Flames Farm Hands Continue To Heat Up In Abbotsford

Steve McSween@dansallowsSenior Analyst INovember 12, 2009

MISSISSAUGA, CANADA - AUGUST 26:  Mikael Backlund #60 of the Calgary Flames gets set for a face-off during the Upper Deck NHL Rookie Debut at the Hershey Centre August 26, 2009 in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

There seems to be a number of things to cheer about for fans of the Calgary Flames these days.

As well as boasting an 11-4-1 start to the season, Calgary's backbones Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff are at the top of their game.

All is well in Cowtown.

And the same can be said down on the farm, where the Abbotsford Heat are quietly putting together a pleasant inaugural campaign thanks to some up and coming Flames prospects.

The Heat sit fourth in the AHL's Western Conference at 8-5-3 thanks in part to the solid play of goaltender Leland Irving; who is 7-4-1 with a remarkable 2.17 goals- against average, and .928 save percentage so far this season.

Irving had been named AHL's player of the week for the period ending Nov. 1, 2009 as he went 3-0-0, with a 0.65 goals-against average and .976 save percentage.

Other notables for Abbotsford have been 20-year-old center Mikael Backlund, who after putting up just one goal in his first eight games has lit the lamp five times and added two helpers in the last eight he's played.

The Flames first round selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft is finally getting his feet wet at life in the pro's and has been like watching an episode of Saturday Night Live backwards as he started slow but has been finishing strong.

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Veteran forward Jamie Lundmark has led a good supporting cast with five goals and eight assists in 16 games, and isn't a bad guy to have around when Calgary gets hit with the injury bug as that is almost inevitable with the NHL's compact Olympic schedule.

Kris Chucko's two-way play has been stellar once again this season with five goals and five assists. The Flames first round selection from the 2004 NHL Entry Draft looks prime to make an impact both in Abbotsford or if and when he gets the call from the big club.

Jason Jaffray has proved to be a nice free agent signing by Calgary as he has also contributed with six goals and five assists thus far.

On defence the Heat are bolstered by a bunch that is all over 6'2" and 200 lbs. all except for quite possibly their most offensively dynamic blueliner Keith Seabrook who had tallied 3 markers on the season already.

Along with Seabrook, the Flames 2005 NHL Entry Draft first rounder Matt Pelech is making waves down on the farm with his play. The 6'3" 220 lbs. imposing defender has been nothing short of brilliant this season and has put up a few points along the way.

Yes, it looks as though Calgary will be in good shape for a long time with their prospects down in the AHL, which should just add more fuel to the fire on an already very impressive Flames club.

Just another Sutter farm that seems to be producing some quality eggs.

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