STOCKTON, Calif. –With the 2020-21 ECHL season underway, the NHL getting the green light in mid-January, and the AHL anticipating the start of their season in February, things are definitely starting to pick up in the world of professional hockey. However, with the delayed start, there are not a lot of set roster players for AHL teams such as the Stockton Heat. Based on an anticipated lineup generated by Elite Prospects, this is who you could expect to see taking the ice for the Heat this season.
- Louis Domingue
- Tyler Parsons
- Rob Hamilton
- Noah King
- Carl-Johan Lerby
- Zachary Leslie
- Connor Mackey
- Greg Moro
- Alexander Petrovic
- Colton Poolman
- Koletrane Wilson
- Alexander Yelesin
- Adam Brady
- Byron Froese
- Alex Gallant
- Glenn Gawdin
- Justin Kirkland
- Mathias Emilio Pettersen
- Matthew Phillips
- Luke Philp
- Zac Rinaldo
- Adam Ruzicka
- Mark Simpson
- Dmitri Zavgorodny
The NHL is implementing a taxi squad in the event there are positive Covid-19 tests among a team’s cohort, and as a result, some of the top AHL players will be pulled away from their professional teams with the hope of getting some NHL ice time (but no set guarantees). This also makes it easier for “call-ups” in the event of injuries, as the players will already be with the teams and will not risk Covid-19 exposure due to travel.
The Flames are going to need an additional goalie to fill their taxi squad, and usually, this would have been Jon Gillies in previous seasons. However, he was released by the team in the offseason and was picked up by the St. Louis Blues and will likely spend the season with their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds. Based off of NHL experience and veteran status, Louis Domingue will likely join the Flames to be their third goaltending option, leaving Tyler Parsons in Stockton.
Artyom Zagidulin spent a lot of time between the pipes for Stockton last season, as well, and is currently on loan to Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. He has played four other seasons with this team, so he is very familiar with the organization and can slide back into the roster whenever he needs. He is getting games in, but with the overlap in the seasons, there is a very good chance you could see him back in Stockton on opening night.
There could be shuffling throughout the organization, with possible call-ups from Kansas City to fill holes and develop up and coming prospects. Flames insider Eric Francis estimated in a recent article that the Heat players most likely to join the Flames on their taxi squad would be Buddy Robinson, Byron Froese, Glenn Gawdin and Alexander Petrovic. Interesting choices from players that definitely would have earned that spot, many of whom are already familiar with the the Flames after joining Calgary for the 2020 playoff bubble.
There is still some time for organizations to fill in their rosters and plan for the upcoming season. Finalized opening rosters for the NHL should be expected shortly with the AHL falling close behind. Regardless, there will be exciting hockey to be played and plenty of prospects to follow along with at all of the professional levels.
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