Prospect: Daniel Pribyl
Hometown: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Acquired: Signed as a free agent on April 29, 2016.
Team: Stockton Heat (AHL)
2016-17 Stats: 20 GP, 4 G, 8 A, 12 PTS, 2 PIM, +2
Daniel Pribyl was an offseason acquisition that could turn out to be a very astute pick up. The forward is still young (24), has size (6-foot-2, 189 pounds), is a right shot and is coming off a terrific season in the Czech League. When the Flames signed him, he had just played a season in which he posted 45 points in 45 games, good for second in league scoring. There was a caveat however; during the period in which the Flames were looking into signing him, he sustained a serious knee injury that required surgery, meaning he would spend months recovering. Still, being able to pick up a player that has succeeded offensively and could play the right wing made it very worthwhile for the Flames to give him a shot.
When he has actually been in the line up, Pribyl has contributed offensively for the Stockton Heat, posting 12 points in 20 games. Not remarkable numbers, but for a player coming off of a serious knee surgery while adjusting to playing the North American game, they are respectable statistics. He could stand to generate more shots with 35 in 20 games, but he is known more for his playmaking skills than his goal scoring. For a Calgary Flames team that is extremely thin on the right wing and really struggling to produce offense of late, someone with Daniel Pribyl’s attributes could be a benefit.
Unfortunately, Pribyl has been out of Stockton’s line up for over a month with an injury and there is no word on when he will be returning to the line up. Whenever he comes back, he is going to need time to get back up to game speed and then play well enough to earn a call up to the NHL. In all honesty, it is unlikely we see him in the NHL this season. However, that does not preclude the chance that we see him in a Calgary Flames uniform in the future. The Flames signed him to a 2-year entry-level deal and unless the organizational landscape undergoes a radical shift, they will continue to be very short on right-shot wingers next season. Can Pribyl be an answer? Hopefully he stays healthy enough for us to find out.