Pribyl Recovery Won’t Be Rushed

By Aaron Vickers  –

CALGARY, AB — Daniel Pribyl isn’t certain he’ll be 100 percent by the time training camp opens for the Calgary Flames.

But the forward certainly feels he’s moving in the right direction as he recovers from offseason knee surgery.

“It’s pretty good,” said Pribyl, who underwent ACL surgery in May. “I started doing some stuff on the ice a little bit. We’ll see what’s going to happen right now, but it’s going pretty good. It’s nice to be out there again. I have to just take little steps. I can feel it sometimes, but it’s really getting better.”

The Flames like Pribyl’s progress.

But the right winger isn’t about to be rushed into being ready when camp breaks in mid-September.

Forward Daniel Pribyl signed a two-year entry-level deal with the Flames in April. (PHOTO BY CALGARYFLAMES.COM)

Forward Daniel Pribyl signed a two-year entry-level deal with the Flames in April. (PHOTO BY CALGARYFLAMES.COM)

“We’re real happy with his progress,” Calgary assistant general manager Brad Pascall said. “He’s a guy that is a driven player and I think has worked hard. A lot of it he’s had to do on his own in rehab and training and he’s just starting to hit the ice. We have a timeline that we’re working on with him. In this situation we’re not going to rush it. We’re going to make sure he’s at 100 percent. We’re confident he’s on a really strong path to recovery.

“I think it’s like anything with this type of injury. When you’re in the final stretch, you want to make sure he’s at 100 percent. We’re monitoring it at 7-10 days at a time and seeing what the progression is. He’ll be a decision as we approach camp, the days before, to see exactly where he’s at.”

Pribyl signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Flames in late April following a 16-goal, 45-point season with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga.

“It’s been great. Everything,” Pribyl said. “I’ve stayed pretty much in Calgary the whole time here. I’m trying to get into some habits here and try to make it feel like home here. It’s nice. It’s interesting to recognize what you see. I am more comfortable with everything. I really am. It’s getting more comfortable every day.”

The 23-year-old has, according to Pascall, made a seamless adjustment thus far.

“I think for anybody, if you just look at your own self, if all of a sudden you got up and moved to Europe and did the same thing, there’s going to be differences,” Pascall said. “He’s in the same boat, especially when you’re limited. When he first got here he was on crutches and was doing rehab and was on limited movement to get around.

“Doing our research on him and the character person that he is, we feel that he’s adjusted well. He’s a player that our guys were excited about and we’re looking forward to him getting healthy and getting back into playing shape and getting on the ice and seeing what he can do.”

The contract marks Pribyl’s first foray into hockey in North America.

The 6-foot-3 forward was originally drafted by Montreal in the sixth round (No. 168) of the 2011 NHL Draft. He’s spent the past six seasons with Sparta Praha and has skated in 174 games, recording 47 goals and 109 points, and adding 11 goals and 24 points in 37 postseason games.

He won’t be rushed into his first action as a member of the Flames, though.

“With this type of injury, history has shown that it takes a little while that, even when you are cleared, to get back at 100 percent of just your overall movements and timing and what have you,” Pascall said.

“But the timing of this really being in the summer anyway … if there’s one positive to take, that would be it, where he’s not missing out on four or six months of regular season action. I think that’s a positive. We’re just going to play it cautious and make sure he’s at 100 percent and not rush anything.”

Heat Announce 2016-17 Regular Season Schedule

Stockton, Calif. – The Stockton Heat, proudly owned by the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League, announce, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, the 2016-17 regular season schedule.

The 68-game schedule features 34 home dates at Stockton Arena beginning with Opening Night on Saturday, October 15 against the San Jose Barracuda at 7:30 p.m., and concluding in April with a regular-season home finale against the Tucson Roadrunners on Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m.

The Heat play the majority of the schedule within the Pacific Division, playing Bakersfield and San Jose 12 times each (six at home, six on the road), San Diego 10 times (five at home, five on the road), Ontario and Tucson eight times (four at home, four on the road), Texas six times (three at home, three on the road) and San Antonio four times (two at home, two on the road).

The remainder of the Heat’s schedule sees them play a total of eight games against the Central Division’s Charlotte Checkers, Grand Rapids Griffins and Milwaukee Admirals with all three teams making at least one appearance at Stockton Arena.

Stockton’s busiest months are December and March with both months having the Heat play a total of 13 games, five of which will take place at Stockton Arena.  The Heat play their most home games during the month of November with six games taking place at Stockton Arena; however, the Heat will play five home games each of the following five months until the conclusion of the season.

The Heat only play home games at Stockton Arena on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  The team plays 10 games at home on Wednesdays and Fridays, 12 home games on Saturdays and two home contests on Sundays.  All home games will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 4:00 p.m.  on Sundays and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.  While Stockton plays at least at least once on the road on every day of the week, the bulk of the road schedule takes place on Fridays and Saturdays.

The longest homestand of the season begins during Hot Pink 2, starting on Friday, November 5 and carrying through Friday, November 18 as the team plays five-straight at Stockton Arena.  The Heat will be on the road for seven-straight in December starting on Thursday, December 8 through Monday, December 26.  The team also has another long road trip at the end of March through April when the team takes to the road for five in-a-row.

The complete promotional schedule will be announced in the coming weeks. Current highlights for the season schedule include:

  • Opening Night (Sat., October 15) vs. San Jose at 7:30 p.m. – Stockton Arena
  • First game vs. the Tucson Roadrunners (Fri., October 21) at 7:30 p.m. – Stockton Arena
  • Hot Pink 2 (Fri., November 4 & Sat., November 5) vs. San Diego at 7:30 p.m. – Stockton Arena
  • First game vs. the Charlotte Checkers (Wed., November 30) at 7:00 p.m. – Stockton Arena
  • Frankie the Firebird Bobblehead Night (Sat., December 3) vs. San Diego at 7:30 p.m. – Stockton Arena
  • Lone home game vs. the Milwaukee Admirals (Sat., January 7) at 7:30 p.m. – Stockton Arena
  • Teddy Bear Toss (Sat., January 21) vs. Bakersfield at 7:30 p.m. – Stockton Arena
  • Safety Night (Sat., February 4) vs. Bakersfield at 7:30 p.m. – Stockton Arena
  • Lone home game vs. the Grand Rapids Griffins (Sun., March 12) at 4:00 p.m. – Stockton Arena
  • Regular Season Finale (Sat., April 15) vs. Tucson at 7:30 p.m. – Stockton Arena

The complete schedule is as follows (Home in BOLD; all times PST):

Saturday, October 15 vs. San Jose (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Wednesday, October 19 vs. Texas (7:00) – Stockton Arena
Friday, October 21 vs. Tucson (7:30) – Stockton Arena

Wednesday, October 26 at San Diego (7:00) – Valley View Casino Center
Friday, October 28 at Tucson (7:05) – Tucson Convention Center
Sunday, October 30 at Tucson (4:05) – Tucson Convention Center

Friday, November 4 vs. San Diego (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Saturday, November 5 vs. San Diego (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Friday, November 11 vs. San Antonio (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Saturday, November 12 vs. San Antonio (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Friday, November 18 vs. Ontario (7:30) – Stockton Arena

Saturday, November 19 at Bakersfield (6:00) – Rabobank Arena
Wednesday, November 23 at Ontario (7:00) – Citizens Business Bank Arena
Saturday, November 26 at Tucson (6:05) – Tucson Convention Center
Sunday, November 27 at Tucson (3:05) – Tucson Convention Center
Wednesday, November 30 vs. Charlotte (7:00) – Stockton Arena

Friday, December 2 vs. San Diego (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Saturday, December 3 vs. San Diego (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Wednesday, December 7 vs. Charlotte (7:00) – Stockton Arena

Thursday, December 8 at San Jose (7:00) – SAP Center
Saturday, December 10 at Bakersfield (6:00) – Rabobank Arena
Wednesday, December 14 at Ontario (7:00) – Citizens Business Bank Arena
Friday, December 16 at San Diego (7:00) – Valley View Casino Center
Saturday, December 17 at San Diego (7:00) – Valley View Casino Center
Tuesday, December 20 at San Jose (1:15) – SAP Center
Monday, December 26 at San Jose (5:00) – SAP Center
Wednesday, December 28 vs. Tucson (7:00) – Stockton Arena
Friday, December 30 vs. Ontario (7:30) – Stockton Arena

Saturday, December 31 vs. Ontario (6:00) – Citizens Business Bank Arena

Friday, January 6 vs. Tucson (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Saturday, January 7 vs. Milwaukee (7:30) – Stockton Arena

Wednesday, January 11 at San Diego (7:00) – Valley View Casino Center
Friday, January 13 at Bakersfield (7:00) – Rabobank Arena
Saturday, January 14 at San Jose (1:30) – SAP Center
Friday, January 20 vs. Bakersfield (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Saturday, January 21 vs. Bakersfield (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Wednesday, January 25 vs. San Jose (7:00) – Stockton Arena

Friday, January 27 at Milwaukee (5:00) – UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
Saturday, January 28 at Grand Rapids (4:00) – Van Andel Arena

Friday, February 3 at Bakersfield (7:00) – Rabobank Arena
Saturday, February 4 vs. Bakersfield (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Friday, February 10 at Charlotte (4:15) – Bojangles’ Coliseum
Saturday, February 11 at Charlotte (3:00) – Bojangles’ Coliseum
Friday, February 17 vs. San Jose (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Saturday, February 18 vs. Bakersfield (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Wednesday, February 22 vs. Texas (7:00) – Stockton Arena

Saturday, February 25 at Bakersfield (6:00) – Rabobank Arena
Sunday, February 26 vs. Texas (4:00) – Stockton Arena

Wednesday, March 1 vs. Ontario (7:00) – Stockton Arena
Friday, March 3 at Ontario (7:00) – Citizens Business Bank Arena
Saturday, March 4 vs. San Jose (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Wednesday, March 8 vs. Bakersfield (7:00) – Stockton Arena

Saturday, March 11 at Bakersfield (6:00) – Rabobank Arena
Sunday, March 12 vs. Grand Rapids (4:00) – Stockton Arena
Wednesday, March 15 at San Diego (7:00) – Valley View Casino Center
Friday, March 17 at San Jose (7:00) – SAP Center
Saturday, March 18 vs. San Jose (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Friday, March 24 at Texas  (5:30) – Cedar Park Center
Saturday, March 25 at Texas (5:00) – Cedar Park Center
Tuesday, March 28 at Texas (5:30) – Cedar Park Center
Friday, March 31 at San Antonio (5:30) – AT&T Center

Saturday, April 1 at San Antonio (5:00) – AT&T Center
Wednesday, April 5 vs. San Diego (7:00) – Stockton Arena
Saturday, April 8 vs. San Jose (7:30) – Stockton Arena

Sunday, April 9 at San Jose (3:00) – SAP Center
Wednesday, April 12 vs. Ontario (7:00) – Stockton Arena
Friday, April 14 vs. Bakersfield (7:30) – Stockton Arena
Saturday, April 15 vs. Tucson (7:30) – Stockton Arena

Don’t miss a minute of the action and purchase your full season tickets now for as low as $380 and receive special perks like Never-A-Wasted Ticket dates, Skate with the Team Event, Pre-Game Chalk Talks, and a number of other exclusive events and perks.

Not sure you can make the commitment?  Purchase a Heat mini-plan package ranging from six to 13 games over the course of the season, fit to your schedule or for your favorite promotions and start at just $60.

In addition, fans can begin to book your group of 10 or more people now to guarantee prime seating and to lock your group pricing in for as little as $9 per ticket.

With a number of options available to ensure you don’t miss the Heat’s second ever home opening game questions are sure to arise.  Call 209.373.1500 and speak with our helpful account executives today or visit for more information.

Flames Sign Sean Monahan to Seven-Year Contract Extension

CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed Sean Monahan to a seven-year contract extension. Monahan will be entering his fourth season in the NHL with the Flames after posting three consecutive seasons of 20+ goals to start his career (2013-14: 22G, 2014-15: 31G, 2015-16: 27G). The 21-year-old will represent Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey next month following a 2015-16 campaign where he eclipsed career-highs in points (63) and assists (36).


WHO: Flames general manager Brad Treliving and Sean Monahan

WHAT: Contract extension

WHERE: Scotiabank Saddledome

WHEN: Aug. 19, 10:45 AM PST

Watch this morning’s press conference live on or on the Flames mobile app.

2016-17 Player Preview: Garnet Hathaway

By Torie Peterson  –

There are many words that can be used to describe Garnet Hathaway.

Industrious. Scrappy. Versatile. Hardworking.

Graceful, though, wouldn’t be in that mix of adjectives.

During his time with the Calgary Flames in 2015-16, the Kennebunkport, ME, native instantly won over fans with his crash-and-bang, in-your-face style of hockey that drives opponents around the bend.

In his first three NHL games, he picked up his first two points – a pair of assists in Buffalo, NY – and managed to get under the skin of hulking Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara — an altercation that nearly ended in a bout between the two.

Garnet Hathaway notched 21 points in his 44 games with the Heat during the 2015-16 season. (PHOTO BY CHRISTINA SHAPIRO/TEXAS STARS)

Garnet Hathaway notched 21 points in his 44 games with the Heat during the 2015-16 season. (PHOTO BY CHRISTINA SHAPIRO/TEXAS STARS)

In his debut at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Mar. 7, he earned rave reviews from the locals after refusing to back down from an irate Brent Burns. After the San Jose Sharks defenseman high-sticked him, he pushed back and ended up dropping the gloves with Burns.

The C of Red gave the forward a rousing ovation as he skated off the ice afterwards.

“If I’m playing my game, I’m not just sticking my toe in there,” he explained post-game. “I have to get in there. There are a lot of great players and a lot of big players in this league. That’s going to happen. If I’m playing my game, that’s going to happen.”

While Hathaway throws himself into the play, with no regard for his own physical well-being, he isn’t a one-trick pony. Yes, he plays a pugnacious game but has showcased his ability to chip in offensively over the course of his career.

After averaging over a point-per-game for two seasons at Phillips Andover in the United States High School league, he spent four years with the Bears at Brown University. In 121 NCAA games, Hathaway compiled 20 goals, 58 points and 178 PIM.

After his Ivy League collegiate career wrapped up in the spring of 2014, he turned his attention to transitioning to the pro game and signed an American Hockey League deal with the Flames’ AHL affiliate.

In his first pro season, Hathaway managed 19 goals and 36 points in 72 games with the Adirondack Flames and earned himself a chance to play in the NHL, inking an entry-level contract on Apr. 13, 2015.

In addition to the 13 NHL games he played last season, Hathaway averaged 0.48 points-per-game with eight goals and 21 points in 44 skates with the Stockton Heat.

Now, with those experiences under his belt, Hathaway has built a solid foundation heading into the 2016-17 season.

With only a handful of spots available in Calgary, he knows he needs to bring that hard-nosed, assiduous style on nightly basis to be in contention for a regular berth in the Flames lineup.

Given his history, you can bet on Hathaway pushing hard to make the next step in his career.

“I’ve always been like that,” he said earlier this year. “If you ask my parents, I’ve always been tough to handle. I’m always running around and trying to get into those areas. As long as I can remember, I haven’t really stopped. I’ve just thrown my body around and trying to get into the mix of things.”

Flames Sign Tyler Wotherspoon

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon to a one-year, two-way contract.

Wotherspoon, the 57th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, just finished his third season with the Flames organization. The 23-year-old netted a pair of goals and added eight assists for 10 points and 16 penalty minutes in 53 games with the Stockton Heat in the AHL last year in addition to playing 11 games with the Calgary Flames picking up one assist.

BORN: Surrey, BC                DATE: March 12, 1993
HEIGHT: 6’2”                         WEIGHT: 210 lbs.
DRAFTED: 2nd round (57th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2008-09 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 4 0 0 0 0
2009-10 Portland Winterhawks WHL 43 1 4 5 21 2 0 0 0 0
2010-11 Portland Winterhawks WHL 64 2 10 12 73 20 3 1 4 10
2011-12 Portland Winterhawks WHL 67 7 21 28 42 22 1 6 7 6
2012-13 Portland Winterhawks WHL 61 7 30 37 30 21 2 8 10 20
2013-14 Abbotsford Heat AHL 48 1 8 9 12
2013-14 Calgary Flames NHL 14 0 4 4 4
2014-15 Adirondack Flames AHL 61 2 22 24 20
2014-15 Calgary Flames NHL 1 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0
2015-16 Stockton Heat AHL 53 2 8 10 16
2015-16 Calgary Flames NHL 11 0 1 1 0
TOTALS NHL 26 0 5 5 4 6 0 0 0 0
    AHL 162 5 38 43 48
    WHL 239 17 65 82 166 65 6 15 21 36

Transaction Tracker 2016

August 15 Update

The Calgary Flames have resigned RFA defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon to a one-year, two-way contract.

August 12 Update

Heat forward Drew Shore is heading to Europe as he inked a one-year deal to play in Switzerland with EHC Kloten.

August 11 Update

Heat and Adirondack Thunder forward Mitchell Heard is staying in the AHL west, but crossing from the left to right coast as he penned a deal with the Charlotte Checkers.

August 8 Update

Heat alternate captain Blair Riley will be following captain Aaron Johnson to Europe, however the forward, who surpassed his 300th game in the AHL this past season, will be heading to the EIHL to play for the Belfast Giants.

July 19 Update

A quiet couple of weeks on the free agent front became a bit louder yesterday with the announcement that former Stockton Heat and Stockton Thunder goaltender Kent Simpson has signed with the San Antonio Rampage. He now joins former Heat alternate captain Turner Elson and former Calgary Flames forward Joe Colborne in the Colorado Avalanche organization.

July 5 Update

After the first weekend of free agency, which began on July 1, a few former Heat players have found new homes along with a former Vancouver Canuck latching on to the Calgary Flames.

June 30 Update

The Flames cleared Mason Raymond through waivers and will buy out his contract.

June 27 Update

The Flames qualified four of their 14 restricted free agents including Heat players Freddie Hamilton and Tyler Wotherspoon.  Among those not qualified who are considered UFA’s include Kenny Agostino, Bill Arnold, Turner Elson, Kevin Poulin, Joni Ortio, Drew Shore and Bryce Van Brabant.

June 17 Update

Forever enshrined in bobblehead form and to be remembered like Dean Stork, the first captain in Stockton Thunder history, Heat captain Aaron Johnson will be heading over to Germany to play for the DEL’s Adler Mannheim side.

A year removed from a DEL championship, last year Mannheim lost in a playoff qualifier and were unable to defend their title.  Johnson was put up front and center in the European stage during his time with Team Canada during their Spengler Cup championship in December in Switzerland.  Johnson led Canada in ice time and assisted on the Spengler Cup winner.

Johnson will now join the Mannheim side which already boasts former Stockton Thunder forward Ryan MacMurchy and former Adirondack Flames forward David Wolf.

Confirmed Transactions


Drew Shore (F) – STOCKTON HEAT to EHC KLOTEN (Switzerland)


Blair Riley (F) – STOCKTON HEAT to BELFAST GIANTS (England)








David Rittich (G) – BK MLADA BOLESLAV (Czech Division 1) to CALGARY FLAMES

Aaron Johnson (D) – STOCKTON HEAT to ADLER MANNHEIM (Germany Division 1)


Daniel Pribyl (F) – HC SPARTA PRAHA (Czech Division 1) to CALGARY FLAMES 

Free Agents

Kenny Agostino – Restricted Free Agent (RFA) – St. Louis Blues

Bill Arnold – Restricted Free Agent (RFA) – NOT QUALIFIED, NOW UFA

Turner Elson – Restricted Free Agent (RFA) – COLORADO AVALANCHE 

Derek Grant – Buffalo Sabres

Freddie Hamilton – Restricted Free Agent (RFA) – QUALIFIED

Mitchell Heard – Charlotte Checkers (AHL)

Michael Kirkpatrick – Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA)

Ryan Lomberg – Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA)

Louick Marcotte – WICHITA THUNDER (ECHL)

Jakub Nakladal – Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA)

Kevin Poulin – Restricted Free Agent (RFA) – NOT QUALIFIED, NOW UFA

Joni Ortio – Restricted Free Agent (RFA) – NOT QUALIFIED, NOW UFA

Karri Ramo – Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA)

Mason Raymond – Anaheim Ducks

Blair Riley – Belfast Giants (EIHL, England)

Yann Sauve – Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA)

Drew Shore – EHC KLOTEN (NLA, Switzerland)


Dustin Stevenson – DALLAS STARS 

Bryce Van Brabant – Restricted Free Agent (RFA) – NOT QUALIFIED, NOW UFA

Tyler Wotherspoon – CALGARY FLAMES

Tuulola Signs with Everett Silvertips


CALGARY, AB — Calgary Flames prospect Eetu Tuulola has signed a Standard Player Agreement with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.

The Finnish forward, who was drafted 156th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, was selected by the Silvertips 40th overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. He has spent the past two seasons with the HPK U20 squad, posting 30 goals and 42 points in a combined 62 games. In addition to his work with the junior squad, Tuulola played 10 games with HPK in Liiga last year, recording one assist in 10 games.

He also played for Finland at the IIHF U18 World Junior Championship, scoring two goals and four points in seven appearances.

“We’re proud to welcome Eetu Tuulola and Mario Mucka to the Silvertips family and excited they have chosen Everett and the WHL as the next step in their careers,” Everett general manager Garry Davidson told the team’s website. “As we entered the Import Draft with a vision to address needs on our club, Eetu and Mario bring a reputation of skill and potential. Both have demonstrated a high level of enthusiasm to join our program and elevate their game, and we’re very confident of that trait serving as a foundation for their possible success.”’s Top Flames Prospects


As the Calgary Flames continue their rebuild, their prospect pool continues to grow through the NHL Draft. The Flames are seeing significant results from numerous players to the point of consideration for a roster spot in the not-too-distant future.

“If you look at the players in the minor league system, over the course of the last two years it’s been 11 guys that have turned pro,” general manager Brad Treliving said. “You have to make decisions on people. You go forward now, and we drafted nine guys this year that in a year or two are going to, too.”

The timing is a positive sign for the Flames, who have preached internal growth in an effort to find more consistent results.

Here are the Flames’ top five prospects, according to

1. Matthew Tkachuk, LW

How acquired: Selected with No. 6 pick of 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: London (OHL): 30-77-107

The skilled, physical Tkachuk, 18, will try to join Sam Bennett and Sean Monahan as highly regarded first round picks to make the quick jump to Calgary’s roster.

Tkachuk is the son of five-time NHL all-star Keith Tkachuk, who played 18 seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues and Atlanta Thrashers. He had 38 goals in 65 games for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program in 2014-15 before moving to the Ontario Hockey League last season.

“They’re not penciling anybody in,” Tkachuk (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) said at Flames development camp in July. “They don’t care if you’re 18 years old, 25 or whatever. You have to prove yourself. I obviously have had to prove myself my whole career. The NHL is a whole different level. Proving myself in training camp is all that’s on my mind right now.”

Projected NHL arrival: This season

2. Jon Gillies, G

How acquired: Selected with No. 75 pick of 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Stockton (AHL): 7 GP, 2-3-1, 2.31 GAA, .920 SV%

After finishing his collegiate career at Providence College with an NCAA championship and winning Frozen Four most valuable player, Gillies, 22, had a tough first year in professional hockey with Stockton of the American Hockey League. After earning a shutout in two of his first three games, Gillies (6-6, 235) had season-ending hip surgery in December to repair an injury sustained two years earlier.

“It feels nice to be able to trust movements, trust that I’m always going to have power in that push without a sharp, shooting pain in my leg,” Gillies said. “It’s little things like that. It’s more mental than anything, just knowing I have a good, healthy hip and I can trust it completely.”

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

3. Mark Jankowski, C

How acquired: Selected with No. 21 pick of 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Stockton (AHL): 8 GP, 2-4-6; Providence (NCAA): 38 GP, 15-25-40

The wait has been long, but Jankowski finally will make the jump to professional hockey after four seasons at Providence College. Jankowski had 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) in 38 games as a senior to close his college career, and then had six points in eight games on an amateur tryout with Stockton to finish last season.

“I know everybody develops differently and I knew when I was drafted I wasn’t going to come in right away and make the team,” Jankowski (6-3, 185) said. “I knew it was going to be a process and development, so I was just taking it day by day when I was in college and tried to work my hardest every single day, whether it was in the gym or how I eat or how I sleep or practicing on the ice. It’s every single day, that development. I think I’m there now.”

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

4. Hunter Shinkaruk, LW

How acquired: In trade with Vancouver Canucks for Markus Granlund, Feb. 23, 2016

Last season: Calgary/Vancouver: 8 GP, 2-1-3; Stockton/Utica (AHL): 62 GP, 27-24-51

Shinkaruk, 21, has the opportunity to make the biggest impact of any Flames rookie this season. After scoring 51 points in the AHL last season, the first-round pick (No. 24) in the 2013 draft will have the chance to start the season in Calgary. He had a good showing during a seven-game audition with the Flames after being acquired from the Canucks in February, scoring his first three NHL points.

“I think when I got the taste of playing the last seven games, I know I can play in that league,” Shinkaruk (5-10, 181) said. “It’s up to me to make sure I work on little details in my game, getting stronger this summer, and at the end of the day, there’s no doubt in my mind I can play and that’s where my mindset is. I’m not thinking about anything else.”

Projected NHL arrival: This season

5. Oliver Kylington, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 60 pick of 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Calgary: 1 GP, 0-0-0; Stockton, AHL: 47 GP, 5-7-12

Last season was one of adjustment for Kylington. Not only was it his first taste of professional hockey in North America, but Kylington, who turned 19 in May, was the youngest player in the AHL. He had five goals and seven assists in 47 games with Stockton, and made his NHL debut in Calgary’s final game of the regular season.

“The adjustment for the ice and the game was fast. I didn’t have any problem with that,” Kylington (6-foot, 183) said. “The off-ice [conditioning] was a bit hard in the beginning. The boys on the team were good to me. The leadership, the staff was really good in helping me off the ice. It was ongoing the whole season, but I felt comfortable after a couple weeks. It was good.”

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Getting Excited For: David Rittich

One of the potentially many new faces we see here in Stockton come October is a young goaltender from the Czech Republic, David Rittich.

Rittich signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Calgary Flames back in June and is expected to at least begin his 2016-17 campaign in Stockton with the Heat.

The 23-year-old goaltender joins the Flames organization off the heels of his first full season in the top Czech league, in which he played in 48 games with BK Mlada Boleslav. Rittich built a solid 26-22-0 record, while posting a 2.53 goals-against-average and a .917 save-percentage.

In total, Rittich saw action in 71 games over the course of the last two seasons and added 10 games of playoff experience during BK Mlada Boleslav’s postseason run in 2015-16.

There is little doubt that the 6’4″ netminder has a high ceiling.

David Rittich signed a one-year deal with the Calgary Flames on June 13th.

David Rittich signed a one-year deal with the Calgary Flames on June 13th.

He did all he could to prove that at Flames Development Camp this summer.

Rittich had a fantastic showing at his first camp with the Flames and impressed the coaching staff with his athleticism and his work ethic.

One of the biggest stories last season, not only up in Calgary, but here in Stockton as well, was the inconsistencies between the pipes. Organizationally, the Flames and the Heat used four and eight different goaltenders respectively.

Both of those figures are higher than either team would like.

Injuries to Karri Ramo, Jon Gillies and Kevin Poulin, all three of whom were everyday starters at the time of their injuries, threw the goaltending picture in the Calgary organization into a bit of a tailspin.

However, as the 2016-17 season approaches Calgary has done all it can to resolve those issues and has set up their crease throughout the organization to succeed.

With the signings of Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson up top and a healthy Jon Gillies expected to be ready to go at the season’s start, Rittich is able to fill in as the other half of the tandem here in Stockton and provides a bit of security to a recovering prospect.

No three-headed monster.

No controversies over who will step up as “the guy”.

It’s as simple as it can get heading into the season and that’s exactly what the Flames organization wanted after last season.

Rittich will continue to grow as a goaltender during his time in Stockton and will certainly see action while Gillies continues to work out the kinks after a full year off.

As this is his first time in North America, Rittich will have to adjust to the smaller ice surface and the style of play that does differ from what he’s used to over in Europe.

However, with a good camp behind him and a proven work ethic, Rittich should have no trouble developing in the Calgary system.

He is certainly a player to get excited for in this upcoming season.