Welcome to Part 2 of our series where we look back at last summer’s Top 25 Under 25 rankings and re-rank them. In Part 1 we evaluated the rankings from last summer and each player’s stats this year. You can read that here.
For Part 2, we sat down and created new unofficial rankings based on how 2019-20 has gone to date. Here they are:
37. Mitchell Mattson ▼2 (35)
Mattson couldn’t quite ever seem to translate his game from high school to the NCAA.
36. Rinat Valiev ▼6 (30)
Brandon Davidson and the upcoming Yelesin have both jumped Valiev on the depth chart. Still provides a good veteran presence in Stockton.
35. Filip Sveningsson ▼6 (29)
Sveningsson hasn’t been able to elevate his offensive game since his Swedish team was promoted to the SHL.
34. Milos Roman ▼2 (32)
Roman has seen his offensive production drastically decrease every year since the Flames drafted him, and is on track for his worst offensive season to date.
33. Nick Schneider ▲1 (34)
Perhaps he may be simply a victim of a suddenly deep goalie pipeline, but Nick Schneider will likely never be able to climb much higher than this in the Flames organization. A change of scenery would do him good.
32. Justin Kirkland ▼4 (28)
A good veteran presence, he’s enjoying his best offensive season to date in his first year with the Heat.
31. Ryan Lomberg ▼5 (25)
Lomberg is actually having the best season of his tenured AHL career, despite an injury that cost him. The Flames have younger, better wing options this season, and Lomberg is unlikely to get another call-up.
30. Josh Nodler ▲7 (37)
Nodler rises significantly on this list from summer, mostly due to him just now getting some recognition in his freshman season with Michigan.
29. Linus Lindström ▲4 (33)
Lindström is posting the best numbers of his SHL career by far, and still offers some intrigue at just 22.
28. Demetrios Koumontzis ▼6 (22)
After a very surprisingly strong freshman season with Arizona State in which he was almost a point per game, Koumontzis has seen his offensive game take a big hit this season.
27. Lucas Feuk ▲9 (36)
Playing very well in the SuperElit J20 league, but still trying to find his place in the more skilled Allsvenskan league.
Finally making his rookie debut with Stockton, Tuulola has been ice cold and in and out of the lineup, after scoring 4 goals over a 6 game span earlier in the season.
25. Martin Pospisil ▼7 (18)
His health is now a big question mark going forward, as he suffered a serious concussion from his knockout from Colby Cave. His trademark style is based upon hitting and fighting, so he may have to refocus his career.
24. Carl-Johan Lerby ▲7 (31)
Putting up very solid numbers in a tough league, as a defenceman. Only 22 years old and will be free to come to Calgary this summer, with spots opening in the d corps.
23. Ilya Nikolayev ▲4 (27)
Improving his numbers in the Russian junior league from last season already, Nikolayev can do a little bit of everything.
22. Luke Philp ▲4 (26)
Not too much could be expected out of a player coming out of the weak Canadian collegiate hockey league, but Philp has played above anyone’s hopes. After not scoring for his first 10 AHL games, he put up 5 over 3 games, and 11 over 14 games.
21. Alexander Yelesin ◄►0 (21)
The Flames have shown they’re comfortable summoning Yelesin as an emergency option with someone injured, despite this being just his first season in North America.
20. Adam Ruzicka ▼3 (17)
Ruzicka is having a fairly inconsistent, average rookie season in the AHL. Needs to play like he did so impressively in the pre-season.
19. Tyler Parsons ▼7 (12)
Injuries have put the once promising goaltending prospects’ career in jeopardy. Simply put, Parsons needs to play as many games as possible the rest of this season.
18. Emilio Pettersen ▼2 (16)
More of a victim of others rising than him falling, Pettersen has seen improvements during his sophomore season at the University of Denver, putting up 24 points in 26 games.
17. Artyom Zagidulin ▲3 (20)
While his actual statistics aren’t great (.900 SV%, 3.00 GAA) you can’t really argue against his strong record of 14-4-3 on the year. So far it looks like he’s either a hot or cold goalie as he seems to either allow two or less, or four or more goals. Definitely an intriguing guy to watch over the second half.
16. Mark Jankowski ▼7 (9)
This might seem a bit harsh considering he’s still an NHLer, but this has been an absolutely ugly year for Jankowski who has gone from a reliable bottom six forward to being a guy who should be in the AHL.
15. Dustin Wolf ▲4 (19)
Dustin Wolf continues to be an extremely exciting prospect for the Flames organization after snaggin him in the 7th round this past summer. Wolf has posted a 1.95 GAA and 0.937 SV% with the Everett Silvertips this season, both numbers that lead the league. He also has 7 shutouts with a 22-8-2 record.
14. Dmitri Zavgorodniy ▲10 (24)
Zavgorodniy was well on his way to a very impressive season with the Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) before an injury took him out of the lineup for more than two months. He returned to action on Friday night, putting up a goal and an assist to bring his total to 45 points in 25 games on the year.
13. Jakob Pelletier ◄►0 (13)
After also missing some time with injury, Pelletier returned to the Moncton Wildcats lineup and continued his strong season. He has 58 points in 37 games and is looking like a really solid first round pick for the Flames.
12. Matthew Phillips ▲2 (14)
Prior to an injury, Phillips was having a very strong season with the Stockton Heat with 30 points in 28 games. He had already surpassed last year’s goal totals and even earned a short call-up to the Flames a reward. While he might not get another NHL crack this year depending on his rehab and how the team does, look for him to push hard in training camp next fall.
11. Glenn Gawdin ▲4 (15)
Gawdin has also had a very good second professional season with the Heat, putting up 40 points in 40 games. He had 38 points in 64 games all of last year, so it’s a big jump for the centerman. He is also representing the Stockton Heat at the AHL All-Star Classic which goes tonight if you’re looking for some hockey to watch.
10. Sam Bennett ▼3 (7)
At this point Bennett has carved out a role as physical bottom six forward and not much else. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as a trade chip over the next month as he looks like an expendable bottom six forward.
9. Oliver Kylington ▲2 (11)
Kylington has made the jump to the Flames full-time this season but still occasionally finds himself out of the lineup. There are still holes to his game that need work, but hopefully he can find some of the offensive touch that allowed him to succeed at the AHL level.
8. Juuso Valimaki ▼2 (6)
Not a ton to say on Valimaki as he falls due to some strong seasons by the players just ahead of him. Hopefully he can take whatever time he needs to get fully healthy and begin a push to make the team again.
7. Dillon Dube ▲3 (10)
After another strong training camp, Dube was sent to Stockton to start the year where he lit it up with 13 points in 13 games. He was recalled to Calgary and has been a solid middle six forward since. His production has dropped off of late, but I think he’s in Calgary for good, evidenced by the Flames not sending him down for game action over the All-Star break.
6. Andrew Mangiapane ▲2 (8)
Mangiapane has seen his role steadily increase over the course of the season and now finds himself of the Flames top line with Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm. He’s been buzzing over the net in the last dozen games, so expect the points to start coming in bunches for the forward.
5. Noah Hanifin ◄►0 (5)
Hanifin stays where he was for now as his defensive game has raised some concerns over the course of the season with some questionable decision making and coverage.
4. Rasmus Andersson ◄►0 (4)
We debated for a while about whether or not to raise Anderson but for now he stays at #4. I expect his ranking to rise very quickly as he continues to establish himself with the team. His big contract extension helps his cause as well.
3. Sean Monahan ◄►0 (3)
Monahan’s production is down compared to last season but so is the whole team. For me my judgement on Monahan’s season will come in the playoffs if he is able to carry his newfound physical aspect into a seven game series while still producing some offense.
2. Elias Lindholm ◄►0 (2)
Lindholm’s development has taken another step forward this year, even if his overall points total is down. He’s played really well at the centre position and may be a long term Top 6 C for the Flames. He’s also on pace to break 30 goals for the first time in his career.
1. Matthew Tkachuk ◄►0 (1)
Stay off the tracks. That is all.
On the Rise
Dmitry Zavgorodniy (+10)
Lucas Feuk (+9)
Carl-Johan Lerby/Josh Nodler (+7)
Mark Jankowski (-7)
Tyler Parsons (-7)
Martin Pospisil (-7)