It feels like a rebirth of the Calgary Flames franchise has taken place this summer.
A big part of that includes the moving of the American Hockey League affiliate to their own backyard. Having the Calgary Wranglers under the same sloped roof at the Saddledome in Calgary this year means more of an opportunity to assess, and access, the prospect pool.
On Tuesday, the Wranglers announced a couple of additions to the coaching staff.
Mackenzie Skapski joins as the development goaltending coach, and Daniel Johnston becomes the video coach/team services.
They join head coach Mitch Love and his assistant coaches Don Nachbaur and Joe Cirella. That tandem took the Stockton Heat to Game 6 of the Western Conference final against the Chicago Wolves last season.
Matching their parent Flames, the Heat claimed the Pacific Division in the AHL, earning Love the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award winner as coach of the year.
“We are excited to welcome Mackenzie and Daniel to the Wranglers coaching staff,” said Wranglers GM Brad Pascall, who does double duty as the Calgary Flames’ Assistant General Manager. “Both individuals bring playing and coaching experience and will be great additions to our AHL coaching staff.”
Skapski, 28, will work closely Jordan Sigalet, the Flames’ director of goaltending, and Flames goaltending coach Jason LaBarbera.
His resume includes the Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL), Portland Winterhawks (WHL), Trinity Western University (U-Sports), and the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds (BCMML) as a goaltending coach and scout.
Johnston, 29, is a Calgary product. He spent the last two seasons as the video and assistant coach with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings.
The Wranglers also announced a few player additions recently, adding centre Calder Brooks, Left winger Lucas Feuk, and centre/right winger Matt Marcinew.
Brooks played for the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights and new Calgary Flames ECHL affiliate Rapid City Rush last season. He had 19 goals and 37 points in 43 games, adding five goals and 13 points in 11 ECHL playoff contests.
Feuk was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round in 2019. He played last season in his native Sweden. The 21-year-old scored 11 goals and added 14 assists for 25 points in 27 games.
Calgary’s Marcinew, 29, also played in Sweden last year, netting seven goals and 15 points in 31 games. He’s also got 141 points in 184 games at the ECHL level.
The Calgary Flames brass will have more opportunities to see top prospects like Dustin Wolf, Jakob Pelletier, Matthew Phillips and Connor Zary this season. Assuming none of them make the jump to the NHL.