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Calgary Flames sign Alexander Yelesin

April 23, 2019, 10:39 AM ET [19 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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The Calgary Flames look to have added yet another to their large pool of young defenders, signing 23-year-old Alexander Yelesin.

Yelesin brings a much different dimension than a lot of what the Flames already have. Though small in stature (5'11, ~195 pounds), Yelesin is highly thought of because of his physicality and bulldog-like mentality.

He does have a heavy shot, which helps explains why he scored eight goals over his last 87 regular season games in what is a very low scoring league, but otherwise doesn't appear to have much offensive upside to his game. Playoffs included, he's mustered up just 19 points over 106 games the last two seasons.

Luckily, the Flames already have plenty of established, and emerging, defenders capable of producing offense. They can afford to give a spot to a more defensive-mindeded, physical player provided it is earned.

I'm not sure why Yelesin would choose to sign with a team so deep on defense but, from Calgary's perspective, there is certainly no harm in giving him an opportunity.

If not anything else, Yelesin should be a more modern replacement for Dalton Prout's role as a gritty rotational defender.

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