The Calgary Flames were one of the NHL’s biggest disappointments last season. After winning the Pacific Division with 111 points in 2021-22 and making some monstrous offseason moves, expectations were extremely high for the Flames. Unfortunately, the Flames burned out and missed the playoffs entirely in 2022-23. Now with new management and a new coaching staff, the Flames are looking to rebound in 2023-24.
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One player who could significantly impact the Flames is 22-year-old winger, Jakob Pelletier. Pelletier was drafted by Calgary in the first round at 26th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The Flames have been very patient with Pelletier’s development, allowing him to grow at his own pace and making sure not to rush him to the NHL. Now at 22 years old, it’s time for Pelletier to make an impact at the NHL level, and the Calgary Flames really need him to.
Jakob Pelletier has proven that he can score at every level he’s played so far. After being drafted, he went on to play two more seasons in the QMJHL. In those 85 games played, he scored 45 goals, 80 assists, 125 points, and was a combined +82. He also played in 15 playoff games, notching 5 goals, 18 assists, and 23 points.
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He then transitioned to the pro level and played 2021-22 in the AHL. In his first AHL season, Pelletier played 66 games, scoring 27 goals, 35 assists, and 62 points, he was even a +22. He also played 13 playoff games and tallied 7 points.
Pelletier was very good in the AHL again last season. In 35 games played, he was over a point per game with 16 goals, 21 assists, and 37 points. He also added another 10 points in 9 playoff games.
The Flames’ youngster also got his first taste of NHL action last year. He suited up for 24 games with Calgary and managed 3 goals, 4 assists, and 7 points in a very limited role.
It is now time for Jakob Pelletier to fully make the jump to the NHL. There’s nothing left for him to prove in the AHL, he’s 22 years old, and the Flames desperately need some fresh blood to positively impact the team. Pelletier is one of the Flames’ top prospects for a reason, and now he needs to show it.
If Jakob Pelletier can have a breakout season in 2023-24, he could be a game-changer for the Flames. He deserves the chance to earn an everyday spot in the lineup, and not in a fourth-line role either. He’s an offensive talent and needs to be put in a position to succeed in that role. He needs to play with other offensively capable players in at least the middle six of the lineup.
If he’s given that opportunity and plays to his potential, I believe Jakob Pelletier could have a breakout season very similar to that of Wyatt Johnston last year in Dallas; 20+ goals, 40+ points. That would certainly be a huge help for the Calgary Flames in their quest to get back in the playoff picture.