After a few days of fan voting and writer discussion, we have set the order for the 2021 Calgary Flames Top 25 Under 25 series. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit their rankings! As with last year’s list, we combined the rankings of the fans and writers to put one final list together.
Today we will be unveiling Part 1 of the players who missed the cut for the Top 25, with Part 2 coming tomorrow as there was just too many players to comfortably fit into one article.
#44 - C Mitchell Mattsson, Michigan State University (NCAA)
Last Year: #35, Drafted in 2016 - Round 5
At this point it isn’t particularly surprising that Mattsson falls to the bottom of the list, a region he has inhabited for the majority of the time since being drafted. He finally scored his first NCAA goal last year in his third season, as he had two goals and four points in 21 games for Michigan State. At age 23, it’s pretty clear that the Flames are just going to not sign him before his rights expire in 2023.
#43 - LW Jack Beck, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Last Year: NA, Drafted in 2021 - Round 6
As is the case with the majority of late round picks, Beck finds himself at the bottom of the rankings to start. He can only go up from here. Beck will be looking to get things back on track this season after the OHL suspended play for all of his last year, but perhaps because of that the Flames can extract some value with his selection. We will see how he adjusts to his first game action in 18 months this fall.
#42 - RW Walker Duehr, Minnesota State University (NCAA)
Last Year: NA, Signed on April 11 2021
Duehr looks to be a depth signing for the club after he joined following the conclusion of his college career. He also got into five games with the Stockton Heat this year but did not register a point. Duehr will turn 24 in November, so he has to work quickly to make an impression on management, but a good AHL season would help his long term chances.
#41 - G Arsenii Sergeev, Shreveport Mudbags (NAHL)
Last Year: NA, Drafted in 2021 - Round 7
Sergeev is definitely a long term project for the Flames, but he did have strong numbers with the Mudbags (elite name btw) in the NAHL, posting a 14-4-2 record with a .936 SV%. He will be joining the Tri-City Storm of the USHL this season, before playing with UCONN in the NCAA in 2022-23.
#40 - LW Justin Kirkland, Stockton Heat (AHL)
Last Year: #34, Signed on July 1 2019
Kirkland is the oldest player on this list and I was somewhat surprised when the Flames decided to send him a qualifying offer this summer. He had seven points in 16 games for Stockton last year and will undoubtedly be AHL depth once he ends up signing his contract.
#39 - LW Lucas Ciona, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Last Year: NA, Drafted in 2021 - Round 6
Much like Jack Beck, Ciona finds himself at the bottom of the list mostly due to just being a late round pick in the most recent draft. He had 13 points in 23 games this past season with Seattle, which matched the 13 points he had in 2019-20, but it took him 53 games that year to reach it. The most appealing aspect of Ciona is his size, listed at 6’3’’ and 210 lbs.
#38 - G Adam Werner, Colorado Eagles (AHL)
Last Year: NA, Signed July 28 2021
Personally I think this is a bit low of a ranking for him as he does have a bit of NHL experience under his belt, but he’ll have to work his way up through what might be a congested goalie pipeline this season. Werner had a 6-4-2 record with the Eagles last year and a .908 SV%, while also playing some hockey in Sweden earlier in the year. He has shown some potential in the past but will have to battle Dustin Wolf and Tyler Parsons for minutes in Stockton this year.
#37 - C Cole Huckins, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
Last Year: NA, Drafted in 2021 - Round 3
Huckins is another big draft pick from this past year at 6’3’’ 200 lbs. He had a strong year this past season with 32 points in 33 regular season games after putting up 38 in 64 the year prior. The consensus on Huckins seems to be that he was a good value pick, but will need to improve his skating and offensive consistency this season.
#36 - LW Lucas Feuk, Kalix HC (HockeyEttan)
Last Year: #39, Drafted in 2019 - Round 4
Feuk had an up and down season, bouncing between the HockeyAllSvenSkan and HockeyEttan leagues which are the 2nd and 3rd best leagues in Sweden respectively. He did have 18 points in 18 games with Kalix, but at this point the Flames likely hoped he’d be playing at a higher level in Sweden.
#35 - D Jake Boltmann, Notre Dame (NCAA)
Last Year: #40, Drafted in 2020 - Round 3
His selection continues to be a bit of a head scratcher for the Flames after they made a number of other better selections over the last few drafts. His ceiling seems to be pretty low, but he did move up a few spots this year at the very least. We will see what the future holds for him, but right now it feels like the Flames really reached in the third round in 2020.
That’s it for today! Tomorrow we will profile #34 through #26, before the Top 25 begins on Wednesday!