#22: Hunter Shinkaruk
Team: Stockton Heat
Acquired from Vancouver on February 22 2016
Hunter Shinkaruk comes in at #22 on the list, having this biggest drop by far of any prospect after being ranked #8 last year. Falling fourteen spots doesn’t happen for any singular reason, but it was a combination of a down year for him and strong years from a lot of other Flames prospects.
Shinkaruk dressed for seven games with the Flames early in the season, picking up an assist. Some of his other numbers at the NHL level weren’t great, but it was a very limited sample size.
He also played in 57 games for Stockton, racking up 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points. This was down from the 27 goals and 58 total points that Shinkaruk put up last season in 62 games split between Utica and Stockton.
Heading into last season, it appeared that Shinkaruk would be making a push for one of the final roster spots in camp. He wasn’t even a part of the last cuts at camp this year and in his limited NHL experience, he didn’t seem to make much of an impact albeit in a fourth line role.
The issue with Shinkaruk is that he doesn’t really seem to fit a bottom line role since he has the skill and scoring touch of a top six forward, but the Flames don’t have room there. If he can find ice time further up the lineup, maybe even with Sam Bennett and Kris Versteeg, then he could really make an impact.
With Shinkaruk now needing waivers to be sent down, it probably won’t do a lot of good having him as a callup, so he’ll likely need to make the roster out of camp to get a real shot with the Flames this year. He’s an RFA after this year, so it’s up to him to prove that the Flames should keep him around.