While the Calgary Flames roll towards the playoff race on the ice, they boosted their prospect pool off of it. Artyom Zagidulin was signed to a one-year entry-level deal on Friday.
Calgary Flames are closing in on signing 23 year old KHL prospect goalie, Artyom Zagidulin. Not done yet, but expected to get done.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 29, 2019
Calgary has officially signed Russian goaltender Artyom Zagidulin to a one-year entry level contract.
Played KHL (Metallurg Magnitogorsk) last season. 12-7-3, 0.924 SV%. Listed at 6’2 and 176 pounds. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) April 9, 2019
Calgary Flames Sign Goalie Prospect Artyom Zagidulin
With the signing of Artyom Zagidulin, Calgary’s goaltender joins a relatively shallow pool of fellow netminder prospects. The 23-year-old posted impressive numbers in the KHL this year. While in the crease for the Metallurg Magnitogorsk, he recorded a goals-against-average of 1.96 and .924 save percentage. He played in 25 games throughout the year. Following the regular season, he accumulated a 1.70 goals-against-average and .928 save perecentage en route to a conference quarterfinal loss in six games.
What This Means For The Future
The Flames earned the top seed in the Western Conference with the tandem of Mike Smith and David Rittich. However, Smith is 37-years-old and in the last year of his contract. The 26-year-old Rittich is also facing free agency. On July 1st he’ll become a restricted free agent with arbitration-eligible so it’s a safe bet Rittich will receive an extension.
Tyler Parsons has been the Flames’ top netminder prospect after lighting it up with the London Knights. However, this season the 21-year-old had an abysmal year with the Stockton Heat and spent most of the season in the ECHL. While Parsons’ 3.16 GAA and .902 SV% isn’t great, it does bring about some doubts.
Zagidulin should put some of those doubts to rest as he can provide some insurance in case Parsons doesn’t pan out as planned. According to Darren Dreger, he is a “legit NHL prospect” but still needs some time to develop. Assuming his one-year ELC will be spent transitioning to a North American style of play, he will have a chance to prove himself as a formidable backup to Rittich. Another option in the Flames’ system can put some ease into the minds of the front office as their future goalie situation is addressed for the time being.
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