CALGARY, Alb. – On Monday, the Calgary Flames re-signed a pair of familiar faces to Stockton Heat fans. 2013 first-round pick Morgan Klimchuk signed a one-year, two-way deal, Calgary also inked goaltender Jon Gillies to a two-year contract.
Klimchuk, 23-years-old, had 19 goals with Stockton for the second straight year. While most people seem to have written him off already, I see the progression he has made over the past two years and still believe he can be the player we thought he was going to be. The main reason, I believe, this is the development of his two-way game. Last season, Klimchuk was relied upon in all situations, and usually has performed quite well. His hard work in 2018 earned him his first ever NHL call-up, playing one game against the Boston Bruins.
According to Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson, the Calgary native will be working with skills coach Ron Johnson for two days. Looking to add more to his game, it appears Klimchuk is more motivated than ever to get a chance in Calgary this year.
Next up is netminder Jon Gillies. Gillies contract is a little more interesting, as the second year is only one-way. The 24-year-old got into 11 games with Calgary last season, putting up three wins to go with a .896 save percentage. But, Gillies had a respectable .917 save percentage on a struggling Stockton team. This contract shows that the Flames are confident Gillies can entirely make the jump from the AHL to the NHL. And they really need it, as Mike Smith is 36 and injury prone.
Both Gillies and Klimchuk will play a bigger role with the Heat this year, with so many faces leaving. Expect big years and potentially call-ups for both of these talented players.
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