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Prospect Update: Calle Clang
By Thomas Harrington
Acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of the Rickard Rakell deal, goaltender Calle Clang spent most of this past season playing in the SHL, and also made his AHL debut with the Gulls at the end of the season.
Clang was Rogle BK’s backup goaltender. He played in 25 games in the SHL and had a record of 12-10 with a 2.69 goals against average, a .901 save percentage, and one shutout. He played in a few less games than Christoffer Rifalk but put up better overall numbers. He was Rogle’s backup in the playoffs and didn’t play in any games. After Rogle’s season ended, Clang came to North America and made his AHL debut with the Gulls on April 1st. He made his first start on April 2nd. Overall, he played in five games for San Diego and had a record of 1-3 with a 2.65 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.
This past year was Clang’s second season in the SHL and I had only one expectation for him, to put up better numbers than the year before. Unfortunately, that failed to happen as his goals against average rose from 2.28 and his save percentage dropped from .915. Part of that drop can be attributed to Rogle BK falling from first in the SHL to ninth, but he still failed to meet this expectation.
This coming year, Clang should be in North America for the entire season. With Lukas Dostal likely penciled in to be Anaheim’s backup behind John Gibson, Clang will likely spend the entire year in San Diego, splitting time with Gage Alexander and/or Alex Stalock.
With this being Clang’s first full season playing hockey in North America, there very well could be an adjustment period for him. As a result, I have one simple expectation for him. To play solid hockey for the Gulls and improve his game as the season goes on. He’ll have his struggles, but as long as he is better at the end of the season than the beginning, I’ll be happy with his development.
I don’t think Clang is knocking on the NHL’s door, and Anaheim doesn’t need him to be. This year is all about making sure that Dostal is ready for the NHL. If he isn’t, the Ducks signed Stalock to step in until he is. So Clang can focus on his game in San Diego and not need to worry about the NHL this season. If he can play well enough, he has a chance to make his NHL debut in the 2024-2025 season, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it didn’t happen until the season after.
Clang has two years remaining on his entry-level deal, and he’ll be a restricted free agent when it’s over. As long as he’s developed into a solid goaltender for San Diego, I anticipate him being re-signed at that point, especially if he’s made his NHL debut. Even if he hasn’t, as long as he’s put up good numbers in the AHL, the Ducks will likely extend him. The only way I don’t think that happens is if spends most of the next two years in the ECHL.
The next prospect update will be on forward Jacob Perreault.
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September 15th, 2023