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Stockton Heat Christmas Check In

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With the heat closing out their final game before the break today (an unfortunate 6-3 loss, with 44 shots against), I thought I would dish out a few grades to players based on performance.  Based purely on my very rigorous scientific opinions of course ;)

The A's (Players performing exceptionally well)

David Rittich: The rookie goaltender has performed exceptionally well this season, creating a fight for the crease with Gilles.  He has the best GAA and Sv% in the league (1.65 and 0.941 respectively), and leads the team in shutouts with 3.  Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year.

Rasmus Andersson: In his first pro year with the heat, Andersson is already looking like a future nhl blueliner.  In 25 games he has amassed 16 points, most of them assists.  He is second on the team in +/- at +14.  If he can bring his shooting percentage out of the basement, he will add a goal scoring threat to his game as well.  Might push for a roster spot next season.

Linden Vey: Seen by many as a marginal nhler, Vey has shown growth this season with the heat.  Last year in the AHL, Vey had 3 goals and 15 points in 26 games with the Comets.  This season he leads the team in points, with 8 goals and 22 points in 20 games, a marked improvement.  Vey is getting a bit old for a prospect, but hopefully with his family troubles beginning to fade he is showing signs of turning his career around.

Andrew Mangiapane: Have the flames struck lightning again with a late round draft pick?  Hard not to see some shades of Johnny with this kid drafted in 2015.  He has racked up 7 goals and 20 points in 24 games in his first pro season.  Not bad for a small guy, eh?  Probably needs another season or two of seasoning, but definitely someone to watch.

Mark Jankowski: The controversial former 1st round pick has made an impact in his first pro season.  Not a flashy player, Jankowski is showing he has solid 2-way potential.  With 6 goals and 18 points in 22 games, expect to see Janko push for a 3rd or fourth line centre position with the flames next season.

Oliver Kylington: Might be a steal in the second round, some thought he had first round draft potential in 2015.  Now he is starting to show why.  While not quite as impressive as Andersson, Kylington has never the less shown his potential in his rookie year.  With 4 goals and 13 points in 25 games with a respectable +7 ranking, Kylington will probably need another season or two before he is ready for the big stage.  Good second pairing potential.

Morgam Klimchuk: Started out the season guns blazing, and has since cooled off.  Never the less, Klimchuk has continued to perform steadily, and has the team lead in goals with 9.  Also has 9 assists and a plus 8 rating, best among forwards. 

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Continuing on now with the B's.  These are players who are doing well, but I hope have a bit more in the tank.


John Gilles:  Off to a rough start, Gilles numbers have not been quite what we had hoped.  He owns a 9-4-1 record, 2.78 GAA and .913 Sv%.  That said, he was the AHL first star last week, rattling off three straight wins including a 47 save performance.  Definately seems to be turning a corner.

Hunter Shinkaruk: Nearly made the A list, as he has played fewer games than most due to his stint with the flames.  7 goals and 12 points in 14 games rate him as one of the top offensive threats on the team.  If he doesn't get called up again, expect him near the top of the heat stat sheet more often than not.

Emile Poirier: I had high hopes for this kid a couple years ago, but things just haven't gone Poirier's way.  That said, he is putting in a respectable season, with 4 goals and 14 points thus far.  He plays with an edge, racking up 31 PIMS so far.  His shooting percentage is low, so expect him to become more productive as he gains more confidence.  One of only a handful of negative +/- players on the team is a bit concerning.

Tyler Wotherspoon:  The sometime forgotten flames prospect has been putting in a decent season this year.  While he does not contribute much offensively, he keeps the puck out of the net, a trait you look for in a defenseman.  Wotherspoon has 6 points in 20 games, and a team leading +16

Matt Frattin: Not too surprising a former nhl player might contribute at the AHL level.  While not likely a part of the future, he has put up a respectable 8 goals and 15 points in 22 games.

Brandon Bollig: Turns out he can still play when the pace of the game is a bit slower.  Bollig is a consistent scoring threat out there, racking up 7 goals and 12 points in 23 games, and leads the team in PIMS.

Daniel Pribyl: Maybe not the impact some had hoped, he still has a respectable point total with 4 goals and 11 points in 18 games.  

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