The Calgary Flames have taken care of another restricted free agent, inking forward Martin Pospisil to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750k, per a club announcement. Pospisil is one of the Flames’ final few RFA’s that still need contracts, part of a group headlined by Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington.
Pospisil, 22, was a fourth-round pick of the Flames at the 2018 draft, a selection out of the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. The six-foot-one, 195-pound forward doesn’t have the sort of box score numbers that jump out, save for in one area: penalty minutes. In his first season on North American ice in 2017-18, Pospisil had a whopping 253 penalty minutes in 49 games. While he’s toned his game down a bit from that level, his aggressiveness and rambunctious style are things he’s carried into his professional career.
Pospisil has played the past three seasons with the AHL’s Stockton Heat, save for a brief 21-game stretch with HC Kosice in his native Slovakia in 2020-21. In the AHL, Pospisil has had so-so production, with 25 points in 47 games last season and 11 points in his 14 AHL games in 2020-21.
The one-year extension for Pospisil could be seen as an indication that he will need to show more on the ice in order to secure his spot in the organization’s long-term plans. Pospisil saw some time on the Heat’s power play last season, but did not factor into the team’s penalty kill. For him to have a true path to the NHL, he may need to shore up his defensive game, get some experience on the penalty kill, and prove he can adapt to and thrive in a bottom-six role, where he would likely end up if he made the NHL.
Pospisil has the sort of physical game in front of the net that suggests he can get there, but he’ll need to show some more versatility at the AHL level before getting an extended look in Calgary.