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01-02-2013, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Qubax View Post
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 (Ryan Shannon, 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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