Coronato excited to get started again with Wranglers after Flames season ends

‘It’s always a great feeling to be here and be up, but playoffs are exciting and I spent most of the time (this year) down there and I know it’s a great group down there, so I am excited,’ said Coronato

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Matthew Coronato isn’t going to have any trouble adjusting.

When the Calgary Flames finished off their season on Thursday night, it marked the start of the summer for just about everyone on the roster.

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But for Coronato, Dustin Wolf, Adam Klapka and Ilya Solovyov, the Calgary Wranglers and the AHL playoffs are up next.

For a guy like Coronato who has been playing out his NHL dream and has appeared in 18 straight games for the Flames, it might feel weird going back to the AHL.

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Potentially, it could feel a little strange going from a team that’s been out of NHL playoff contention for weeks to rejoining one that’s going to be fighting for its AHL post-season life.

Asked about that transition, though, Coronato seemed completely at ease.

“I think it’s exciting,” Coronato said. “It’s always a great feeling to be here and be up, but playoffs are exciting and I spent most of the time (this year) down there and I know it’s a great group down there, so I am excited.”

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Coronato has mostly split his first season as a pro between the Flames and the Wranglers, with his time in the NHL mostly divided between a 10-game stint at the start of the year and the 18 games to finish it off.

In total, he played in 33 games for the Flames — prior to Thursday night — and scored three goals while adding five assists and posting a minus-18.

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He had one last chance to impress at the NHL level on Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks before heading back to the Wranglers.

And that chance matters. While there’s nobody doubting that Coronato is a big part of the Flames’ future, they’ve also got a decent amount of depth at right-wing right now. The likes of Yegor Sharangovich, Martin Pospisil and Andrei Kuzmenko have all made an impression there this season, so there should be competition on the right at training camp in the fall.

“There’s first impressions always and last impressions, so that matters for these young guys,” Huska said. “I think it’s an awesome thing … that our minor league team had success so these guys can go and play in games that matter.

“That’s important for their development and it’s important for where they want to go in the future.”

Coronato looking to help the Wranglers ‘go on a long run’ in playoffs

The Wranglers are certainly going to be happy to have Coronato back.

In the 40 games he played for the team this year, the 21-year-old scored 15 goals and added 27 assists while posting a plus-8. Those numbers are, obviously, considerably better than what he managed with the Flames — which is completely unsurprising for a first-year pro.

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But for a Wranglers team that’s struggled to score coming down the final stretch of their regular season, getting a guy with his proven offensive upside can only be a good thing.

That’s true of Wolf, too, and both Klapka and Solovyov were important pieces for the Wranglers before they earned late-season call-ups.

So getting all of them back should help the Wranglers, who are sitting in seventh place in the Pacific Division and are likely going to be facing the Tucson Roadrunners in a best-of-three first-round playoff matchup next week.

Coronato is well aware of the situation and while he’s been focused squarely on the Flames for the last month, that doesn’t mean he isn’t excited to get back with the Wranglers and hopefully help the cause.

“I talk to a lot of the guys and I saw a couple of the guys this past week,” Coronato said. “Definitely still feel like I’m part of the group and I’m excited to see them.

“It’s a great group of guys. I’m looking forward to being back with them and hopefully we can go on a long run.”

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