Welcome to our mid-season review of this past summer’s annual Top 25 Under 25 rankings. For those who need a reminder, it’s a ranking of the Top 25 players under the age of 25 heading into the season. If you want to read some of the old articles from last summer, click here.
In this first installation of the two part series, we will look back at the rankings from last summer and provide an update of how each player is faring this year. Part 2 will feature updated unofficial rankings based on how 2019-20 has gone.
Here is a look at the reverse order from last summer along with statistics and some thoughts on their 2019-20 season to date.
37. Josh Nodler (2019 5th Round Pick, Michigan State University)
24 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 Pts, +2
Nodler has put up a few points in his freshman season at Michigan State after being drafted in the fifth round this past year. He also had an appearance at Flames development camp this summer.
36. Lucas Feuk (2019 4th Round Pick, AIK J20/AIK)
(11 GP, 6 G, 6 A, 12 Pts, -3)/(27 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 Pts, -10)
Traded from Södertälje SK, the organization he’s spent his entire youth career with, to AIK. Feuk has operated at over a point per game in the U20 junior league, but has struggled when called up to the AIK team in Allsvenskan. Still only 18.
35. Mitchell Mattson (2016 5th Round Pick, Michigan State University)
10 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 Pts, -1
Now in his second season with Michigan State, Mitchell Mattson has yet to record a point in 24 career NCAA games.
34. Nick Schneider (Undrafted, Signed 2015, Kansas City Mavericks)
9-13-2, 3.52 GAA, .878 Sv%
Continues his pro career trend of terrible ECHL numbers, but surprisingly solid AHL numbers. Howvever, he’s number 6 on the goalie depth chart and isn’t likely to get his chance in the AHL anytime soon.
33. Linus Lindström (2016 4th Round Pick, Skellefteå AIK)
35 GP, 6 G, 6 A, 12 Pts, +6
Lindström doubled his SHL points in less games played than all of last season, and tripled his points from all of 2017-18. 12 points in 35 games in decent for the defensively oriented SHL.
32. Milos Roman (2018 4th Round Pick, Vancouver Giants)
42 GP, 13 G, 12 A, 25 Pts, +9
Despite now being 20 in the WHL, Roman has seen his point totals drop by 35, with just 17 games played less than he did last year.
31. Carl Johan-Lerby (Undrafted, Signed 2019, Malmo Redhawks)
27 GP, 4 G, 8 A, 12 Pts, +2
Lerby has followed up the impressive offensive numbers that earned him a contract from the Flames after last season. Under contract with Malmo until the end of this season. At 22, the Flames best D prospect.
30. Rinat Valiev (Traded 2018, Stockton Heat)
33 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 Pts, +2
Valiev plays solid 2 way hockey in Stockton, where he re-signed this past summer to play as a depth option for an already deep blueline. Despite multiple call-ups as the emergency D last season, he has yet to be summoned this season. Has never played a game for Calgary.
29. Filip Sveningsson (2017 7th Round Pick, IK Oskarshamn)
23 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts, +1
Sveningsson has struggled to score since Oskarshamn was was promoted to the SHL this season.
28. Justin Kirkland (Signed 2019, Stockton Heat)
37 GP, 6 G, 19, A, 25 Pts, -6
Kirkland has enjoyed his most succesful AHL season to date with the Heat, and is poised to break all of his personal records. More importantly, he’s a more veteran player to guide a very young team.
27. Ilya Nikolaev (2019 3rd Round Pick, Loko Yaroslavl)
42 GP, 14 G, 13 A, 27 Pts, +17
Currently in his second season in the Russian junior league (MHL), Nikolayev has already surpassed his totals from last season in goals, points, and games played. Wears an A.
26. Luke Philp (Undrafted, Signed 2019, Stockton Heat)
37 GP, 15 G, 8 A, 23 Pts, +7
Philp is in his rookie pro season after being signed out of the University of Alberta. Surprisingly, he ranks second for Stockton in goals.
25. Ryan Lomberg (Undrafted, Re-signed 2019, Stockton Heat)
21 GP, 11 G, 9 A, 20 Pts, +6
Lomberg is enjoying the best season of his pro career. Unfortunately he missed a good chunk of December with injury, but has been hot since returning. His career high in points in the AHL is 29.
24. Dmitri Zavgorodniy (2018 7th Round Pick, Rimouski Océanic)
23 GP, 16 G, 27 A, 43 Pts, +28
Playing once again on a line with likely-first-overall-pick Alexis Lafreniere. Torched the QMJHL at almost 2 points per game, before his injury. Scored 3 goals and 5 points in 2 games to lead the CHL/Russia series in scoring. Hasn’t played since the series, which was in November.
23. Eetu Tuulola (2016 6th Round Pick, Stockton Heat)
35 GP, 6 G, 6 A, 12 Pts, -5
Streaky scoring defines his rookie season in the AHL. Scored 4 goals over 6 games near the start of the season, just 2 in the next 27 games.
22. Demetrios Koumontzis (2018 4th Round Pick, Arizona State University)
25 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 Pts, -9
Koumontzis is far behind the numbers he set last season as a freshman at Arizona State. The 2018 pick is still dealing with being cut from USA’s World Junior camp, after a decent showing at the summer showcase that raised his stock.
21. Alexander Yelesin (Undrafted, Signed 2019, Stockton Heat)
30 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 Pts, +2
Brandon Davidson was called up early in the season and even played for the Flames, but for the past few weeks, Yelesin has been their choice. He has yet to make his NHL debut, but has been a very consistent presence in his first year in Stockton.
20. Artyom Zagidulin (Undrafted, Signed 2019, Stockton Heat)
14-4-2, 2.96 GAA, .900 Sv%, 2 SO
Consider this: David Rittich only had 15 wins along with 5 shutouts in his rookie AHL season. Zagidulin had an up and down first half, but has started the new year off hot, with 2 shutouts in his last 3 games.
19. Dustin Wolf (2019 7th Round Pick, Everett Silvertips)
20-8-1, 1.98 GAA, .936 Sv%, 7 SO
There’s not much more for Wolf to prove at the junior level. He’s posted historically good numbers as a starting goaltender for a second straight season, in a very high scoring league.
18. Martin Pospisil (2018 4th Round Pick, Stockton Heat)
10 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 Pts, -1
Pospisil was knocked clean out in a fight by Colby Cave early in the season, and he missed months with a concussion. He has since returned in 2020 and just recently recorded his first AHL point.
17. Adam Ruzicka (2017 4th Round Pick, Stockton Heat)
38 GP, 7 G, 8 A, 15 Pts, 12 PIM, +1
Ruzicka has had a decent first professional season in Stockton, but has struggled at times to find consistency, something that has plagued him since his OHL days. He’s definitely still a project, but the Flames are hoping he takes a step forward in the second half of the year.
16. Emilio Pettersen (2018 6th Round Pick, University of Denver)
24 GP, 6 G, 16 A, 22 Pts, 8 PIM, +4
Pettersen has followed up an already strong freshman season in Denver with a good showing so far this year. He’s already tied his goal total from last year in 16 less games and is just eight back of last year’s point total.
15. Glenn Gawdin (Signed 2017, Stockton Heat)
39 GP, 13 G, 25 A, 38 Pts, 20 PIM, +12
Gawdin has already equaled his point total from last year but in 25 less games and surpassed his 11 goals from last year as well. Gawdin’s game has taken a big step forward in his sophomore season and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get a late-season call-up as a reward for his play. He’ll definitely be in the roster conversation next year as well. Watch for Gawdin in the AHL All-Star game later this month.
14. Matthew Phillips (2016 6th Round Pick, Stockton Heat)
28 GP, 14 G, 16 A, 30 Pts, 2 PIM, +4
Before suffering an ugly knee injury, Phillips was having a tremendous season with the Heat and was also named to the AHL All-Star Game. Phillips also had a brief call-up to the Flames this year, although he didn’t make his NHL debut. It will be interesting to see how he rebounds from the injury as he only missed three games over three years with the Victoria Royals in the WHL.
13. Jakob Pelletier (2019 1st Round Pick, Moncton Wildcats)
35 GP, 19 G, 36 A, 55 Pts, 6 PIM, +26
Much like Phillips, Pelletier was in the midst of a very impressive season but was derailed by injury in December. Pelletier was on his way to crushing his career high of 89 points and had a good shot at making Team Canada for the World Juniors before the injury.
12. Tyler Parsons (2016 2nd Round Pick, Kansas City Mavericks)
8-5-0, 2.88 GAA, .916 SV%
Parsons remains in the ECHL, mostly due to Jon Gillies and the aforementioned Artyom Zagidulin having really good years for the Heat. Parsons has had a better year for Kansas City and is showing some improvement, however until the Flames make a deal or something else happens, he’s stuck for now.
11. Oliver Kylington (2015 2nd Round Pick, Calgary Flames)
NHL: 37 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 Pts, 14 PIM, -6
AHL: 3 GP, 3 G, 0 A, 3 Pts, 0 PIM, -2
At this point it’s safe to say that Kylington is a full-time NHLer as he’s stuck with the Flames over the All-Star break. Whether or not he becomes a long term Flame remains to be seen as he could be a tempting trade chip for a rebuilding team.
10. Dillon Dube (2016 2nd Round Pick, Calgary Flames)
NHL: 26 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 10 Pts, 2 PIM, +5
AHL: 13 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 Pts, 8 PIM, +2
Dube has cooled off lately after a hot start to his callup, but he seems to have secured a spot in the lineup. He has formed a strong third line with Milan Lucic and Derek Ryan and has shown some flexibility in the lineup. He definitely looks like a good long term piece for the Flames and probably won’t be back to Stockton again.
9. Mark Jankowski (2012 1st Round Pick, Calgary Flames)
NHL: 39 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 Pts, 10 PIM, -12
After an impressive first two NHL seasons, I think it’s safe to say that nobody expected Jankowski’s regression this year. He’s fallen out of favour in the fanbase and has struggled to do much of anything on the ice. I think it’s safe to say he probably won’t be a Flame by next fall.
8. Andrew Mangiapane (2015 6th Round Pick, Calgary Flames)
NHL: 48 GP, 8 G, 7 A, 15 Pts, 10 PIM, -1
Now in his first full NHL season, Mangiapane has seen his role grow steadily and he seems to have adjusted well to the NHL level. He’s been consistently generating chances and it should only be a matter of time before his point totals take off.
7. Sam Bennett (2014 1st Round Pick, Calgary Flames)
34 GP, 4 G, 2 A, 6 Pts, 28 PIM, +1
At this point Bennett is what he is. He’s an expendable bottom six forward that may have more value as a trade chip being a “former 4th overall pick” than he does in Calgary. He’s mainly playing fourth line minutes lately and hasn’t provided much of a spark.
6. Juuso Valimaki (2017 1st Round Pick)
No Stats (Injured)
No real update on Valimaki as he’s missed the entire season so far recovering from his Torn ACL. It sounds like he may be able to return to action some time in March, it just remains to be seen whether that’s in Calgary or Stockton.
5. Noah Hanifin (Traded 2018, Calgary Flames)
50 GP, 5 G, 9 A, 14 Pts, 10 PIM, -14
Hanifin’s game has kind of stalled or even taken a step back this year as he’s been exposed in the defensive zone. After having a +18 last year, he’s way down in the minuses and hasn’t been fantastic after a good season last year with Travis Hamonic.
4. Rasmus Andersson (2015 2nd Round Pick, Calgary Flames)
50 GP, 3 G, 10 A, 13 Pts, 33 PIM, -15
Andersson’s game has continued to improve this season and he really looks to be an important piece of the Flames future. This was proven by the large six year extension he signed a few weeks ago.
3. Sean Monahan (2013 1st Round Pick, Calgary Flames)
50 GP, 14 G, 22 A, 36 Pts, 12 PIM, -16
2019-20 hasn’t been great to Monahan or his linemate Johnny Gaudreau. Both have had slow seasons after putting up career highs last year. Monahan has added more physicality to his game this year, so we’ll see if it translates come playoff time.
2. Elias Lindholm (Traded 2018, Calgary Flames)
50 GP, 20 G, 16 A, 36 Pts, 20 PIM, -12
While Lindholm’s point totals might not be at last year’s pace, his game has seen development as the team has shifted him into the centre position and he has done quite well.
1. Matthew Tkachuk (2016 1st Round Pick, Calgary Flames)
Hey now, you’re an all star! Tkachuk continues his progression by being the best Flame so far this year and continues to occupy space in the head of every Oiler fan.
Watch for our updated Top 25 Under 25 Rankings in a few days!