As the big club makes its final moves heading into the late days of summer, the Calgary Wranglers are seemingly only getting started. Just a day after announcing their name and logo, the team added an intriguing mix of players to their roster on AHL deals.
17 years after they drafted him and 12 years after his father, Darryl, traded him, Brett Sutter is back in the Flames organization. The now 35-year-old Sutter has spent the last 7 seasons with the Kings-affiliated Ontario Reign and had a brief reunion with Darryl in that organization as well. He hasn’t seen an NHL game since the 2014-15 season with the Minnesota Wild but has become a seasoned AHL veteran and leader and should be a good presence for a young Wranglers team.
Of highest note is Daniil Chechelev, who currently ranks third on the goaltender prospect depth chart and made the transition to North America this past season. He played 30 games for a pretty dreadful Kansas City Mavericks squad, but had a few strong stretches and looks to improve in his second year. With Dustin Wolf and Oscar Dansk set to man the Wranglers’ net, Chechelev will have the opportunity to remain the ECHL starter, wherever that may be. The Mavericks announced a new affiliation with the Seattle Kraken so the Flames will need to figure out a new affiliate situation before next year.
Two young defencemen are the reward for some successful development camp impressions, as 20 and 21-year-olds Rhett Rhinehart and Simon Lavigne provide some right and left shot options on D respectively. Lavigne captained the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL last season, and posted 36 points and 80 penalty minutes in 65 games. Rhinehart wore an A for the Saskatoon Blades and had 27 points in 53 games.
Rounding out the five is Mitch McLain, who is a 194 game AHL veteran. The 28-year-old had 17 goals in 74 games last season for the Milwaukee Admirals.
With their roster more or less set, the only remaining thing will be an unveiling of the new jerseys and uniforms, for which I’m sure many Calgary fans will be invested in.