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Prospect Update: Sean Tschigerl
By Thomas Harrington
A fifth round pick from 2021, winger Sean Tschigerl completed his third season in the WHL this past year, playing for the Calgary Hitmen.
Tschigerl set career highs in goals, assists, points, and games played by scoring 23 goals and 58 points in 65 games. He finished second on the team in goals, assists, and points and led the team with five shorthanded goals, which was tied for the lead in the WHL. Tschigerl had back to back four point games in late November. He was also one of Calgary’s alternate captains. Calgary failed to make the playoffs by only a couple of points.
Tschigerl will be returning to the WHL for what will likely be his final year this coming season. He’ll once again be one of the team’s alternate captains and should see time on both the penalty kill and powerplay units. Hopefully the Hitmen can make it back to the postseason, something they haven’t been in since the 2018-2019 season. The WHL canceled its playoffs for two consecutive years, in 2020 and 2021, because of the ongoing pandemic. Before COVID-19 hit, Calgary had made the playoffs in seven out of eight years.
After becoming a 20 goal scorer and averaging close to a point per game this past season, I have a few expectations for Tschigerl this coming year. First, I want him to approach 30 goals. He doesn’t have to hit that mark, but he should come close. Second, I want him to average a point per game this season. He’s a bit of a streaky scorer who went cold in March but finished the season strong with six points in his final five games. Finally, I’d love to see him continue to put up points while Calgary is shorthanded.
Tschigerl is a useful player who can play in all kinds of situations, from powerplay to penalty kill to empty net. He’s not the highest skilled prospect, but he doesn’t have a glaring weakness. His versatility and ability to adapt could serve him in his quest to make the NHL. He probably won’t ever be an elite or even top six forward in the NHL. However, he could become a good checking winger who chips in with a goal every now and then. Those kinds of players are always useful, especially if it’s a shorthanded goal he’s scoring.
Tschigerl is a ways away from making it to the NHL. He has at least one more year of juniors ahead of him, and I don’t anticipate him making the jump from the WHL straight to the NHL. The Ducks will likely give him at least a year or two in the AHL before gets a chance with Anaheim, so I think we’re at least three years away or more from seeing him in the NHL.
Tschigerl is currently unsigned, and Anaheim has control of his rights until June 1, 2023. After that point, the Ducks will not be able to sign him. As a fifth round pick, the odds are stacked against him, but he had a very good season after being drafted. If he can be even better this year, I’m pretty confident the Ducks will sign him to a standard three-year entry-level contract.
The next prospect update will be on Maxim Golod.
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September 16th, 2022