Connect with us

Calgary Flames

2021 Flames Top 25 Under 25: #9 – Connor Mackey

Mackey will be fighting for a spot on the opening night roster



#9 – Connor Mackey

Position: Defence

Age: 24 (as of August 1 2021)

2020-21 Team: Stockton Heat (AHL), Calgary Flames (NHL)

Stats: 27 GP, 3 G, 13 A, 16 Pts (AHL), 6 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 Pts (NHL)

Signed on March 20, 2020

2020 Ranking: #12 (+3)

Connor Mackey jumped up three spots in this year’s rankings after a strong first professional hockey season split between the AHL and NHL. Mackey joined the Flames organization last March shortly after the league shut down, and started the year on the bubble between the NHL and AHL.

Mackey recorded his first NHL goal in the final game of the 2020-21 regular season, and also had two fights in the previous two games as he worked hard to make an impression on the club heading into the summer. It looked as if he would be pretty comfortably grab a roster spot heading into the season, but with the late signings of Erik Gudbranson and Michael Stone, he will have to work hard to make the squad.

Mackey is currently situated in the de facto Group B for the Flames training camp that features essentially the Stockton Heat roster while Group A has what is likely to be the Flames main roster. It is also very worth noting that Mackey will be waivers exempt this year, so the Flames won’t have to worry about losing him if they send him down.

The AHL isn’t a terrible spot for Mackey to start the season, as he fit in very well on the Heat last year and finished among the top rookie defencemen in points per game. Tasking him with a heavy role in Stockton may be a good way to acclimate him to more minutes before bringing him up to Calgary. However in my opinion Mackey is already one of the top 7 defencemen in the organization and should be on the opening day roster over the likes of Gudbranson, Stone, or even Oliver Kylington. We will see if the team feels the same way as we head into the slate of eight preseason games.

by Michael MacGillivray