Michael Ferland has played a grand total of 10 NHL games, scoring just an assist. Emile Poirier, who was selected 22nd overall back in 2013, has played no NHL games. Now, assuming the Calgary Flames are interested in playing rookies again, both will get the chance to strut their stuff, as they've been recalled to join the team as they begin their crucial seven-game eastern road swing.
Paul Byron, who last played in the Flames' 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins, has been placed on the injured reserve. Matt Stajan has become a non-active roster player as he heads back home due to the impending birth of his child.
With two Flames veterans unavailable for at least a little bit, this opens up an opportunity for these two prospects. Interestingly enough, Byron and Stajan are both centres, while Ferland plays the left wing and Poirier is one of those mythical right wingers we've all heard so very little about because until now there has been only one on the Flames roster.
The Flames haven't had a super great history of actually playing their prospects as of late, but Markus Granlund did actually get to play in their last game, a 6-3 thrashing courtesy of the Anaheim Ducks. (While another rookie, Josh Jooris, sat at his expense. Great.)
While it's unclear just what the lineups are going to look like now, here's one thing to seriously look forward to: Poirier projects to be a skilled, highly offensive player and there's absolutely no excuse to sit him, especially with only David Jones being the only other guy to actually man the right wing. So to sit him would be ludicrous. He's gotta be making his NHL debut very, very soon.
Poirier is Adirondack's highest non-Drew Shore scorer (so their highest scorer who's been there all season, basically). His season began with recovery from off-season shoulder surgery, and has since grown into a majestic 14-goal, 30-point effort over 42 games that has everyone pretty stoked. He was an AHL All-Star this season, too. Hunter Shinkaruk who? Thanks Jay.
Ferland, meanwhile, is putting together a pretty decent campaign himself. He's popped his NHL cherry, but also has seven goals and 15 points over 32 AHL games this season. He's scored twice in his last two games. He's pretty big and tough, so his slot in the lineup should be obvious: replacing Brandon Bollig. He hasn't scored as much as David Wolf has so far this season, but having played in North America longer, he's a bit more used to the game, and has already been through his own conditioning issues and worked to overcome them.
Poirier, meanwhile, will probably slot in on the third line right wing, what with there being no real good reason to break up Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler, and it apparently being completely impossible to break up Lance Bouma - Mikael Backlund - David Jones. This means he could see time alongside fellow rookies Josh Jooris or Markus Granlund, although it's certainly possible he plays himself up the lineup.
This is, of course, assuming the Flames actually play them, which they really, really should. Poirier's debut is going to be extremely exciting and probably the most anticipated behind only Sam Bennett, and Ferland's a great option for the bottom six: a big guy who might just be able to chip in on the scoring.
This leaves the Flames with five rookies in the forward ranks as the trade deadline looms. Isn't hockey exciting?