Flames Top 20 Prospects: A long time Fans Opinion
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01-02-2013, 02:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Originally Posted by
I've been a Flames season ticket holder since 2001, a fan since 1990 (that's right, I got on board at the WRONG time, mostly due to being born in 1980 and just becoming interested in hockey when I was 10), been on HF since 2002, and a prospect-loving poolie for over a decade.
Anyway, the Flames prospect situation is more encouraging then I can ever remember it and so, in light of our success and contributors at the WJC, I thought I would list my Top 20 Flames prospects. (This wasn't even possible in the past!)
I will list my top 20, 5 at a time. I'll post the next 5 in a few days:
1. Sven Baertschi: Elite upside. Needs to remain healthy, but that is hopefully just fear from a paranoid Flames fan. The reality is that, any injury concerns aside, the sky is the limit for Sven. Prime Upside: 35-55-90
2. Mark Jankowski: I realize that #2 seems high for Janko, and it will take at least 5 years to justify this positioning, but I believe that Mark has the ability to develop into everything he was drafted to be; a Joe Nieuwendyk-level Centreman. Probably a little more inclined to playmaking than Joe, but a nice hometown comparison of the kind of offensive first line centre that Jankowski could become. Prime Upside: 35-45-80
3. T.J. Brodie: Very good #2 upside, decent #4 downside. A good chance to be a 40 point dman. I just hope he can do so and remain above average 5-on-5. Reminds me of JM Liles, with hopefully a little better defence. The fact is offensive Dman are NOT plentiful in the Flames organization and Brodie is more of a sure thing than almost any of our prospects as he's reasonably seasoned and proven as far as prospects go. Prime Upside: 10-35-45
4. John Gaudreau: I really like Gaudreau. To the point where I would be open to him being listed as #1. At the very least I can imagine him being swapped with Jankowski, and if you ask me tomorrow, that's what I might say. No matter how much I like him, and no matter how much the modern pro game does not hold little guys back (Eberle,P.Kane, etc.,) he's still super tiny. I mean he's gotten bigger and everything but he was a 140 lbs when he was drafted...and I mean we thought Theo was tiny. Anyway, Gaudreau has big time upside and I think he can rise above most of the other little guys littering the minor leagues (
, Keith Aucoin, all the little guys in the Kings organization like Kozun, Azevedo, and Weal, and the examples go on and on - most NHL teams have 2-4 of these guys on their AHL teams). I can see Gaudreau eventually being a 60-80 point guy in the NHL, but ultimately he slots in 4th because of the risk these smaller guys carry. Prime Upside: 20-45-65
5. Tyler Wotherspoon: Call me caught up in the WJC if you like, but I am really starting to like this kid. Leading the entire CHL in +/- is no small feat and while he doesn't seem like the sexy pick I think TW is starting to show that he is a legit impact NHL prospect. I believe Wotherspoon has had the misfortune of being drafted by the Flames and being seen as just another D-prospect with a more defensive game in a long line of Joey Leachs, Matt Pelechs, John Ramages etc., before him. In the end he may end up being a cerebral two way defencemen with a similar impact to a Dan Hamhuis-type with a little less edge. A guy that can put up a stat line like this in the NHL (Prime Upside) 82-6-22-28, +15, 26 mins ATOI. Paired with a more offensive Brodie-type, Wotherspoon IMO has #2, #3 NHL Dman upside. Tim Erixon who?
More to come.
Ryan Shannon hasn't played a game in the AHL since early 2009 and now plays in the Swiss League.
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