#24 Daniel Pribyl
Team: Stockton Heat
Drafted: Signed as a Free Agent in 2016
Last Year's Rank: #15
Daniel Pribyl was signed by the Flames as a free agent on April 29, 2016. The 6’3 Czech forward had played his entire career overseas at the time and was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 2011. However, Pribyl never signed with Montreal and after a bidding war between a few teams for Pribyl, the Flames managed to sign him to a 2-Year Entry Level Contract.
Pribyl was coming off a terrific season when the Flames signed him, finishing second in the Czech League in scoring, with 45 points in 45 games. However, he suffered a serious knee injury in the playoffs that was going to require surgery, so it was known to the Flames that he would miss a summer of training and the start of the 2016-17 season. Still, with his size and skill, there was a lot to be excited about.
However, this first year was not an ideal one for Pribyl in North America. Between the knee surgery recovery, other injuries and a concussion, Pribyl was only able to play in 33 games for the Stockton Heat. He put up 5 goals and 10 assists in those 33 games.
Basically, it is fair to call this season a write off for Pribyl. He missed training camp and offseason training from surgery, had to get used to North American hockey and suffered multiple other injuries. It was a brutal run for the guy. Despite that, he still put up some respectable numbers and looked pretty good when he was feeling alright.
It was a random assortment of injuries that kept him sidelined too, so there is not necessarily a reason to think that he will be affected by them in the years to come.
There was a lot of excitement about Pribyl when the Flames signed him and while it has been tempered due to his recent season and the addition of players into the Calgary system like Spencer Foo, he is still somebody worth keeping an eye on this upcoming year. He is a big, right shot forward with great offensive attributes. He is a highly skilled forward and if he can put everything together, he could be an offensive asset for a team desperately in need of right-shooting forwards.
If he can stay healthy and manage to produce in Stockton, there could be an opening with the Flames at some point during the year.
(Stats Courtesy Elite Prospects)