Tagged: Abbotsford Heat


5th year, undrafted Calgary Flames‘ defenseman Joe Piskula(43) spent three seasons in the L.A. Kings‘ prospect system but skated only 5 NHL games with the team in the same year he completed his college hockey career.

He then played exclusively with the KingsAHL affiliate Manchester Monarchs on an entry level contract but failed to appear in another NHL game with them.

In the next season he signed a one-year AHL deal with Abbotsford Heat and played 71 games.

For the next couple seasons, he scored himself a bit of an unlikely contract with Calgary through 2013.

He’s was called up at the beginning of December and has played in 5 games but registered no points with a disappointing -5 plus/minus. More importantly though, they won 4 of the 5 games he skated in.

Original story: 12/29-11

He finished up the 2011/2012 setting new AHL career marks with 3 goals and 15 assists for 18 points with a +10 rating.

Starting the 2nd year of his deal in the minors, the former 2006 NCAA Champion at University Of Wisconsin was dealt to Nashville Predators right before the trade deadline and reassigned to finish the year.

A fairly steady presence on the blue line, he signed a one-year extension to stay with the organization.

He was only recalled for a pair of games but as assistant captain of affiliate Milwaukee Admirals he again matched his season best 3 goals and set new highs with 20 assists and was +20 on the ice.

Signed quickly to continue with the Preds, he was named team captain of the farm club for 2014/2015 and kept their defensive zone solid with another +20 rating.

Called up for a single game near the end of the season, it put his total games played in the NHL at 13.

Anaheim Ducks must have been spying on the 9th year veteran’s progress, because they stepped right in on the first day of free agency to offering him a one-year two-way contract.

Making the recently turned 31-year old the first captain of new minor league squad San Diego Gulls wouldn’t be the worst decision the club has ever made.


3rd year undrafted Hershey Bears‘ center Andrew Carroll(13) might consider changing his number next season.

He’s yet to blossom into a goal scorer in a couple of AHL seasons (3 goals in 52 games) but it took him until the final game of the 2011/2012 season to net his first, which may get him to think about a switch.

He did establish career highs this year with 68 games played, 5 assists, 6 points, 138 pims, and an ouch -5.

In 79 games in the ECHL he has 40 goals and 22 assists.

We think he’ll re-sign with the Bears for next season.

Original story: 4/17-12

Late, almost at the start of 2012/2013 he signed with Idaho Steelheads.

Halfway through the season he was loaned to Hartford Wolf Pack and even signed a deal before being returned for the 2013 Kelly Cup Playoffs, where he connected for 3 goals and 5 assists in 15 games.

He had basically similar totals from the previous season in half the games in the AHL but was almost a point-per-game producer in the ECHL with 12-19-31 in 36 totals.

Heading into 2013/2014 he didn’t have to wait long for a contract signing an extension to stay in Connecticut.

Almost ironically he would be a late cut from training camp reassigned to affiliate Greenville Road Warriors but after a couple months of unproductive skating with a horrid -20 rating he was moved along to Bakersfield Condors.

In 50 games, he didn’t completely restore himself but he got at least 8 goals and 8 assist before taking it up a notch in the postseason.

Post that performance, he fully disappeared. There’s very little as to why or where he went last season.

For his 6th pro season though, the just turned 30-year old is back and signed on to rejoin Idaho Steelheads for 2015/2016. He had his best offensive campaign with them and the chemistry may still be there.


2nd year undrafted defenseman Patrick Cullity(22) scored his 1st AHL goal (to go along with a pair of assists) in his 27th career game, 17th this season with Springfield Falcons, who he signed a pto contract with in December. That’s either up for renewal soon or an upgrade to an spc.

He also skated in 5 games this season with Abbotsford Heat registering one assist. Two years ago he got his AHL debut with Syracuse Crunch right after he completed his college career at UVM. He’s under contract for 2011/2012 with Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL but may not be going back.

In his rookie season he played 71 games with South Carolina Stingrays, where he had a pair of goals and 15 assists while going a +14 plus/minus.

He was born in Tewksbury, MA.

9/21-12: The 25-year old signed a one-year deal with the ECHL Idaho Steelheads for 2012/2013. He ended last season scoring 1 goal and 9 assists in 49 AHL games for Springfield Falcons and Abbotsford Heat.

Original story: 2/6-12

He would start the new campaign with Idaho but upon his first recall to old friend Springfield he was offered an AHL contract. It didn’t end his time in the lower league as he was sent down and back on a few occasions.

Near the end of the season he was acquired by St. John’s IceCaps for the remainder of the schedule, playing 14 games with 2 assists to his credit. He was returned for the Kelly Cup Playoffs and he had a great showing notching 2 goals and 3 helpers in 9 match-ups.

As the 2013/2014 approached he was re-signed to a one-year deal with the IceCaps but was reassigned back to the Steelheads at the beginning of the season and stayed there.

He would play a career high 70 ECHL games scoring a best 4 goals and 28 assists for 32 points. He led the team in assists and points for d-men.

After what had to be a year of mixed emotions it didn’t take him long to realize he would be most served to stay put in the Great Pacific Northwest for a third stint.

The Falcons once again summoned him for a short term but once again the majority of his time was with Idaho, where he was an impressive +20 plus/minus.

Entering his 6th season, the now 28-year old leaves the nest and joins Missouri Mavericks for 2015/2016.


Calgary Flames‘ 2nd year center Corban Knight(10) has already found himself happily involved in the parents’ club early season recalls after his hot start with minor league affiliate Adirondack Flames, where he’s recorded 5 goals and 3 assists in 16 AHL games.

He recently appeared in his first pair of games of 2014/2015, getting 10 shifts in each contest with just over 6 minutes total ice time and was fantastic in the face off dot, although was held without a point.

Originally a Florida Panthers‘ 5th round pick in the 2009 draft (#135 overall), he was obtained by Calgary in an off season trade before he even got out of the gate.

The 6’2″ 195 lbs. forward was a strong skater in four years at University of North Dakota posting at least a point-per-game average in his last three seasons, winning consecutive NCAA/WCHA Championships from 2010-2012 and being named a Hobey Baker Award finalist as a senior.

He managed to continue his strong play upon turning pro on reassignment with then farm club, Abbotsford Heat finishing his rookie campaign in the top five scoring (18-27-45).

The now 24-year old also got the nod for his first NHL action and potted his first big league goal in 7 games.

He was recently sent back to Adirondack but it proved to be more of a paper transaction and he was once again summoned mid-trip and back in the lineup, although marked as healthy scratch, for now.

Even though he’s at the end of his 2-year entry level contract and set to become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season, if he can start to produce may stay where he is.

Original story: 11/28-14

Dealt in a mid-season transaction that sent him back to draft team Florida Panthers he was reassigned to affiliate San Antonio Rampage, where he stayed for the remainder of the regular season and skated in all three playoff contests scoring one goal.

He concluded 2014/2015 with 16 goals and 20 assists in 58 AHL games with a +2 rating.

Going into restricted free agency, the Panthers signed him up for another season on a two-way deal.

Set to turn 25-years old just before the start of the forthcoming season, he may start with Portland Pirates, the new affiliate of his new team but if turns up the scoring early again could find himself as part of an early recall.


Philadelphia Flyers‘ 9th year center Blair Jones(22) has appeared in NHL games in each of his seasons except for 2008/2009, when he skated the full slate of 80 AHL contests with Norfolk Admirals reaching a personal best 34 assists.

A veteran of 132 games in the big league (7 goals and 10 assists with a -18 rating) and 408 in the minors (100 goals, 168 assists with a -38 plus/minus), the 6’2″ 215 lbs. forward hasn’t always been blessed enough to be on good teams but is liked on the squads he’s played with because he skates a rough and tumble style and is tough to play against.

Originally a Tampa Bay Lightning 4th round pick in the 2005 draft (#102 overall), he spent his first 5 and a half seasons in their prospect system before being dealt to Calgary Flames, where he stayed for 2 and a half years before signing his current deal.

He missed 24 games in 2014/2015 due to a groin injury that required surgery and may be a bit of a long shot to return to the parent club but seems to be doing just fine where he is with 6 goals, 11 assists and a +5 in 24 games with Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Where the 28-year old goes next is likely up in the air but it would be little surprise to see him test out the waters on the other side of the hockey pond.

Original story: 3/25-15

Heading into his 10th year, he picks up a new NHL contract for 2015/2016 with Vancouver Canucks and will be a veteran presence for affiliate Utica Comets but could also put up another few games in the show.

He’ll turn 29-years old before the start of the new season and was limited to only 33 AHL games in ’14/’15 but managed to cobble together 9 goals and 12 assists with a +3 rating on a team that was well out of the playoff picture.

See related: 8/3-11, 11/18-10


Calgary Flames‘ 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft (#45 overall) Finnish-born, 2nd year center Marcus Granlund(60) has been on a roller coaster ride between the parent club and farm team Adirondack Flames having been recalled and reassigned 8 times this season.

He puts up points with ease in the minors striking for 9 goals and 8 assists in 21 AHL games, and was equal to the task as a rookie with 25 tallies and 21 helpers in 52 contests.

The 5’11” 185 lbs. forward is a small-ish sized great skater with amazing stick handling abilities but could be stronger on the puck, which will likely improve as he does play with a good deal of gusto.

In 40 NHL games he has 5 goals and 9 assists with a -2 rating in the current campaign and is being pushed to continue to climb higher. Appearing in his first 7 games in late 2014, he got his first goal and 2 assists.

He is one of many European skaters that come to North American pro hockey after already skating two full seasons, 99 appearances in his home country’s top league SM-liiga with HIFK.

As a first year player he led the league in goals, assists and points with 15-19-34.

The 21-year old definitely has plenty of potential.

Signed through 2015/2016, he just needs to put it on display with more frequency in the show.


11th year left wing Colin Stuart(49) started 2014/2015 in Sweden’s tier 2 league Allsvenskan with Malmo. It was his second tour of overseas hockey. He played in 2012/2013 for Iserlohn Roosters of the German elite DEL.

He played in 31 games scoring 5 goals and 4 assists with a +4 rating but after a few months decided to leave and sign an spc with Providence Bruins for the remainder of the season.

The 32-year, former three time captain (once in his senior campaign at Colorado College) and 2008 Calder Cup Champion is a good guy to have around for his goal scoring and leadership abilities.

In 28 AHL contests the 6’2″ 205 lbs. forward has already amassed a tidy 8 goals and 8 assists.

He also has 58 games of NHL experience mostly with draft team Atlanta Thrashers and a couple of spins on the ice over two years under contract with Buffalo Sabres.

He should easily help the Boston farm club into a playoff berth.

See related: 12/6-10, 9/9-11, 12/12-11

Emile Poirier

Calgary Flames‘ 1st round pick in the 2013 draft (#22 overall) winger Emile Poirier(21) has goal scorer written all over his game.

He comes out of a point per game performance in three years of juniors with Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL. He did so well he belonged to the 30/30 club as a sophomore skater and a 40/40 mark in his final campaign before turning pro.

As soon as the ink on the 3-year entry level contract was dry he was ready to jump and sign an ato to join then affiliate Abbotsford Heat for the remainder of the regular season and short playoff run.

He scored 2 goals and 2 assists with a +4 rating in 2 AHL games (3 of those points came in one contest) and added another tally in the postseason.

Ready to go as soon as he was reassigned from training camp to new affiliate Adirondack Flames, the 6’2″ 200 lbs. power forward that never shies away from the rough stuff, started in on the score sheet.

In 40 games he’s potted 14 goals and 16 assists with a +11 rating.

He also was selected to appear in the 2015 All-Star Game and came away with one goal and a pair of helpers in the 14-12 Western Conference win.

It’s a bit of a wonder why the parent club has yet to give the 20-year old a shot at the show but maybe there’s a method to how they groom his development.


Calgary Flames‘ 6th round pick in the 2009 draft (#171 overall) Finnish-born goaltender Joni Ortio(37) earned a 1-0 shutout on recall in his first game of 2014/2015.

His numbers shouldering the majority of the starts with AHL affiliate Adirondack Flames are only slightly off the marks he set from the previous season with Abbotford Heat as a rookie.

He actually was one of very few players to appear in three leagues in his first year, starting with 4 games in the ECHL for Alaska Aces, where he posted a 3-1 record and a phenomenal 1.01 GAA and .944 SV%.

In 9 NHL games that same season, the 6’1″ 185 back stop went 4-4 with a 2.51 GAA and ..891 SV%.

He came to North American pro hockey having already played a full campaign in his home country Liiga for HIFK and parts of three previous years with TPS.

The 23-year signed a two-year extension after his entry level deal was up.

He’s on a one-way contract next season so it will be interesting to see if he makes a clean jump up the ladder.

Akim Aliu1

5th year right wing Akim Aliu(78) is a bit of an enigma.

Originally a Chicago Blackhawks‘ 2nd round pick in the 2007 draft (#56 overall), the rough and tough forward has only played in 7 NHL games while under contract with Calgary Flames, who picked up the last year of his entry level contract, then qualified him for another season.

In his first pair of big league games he notched a pair of goals and an assist but through his next five contests in last year’s lockout shortened season he failed to connect with the score sheet.

The 6’4″ 225 lbs. power forward spent most of his time with farm club Abbotsford Heat, where in 84 games he’s collected a sparse 14 goals and 11 assists with an unsettling -20 rating.

Through 214 AHL contests his point totals are surprisingly low.

It’s fairly well documented that the still young 24-year old has temper and attitude problems, which probably has a lot to do with his limited success.

He started the current campaign on a try-out contract with Hamilton Bulldogs but was released after 14 games.

Picked up a month later by a struggling Hartford Wolf Pack, in a pair of appearances he scored his first tally with the team, has one fight and unloaded 5 shots on net.

He seems to fit with the team pretty well but without a sizable increase of offense production, it seems unlikely he’ll be given an spc to stay through the regular season.