Much has been made about whether or not the Calgary Flames can get newcomers Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar locked up long-term.
Nobody is talking much about Cole Schwindt. And if things don’t work out contractually with the headliners from the Matthew Tkachuk trade, Schwindt and the 2025 first-round pick will be all that remains from the haul beyond this season.
That fact wasn’t lost on Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving when making the deal. He spoke highly of the 6-foot-2, 182-pound centre after the acquisition.
“I told Cole, there might be some sexier names that the public knows in this deal more than yours, but you’re a part of this. Getting you was part of the deal and something we needed to happen. We’re excited to get Cole Schwindt,” Treliving said on the weekend.
“Our scouts really like this guy. He’s a guy we talked about for a while. We think he could be real good in the three-hole. His ability to kill penalties, win faceoffs. High-character kid.”
Sean Monahan comes off the Calgary Flames depth chart next summer and Mikael Backlund will be 35 when his current deal ends the following year. There is lots of opportunity ahead down the middle of the Flames lineup.
‘Humble kid with high ceiling’
Schwindt, the potential to push for a role. Florida’s 2019 third-round pick scored 19 goals and a well-rounded 40 points in 72 games with the AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers last season.
He suited up for three NHL contests with the Panthers, too.
Both Huberdeau and MacKenzie gave promising reviews during their introduction to Calgary media members on Monday’s Zoom call.
“Very humble kid. He’s big. He has a high ceiling. I think he’s going to be a good player, eventually,” said Weegar. “You’ve got yourself another good young forward. He’s a top prospect. I think he’s going to be a value to the Calgary Flames here in the near future.”
Treliving mentioned Schwindt’s time in the Ontario Hockey League, where scouts saw a big, strong right-handed centre with a responsible approach.
In 191 games over three seasons with the Mississauga Steelheads, the Breslau, ON product scored 55 goals and earned 138 points.
“He’s a righty, a big guy,” Huberdeau said when asked to talk about the unheralded part of the Calgary Flames package from the Panthers. “A lot of skills; he’s a great skater. From what I saw, he was really good. I thought he was pretty close to playing in this league.
“Like MacKenzie said, in the near future he’s going to have a spot in the NHL. That’s another good player that the Calgary Flames added.”