4 Flames Who Could Replicate Success in 2022-23

In terms of replicating success, a couple of new players will have a hard time doing so. That leaves Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri out of this group. This doesn’t mean they won’t have great first seasons with the Calgary Flames, but matching the career years they recorded in 2021-22 will be a tall task.

As for the few players that will be discussed, they are on the rise and will have every opportunity to replicate the successful seasons they put together in 2021-22.

Andrew Mangiapane

Andrew Mangiapane took a significant step forward last season and scored 35 goals. He was especially dominant on the road. This season he will have a major upgrade at centre in Kadri who is coming off a career year, as he finished with 48 more points than Mikael Backlund in 11 fewer games and will be able to set Mangiapane up a ton.

Andrew Mangiapane Calgary Flames
Andrew Mangiapane, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The other option that will be considered is having Mangiapane play the right wing on the top line beside Huberdeau and Elias Lindholm. That will surely allow last season’s success to be replicated for the 26-year-old as his shooting percentage has been over 18.5 percent the past two seasons. Mangiapane may not shoot a ton, but when he does, pucks tend to find the back of the net. With higher-level players on his line this season as well, he will have more opportunities to shoot the puck and score even more goals. He is still approaching his prime and has seen jumps in production over the past few seasons. This year should be no different as he gets even better.

Elias Lindholm

Lindholm may have lost both of his linemates from last season, but he gained one who is just as skilled in return. The chemistry will take some time to form and whoever plays on the right side of the top line won’t be a 100-point scorer, but he has the potential to repeat as a point-per-game player this season.

Lindholm was not only an amazing two-way player for the Flames, finishing second in Selke Trophy voting, but also topped 40 goals and recorded 82 points. He has really come into his own in Calgary and will have an elite playmaker in Huberdeau setting him up for goals again this season. His confidence must also be riding high coming into this season after the overall elite performance he put together in 2021-22.

Lindholm shouldn’t just replicate the offensive success he had, but defensively as well. The Flames are a very strong defensive team that appeared to have gotten even better. He is at the forefront of that at forward and will continue to be relied upon in every situation.

Dylan Dube

Dylan Dube took a nice step forward for the Flames and proved to be a solid goal-scorer with much more to prove this season. He had limited playing time but his opportunity should be better this season with one fewer elite winger on the team. He ended last season with 18 goals and 32 points and will push for a top-six role.

Dillon Dube Calgary Flames
Dillon Dube, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If Dube can get time in the top-six, his five-on-five production will significantly increase. With an elevated role and another NHL season under his belt, he is set to at least reach the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career and add some more assists as well. He will also be looking to bounce back from a lackluster postseason where he recorded just one assist. Furthermore, Dube’s linemates, regardless of if he plays on the second or third line, will be better than who he played with last season.

Noah Hanifin

Noah Hanifin‘s performance last season was finally indicative of a fifth overall pick, as he broke out for 10 goals, 48 points, and a stellar plus-27 as a top pair defenceman. After just 15 points in 47 games in 2020-21, he is more likely to replicate the success he had in all aspects of the game than decline.

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At just 25 years old, Hanifin is still at the age where defencemen just start to come into their own (from “Flames rearguard Hanifin completes rapid climb to 500-game milestone”, Calgary Sun, 3/26/22). He formed great chemistry with Rasmus Andersson and trust was put into the pair last season by the coaching staff. That should remain the same and allow for him to further progress, replicating the success he had offensively and defensively last season.

The Flames have some great talent coming into their own in the NHL. Having these players succeed again with the possibility of improving this season will keep Calgary at the top of the league in 2022-23.

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