1. Matthew Coronato
The Flames started the year with Matt Coronato on the NHL roster, but after struggling to stand out, the best move was to send him back to the AHL, and it’s safe to say that he’s taken that assignment and knocked it out of the park. In 12 games on the Wranglers top line, Coronato has tallied seven goals and 15 points, and while there’s no rush to get him back to the NHL, there’s no doubting that he won’t be down there for the entire season.
While a lot of the other names on this list are players that could slot in alongside Greer, Dube or Ruzicka on the fourth line or potentially join Backlund/Coleman on the third line, Coronato is the prime example of a player that Calgary needs to pan out if their retool/rebuild is to ever work. Zary and Pelletier, the Flames two first-round picks before Coronato have shown they can do it at the NHL level, and if he can get back to the top level and produce this season, it will give the organization even more confidence in the youth movement they are getting behind.
In 10 NHL games this year, the former Harvard standout tallied a goal and an assist for 2 points, but if he can find chemistry with a line in the NHL much the way Zary/Pospisil have done so with Nazem Kadri, there’s no doubting he could one day become the Flames best player, and right now in the AHL, he’s proving just that and will be chomping at the bit to get back to the Flames.