.
Here are the Flames' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:
1. Tyler Parsons, G
How acquired: Selected with No. 54 pick in 2016 NHL Draft
Last season: London (OHL): 34 GP, 23-6-3, 2.37 GAA, .925 save percentage
Parsons, who is expected to turn pro this season, has put together impressive resume back-to-back seasons. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound goalie won the Memorial Cup with London of the Ontario Hockey League in 2016 and helped the United States win the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. Parsons, who turns 20 on Sept. 18, led the OHL in save percentage (.925).
"He's won at every level," Flames goaltending coach Jordan Sigalet said. "He knows how to win. He's a competitor. He's a smaller-sized goalie by today's standards, but he just finds a way to stop the puck."
Projected NHL arrival: 2019-20 season
2. Mark Jankowski, C
How acquired: Selected with No. 21 pick in 2012 NHL Draft
Last season: Calgary: 1 GP, 0-0-0; Stockton (AHL): 64 GP, 27-29-56
The Flames continue to be patient with Jankowski but there's plenty of optimism around the 22-year-old. After four full seasons with Providence College, Jankowski led Stockton in scoring and was named to the AHL all-rookie team in his first year of professional hockey.
Jankowski (6-4, 202) made his NHL debut on Nov. 28 and could challenge for a full-time role with the Flames with his strong two-way game.
Projected NHL arrival: This season
3. Juuso Valimaki, D
How acquired: Selected with No. 16 pick in 2017 NHL Draft
Last season: Tri-City (WHL): 60 GP, 19-42-61
Valimaki, 18, isn't expected to make an immediate impact on the Flames like other recent first-round picks, but that isn't deterring him. He has NHL size (6-2, 204) that doesn't hamper his skating or mobility. With two years of experience with Tri-City of the Western Hockey League, Valimaki has displayed an impressive two-way game.
"He can skate, he's got good skill with the puck, he does everything we're looking for in a defenseman at the NHL level," Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy said.
Projected NHL arrival: 2019-20
4. Rasmus Andersson, D
How acquired: Selected with No. 53 pick in 2015 NHL Draft
Last season: Calgary: 1 GP, 0-0-0; Stockton (AHL): 54 GP, 3-19-22
Andersson's poised, calm game enabled him to make a smooth transition into professional hockey following two seasons with Barrie of the OHL. He finished second on Stockton among defensemen to Oliver Kylington in points, and the 20-year-old right-shot (6-1, 214) made his NHL debut with the Flames on April 8 after a late-season recall and could compete for a place on Calgary's roster this fall.
Projected NHL arrival: Next season
5. Dillon Dube, C
How acquired: Selected with No. 56 pick in 2016 NHL Draft
Last season: Kelowna (WHL): 40 GP, 20-35-55
The fleet-footed Dube, 19, has shown plenty of progress and promise. He averaged more than a point per game (1.24) in limited time with Kelowna of the WHL last season and represented Canada at the 2017 WJC. Dube has a high hockey IQ to make up for what he lacks in size (5-11, 183).
Projected NHL arrival: 2019-20