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Can Pelletier Be Flames’ Answer: Will Sutter Give Him a Chance?

The Calgary Flames have a top-flight prospect in Jakub Pelletier. He’s been called up to the big club. But will he get a chance to play?

Jakob Pelletier was drafted by Calgary Flames in the first round (26th overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Before he was drafted, he played major junior hockey in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with the Moncton Wildcats and the Val-d’Or Foreurs. 

He was drafted in the first round because, although he’s a smaller player, he’s a strong skater with a potentially huge offensive upside. His resume includes the fact that he represented Canada internationally at the World Junior Championship.

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Pelletier’s Professional Experience

Pelletier has played two seasons in the AHL. In 2021-22 he played 66 games with the Stockton Heat and scored 27 goals and added 35 assists (for 62 points) – or just under a point-a-game pace. 

In the most recent preseason, he reported to the Flames camp. However, Pelletier was cut from the Flames’ NHL roster at the end of the camp. There was a sense that it was touch-and-go whether he’d make the big club. He’s considered one of the top prospects in the organization; and, he had a successful season with Stockton. 

Jakub Pelletier, now with the Flames

When he left training camp, it was believed that this season he would join and make his NHL debut with the Flames this season. He was sent to the Calgary Wranglers to hone his two-way games and his playmaking skills. With the Wranglers, he had success. In 31 games, he scored 15 goals and added 19 assists (for 34 points). 

Over the weekend, Pelletier was called up to the Flames NHL team. However, it isn’t clear where or when Pelletier might make his debut in the lineup. It could be Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Or, …

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Could Pelletier Be a Solution to the Flames’ Top-Six Issues? 

The above was the backstory to the video that’s included below. In the video, NHL analyst Hailey Salvian joined the Jeff Marek Show to discuss what she expects and hopes to see from Pelletier with the Flames. However, included in the conversation are questions about how a young player – even with huge potential – might fare with the Flames. 

Particularly, how will Flames’ head coach Darryl Sutter respond to Pelletier? Will the young prospect have a chance to play? And, what line might he play on?

If Pelletier is going to be a force on the Flames’ top-six unit, he needs to be able to get some time on that top-six. Will coach Sutter provide that chance? 

 The Conversation about Coach Sutter and Jakub Pelletier

At the beginning of the conversation, Jeff Merek noted that Darryl Sutter is from the old school. That means he’s not going to give Pelletier much of an easy road to get top minutes with the Flames. He’s certainly not going to be thrown into a first-line opportunity and given 20 minutes game. He’s going to have to show what he can do in practice first.

However, as Salvian responded, it’s known that the Flames do have a top-six problem. The team is missing some speedy wingers who can score; and, the answer might be Pelletier. Right now, he’s probably the Flames’ best AHL prospect. Pelletier might be a great player, but right now he’s just another smaller forward who’s putting up good numbers in the American Hockey League.

Will that translate to the NHL? Currently, Milan Lucic is being tried as a top-six experiment, but not everyone is pleased with how that’s going. 

Here’s Where the Question Lies

The summary of the video is that both analysts agree that the Flames are missing a top-six winger who’s fast on his skates and who can score some points. Perhaps, that could be Pelletier. Flames fans might have a chance to find out soon.  




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