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Flames Prospect Coronato’s Skills on Display at World Juniors

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There’s a lot to like about Calgary Flames prospect Matthew Coronato.

If you want to see it for yourself, tune in to any Team USA game at the World Junior Championships in Edmonton right now.

Even better, grab a ticket — there are plenty available.

Coronato was dazzling at times in the U.S. team’s 5-1 victory over Germany on Tuesday night.

The Calgary Flames’ first-round (13th overall) draft pick last summer had just one assist in the end, but also had a goal called back and fired seven shots on goal to pace the Americans in the tournament opener.

It was a heck of a debut, and one Flames fans can get excited about. More opportunities are arising for prospects on a team that is still one 100-point player short after losing Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk this summer.

Bringing in Jonathan Huberdeau in the Tkachuk trade was a major win, but Tkachuk’s 104 points are still unaccounted for. Guys like Jakob Pelletier and Matthew Phillips may have opportunities to crack the opening-day roster.

And while a sophomore season at Harvard University is around the corner for Coronato, the other internal promotions may encourage him to sign in another year or two.

That’s assuming his growth continues as it has.

After a dominant year for the Chicago Steel in the USHL, where he scored 48 goals and 85 points in 51 games, Coronato joined Harvard as a freshman. The 5-foot-10, 183 pounder was a point-per-game player with 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points in 34 college games.

He’s not big but he’s sturdy, and skates like the wind.

Coronato has skill and speed

Coronato has the puck skills to go with it, as one Team USA power-play goal showed.

He took a long drop pass and zoomed across the blue line, dangled around a German a defenceman and sauced a pass over to Logan Cooley on what was then essentially a two-on-one. Cooley (this year’s third overall pick for the Arizona Coyotes) knocked in his own rebound to finish the play.

It was already 4-0 when it looked like Coronato scored his first goal. During a scramble in front he backhanded a loose puck into the net. It was initially waved off, then allowed after video review, then challenged and waved off a second time for goalie interference.

Coronato was an impact player regardless. He drove the play against the Germans and had plenty of chances to score in a little more than 14 minutes of ice time.

He showed a 200-foot awareness that seems suited to Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter’s system.

Germany didn’t offer a lot of resistance. But the U.S. plays again against the Swiss on Thursday, then Austria on Friday and Sweden on Sunday. You can watch the action on TSN.

He’s the only Calgary Flames prospect to watch in the tourney, but he’s worth tuning in for.

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