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Flames Top 20 Prospects: A long time Fans Opinion

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Old
01-03-2013, 09:38 AM
  #26
CGYPUKSUX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarome Iginla View Post
Doesn't take a genius to notice the different direction the Flames' drafting is heading. The Flames have 5 prospects from the last 2 drafts playing in this year's WJC, a tournament where every country sends out its best prospects and competes. While that's not an indicator of prospects' success at the NHL level, it is clear that we are getting some quality prospects which we've never really had before.
Playing the WJC doesn't mean squat. If you look at the Canadian roster of past WJC teams you'll find that very few of the players end up being stars and quite a few never make it to the NHL long term. Playing in this tournament does nothing but increase the hype and make it tougher for a player to live up to expectations as they try to make it to the next level.

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To put the cherry on top, you won't find one list out there that doesn't have Sven in the top15 prospects in the world today. The guy is a star in the making(knock on wood)
There isn't a single hockey person that hears Baertschi's name and doesn't have something good to say. But then they follow that up with a question about the condition of his melon. Major time lost to concussions in back-to-back seasons is a major red flag. I would seriously temper your expectations for Baertschi at this point. He could become a superstar or we may find out he doesn't have the body to play in the NHL and may end up in the no-hit Swiss elite league before you know it. There is one thing that Flames fans should be used to and that's injuries altering the path of our best prospects.

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01-03-2013, 12:18 PM
  #27
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I'm going to have to agree with Guido Sarducci. Guys always look promising, but best to be cautious until they stick in the NHL (like Brodie has). That said, I do have a lot of faith in Baertschi and Gaudreau.

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01-03-2013, 01:27 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Noori View Post
I'm going to have to agree with Guido Sarducci. Guys always look promising, but best to be cautious until they stick in the NHL (like Brodie has). That said, I do have a lot of faith in Baertschi and Gaudreau.
I agree with you. Gaudreau has an unbelievable skill set, but he will need a lot of training and a little luck to cut it at the NHL level at his size.

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01-03-2013, 02:23 PM
  #29
Johnny Hoxville
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There is a big difference in our drafting. They have been drafting players based on skill and hockey IQ (not 3rd and 4th line players) which is what makes for successful players in today's NHL. Nothing with prospects is a certainty, and it never has been. Yakupov could be a total bust, but the probability that will happen is low due to his attributes. Sven and Gaudreau are about as much as you can ask for out of prospects. They do need to be developed properly, but since Weisbrod has joined our organization from learning how the Bruins do it, I am far more optimistic about our current group of prospects.

The slandering of Ward is getting over blown on here. All the younger players always refer to what a great person Ward is, then how he is also a great teacher. Let's face it, none of the prospects we have had in the past have been skilled enough to make that jump and become those impacts players. Boyd, Kobasew and Lombo were the only ones I was ever really hopeful for, and none of them had the skill sets that Sven and JG have. The biggest obstacles for both of our top guys currently will be there size and durability.

Hopefully Jankowski is in this conversation come next year.

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01-03-2013, 03:49 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by MVW View Post
There is a big difference in our drafting. They have been drafting players based on skill and hockey IQ (not 3rd and 4th line players) which is what makes for successful players in today's NHL. Nothing with prospects is a certainty, and it never has been. Yakupov could be a total bust, but the probability that will happen is low due to his attributes. Sven and Gaudreau are about as much as you can ask for out of prospects. They do need to be developed properly, but since Weisbrod has joined our organization from learning how the Bruins do it, I am far more optimistic about our current group of prospects.

The slandering of Ward is getting over blown on here. All the younger players always refer to what a great person Ward is, then how he is also a great teacher. Let's face it, none of the prospects we have had in the past have been skilled enough to make that jump and become those impacts players. Boyd, Kobasew and Lombo were the only ones I was ever really hopeful for, and none of them had the skill sets that Sven and JG have. The biggest obstacles for both of our top guys currently will be there size and durability.

Hopefully Jankowski is in this conversation come next year.
He seems to be on pace with our expectations going into the year (.5 PGP pace) Its obvious he is still adjusting, he doesn't have that big size advantage he had in Prep League, once he has some muscle, which he will come next year I think we will see a great player tear up the NCAA.

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01-03-2013, 09:07 PM
  #31
Johnny Hoxville
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I was listening to Weisbrod on the Fan today and he touched on several of our prospects, their performance's at the WJC and other topics that we have been discussing on here as of late. I will do my best to summarize what he said about each player and how the organization feels about them.

Ramage: He said he's a tough one. He said dman take the longest to develop so he tries to wait to the last possible moment before the organization makes a decision on their fate. Clearly if you read between the lines, the Flames are on the fence about him and it sounded like Weisbrod wants to see how our other dman guys are progressing, and what our contract limit is at before they make a final decision on him. He did say that Ramage has had his best season this year over what has been an up and down college career. He noted his conditioning is the best it has been, but clearly he did not give him a ringing endorsement that he is going to be part of their long term plans.

Granlund: He said he is most unknown prospect we have. He said he has been playing in a professional league against men, so they were most excited to see how he would perform against his peers in this tournament and they could more accurately evaluate his development. He said they were most gratified with his performance over everyone else because they know what they have in Gaudreau, Gillies and Sieloff. He said that Granlund performed extremely well this tournament, he said he is not really a vocal leader, but a guy that needs to go out and lead by example and he did that. He was also happy that he was able to somewhat get out of the shadow of his brother in this tournament.

Wotherspoon: He said Wotherspoon was also somewhat of an unknown because he has never performed on this type of stage before. They were very impressed with how he has handled his role in this tournament. They are very happy with the strides and how much he has developed his game.

Gaudreau: I thought I'd save the best for last. Weisbrod said that obviously Gaudreau is a special player, Feaster said in December he thought this would be a coming out party of sorts for JG and it has been to this point at the WJC. They are very excited about just how well he has done, they feel this will be huge for his development and will give him even more confidence going forward to perform like this when he turns pro. When asked about when he will be turning pro, Weisbrod said that is really up to Johnny. He has a family representative at his college and him and the Flames really have a good dialogue going. Johnny is only focused on this year right now, and he will evaluate where he is at when this season ends. Clearly, they said the decision is up to him and his family, if he wants to stay in College, get an education, or if he has the desire to turn pro, then the Flames will be more than willing to get him signed to a contract. He said Gaudreau has a great attitude and that is a large part of makes him such a special player. Last thing I will say, Weisbrod said Gaudreau is capable of playing pro right now. That is not to say that he would be playing in the NHL, but if he wants to turn pro next year, Weisbrod has no doubts that he would perform and perform well at that level.

That's it, he didn't really mention anything about Sieloff or Gillies.

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01-03-2013, 09:17 PM
  #32
Sean Monahan
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Thanks for the summary

One question I do have, would Johnny be able to sign an AHL amateur tryout contract after this season's end? To my knowledge NCAA players can't return to college if they signed an NHL contract, but I'm not sure about the case with AHL amateur tryout ones. It'd be great for him to get a few games in the AHL by the years end

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01-03-2013, 11:21 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarome Iginla View Post
Thanks for the summary

One question I do have, would Johnny be able to sign an AHL amateur tryout contract after this season's end? To my knowledge NCAA players can't return to college if they signed an NHL contract, but I'm not sure about the case with AHL amateur tryout ones. It'd be great for him to get a few games in the AHL by the years end
Yes, Gaudreau could sign with the Heat at seasons end. He would however give up his college eligibility by signing a pro contract. If he wants to turn pro next year i could see that happening. But it would mean that he has played his last game for Boston College.

I missed 960 today, thanks for the update MVW

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01-03-2013, 11:45 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Noori View Post

Byron wasn't a savvy acquisition. I know everyone will say Feaster got a second rounder back, but we could have had two second rounders. That other pick could have been used to select another defensemen (Jake McCabe, the USA captain was selected with our pick). I would have been more than happy with Regehr and Kotalik for Butler.
I couldn't agree with this more. The NHL is all about the 750 best hockey players in the world. Tom Byron is roughly the 2000th best hockey player in the world. I think that Feaster was fibbing when he explained how that deal went down. No way Byron is/was worth a 2nd.

Having Byron at 14 is being generous on my list, but that is your list and I like it. I like Breen, Bowma, Aliu. Ortio better than Tom Byron. Heck, I like Carter Bancks better. (BTW, Carter Bankcks is in my top 10!)


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01-05-2013, 10:59 PM
  #35
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I'm not too proud to admit that I was wrong with Gaudreau, and I have redone my list with Johnny at #2 and added 6-10. More to come.

1. Sven Baertschi: Elite upside. Needs to remain healthy, but that is more of a 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. John Gaudreau: I really like Gaudreau. To the point where I would be open to him being listed as #1. 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 litering the minor leagues(Ryan Shannon, Keith Aucoin, all the little guys in the Kings organization Kozun, Azevedo, 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 2nd because of the risk these smaller guys carry. Prime Upside: 30-45-75

3. T.J. Brodie: Very good #2 upside, decent #4 downside. A good chance to be a 40 point dman and 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 then almost any of our prospects as he's reasonably seasoned and proven as far as prospects go. Prime Upside: 10-35-45

4. Mark Jankowski: I realize that #2 seems high for Janko, and it will take atleast 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 of Centreman. Probably a little more inclined to playmaking then Joe, but a nice hometown comparison of the kind of offensive first line centre that Jankowski could become. Prime Upside: 35-45-80

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 just seen as 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 ceberal two way defencemen with a similar impact as 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?

6. Markus Granlund: I am not as down on Granlund’s progression this year as some are. He was 6th in scoring last year on his team, and he’s 6th in scoring this year. He’s also the youngest player making any sort of impact on his team and has had to adjust to life without his brother. I think the development of a guy like Granlund may end up saying as much about the Flames development team as it does about the player. Gralund is the kind of guy that may have never got a look under Darryl. He’s also the kind of guy that becomes Hudler or Filppula on Detroit(as opposed to Taratukin or Puustinen in the past.) Sure Granlund seems like a real boom or bust type of player but he’s also got something that this team lacks; high end skill. Maybe not up there with Sven and JG, but the type of talent that our organization lacks more than most. My hope is that the elder Granlund kills it in NA and paves the way for his Markus to come overseas and develop under the watchful eye of Hesketh, Feaster, Weisbrod, Ward and Co. On a side note I am encouraged that Granlund is playing in a professional league with men.

7. Roman Horak: I’m not a fan of players that don’t have big NHL upside and I feel like Horak is in this category. What Roman does have going for him is that he’s already close to being NHL ready and is a safe bet to carve out an NHL career. Horak is also an interesting case because you find a lot of differing opinions on him. On one hand you’ve got a guy with great hockey sense who can go on goal scoring binges and be a smart two way player. On the other hand you’ve got a smaller forward who when his stick goes cold can be pushed around and seem too small to win puck battles at the highest level. In the end I think Roman will be a good 3rd or 4th line energy guy but I think his presence at #7 shows us that while our depth has improved – we’ve still got a looooong way to go. NHL Upside: 80-15-15-30

8. Patrick Sieloff: I see some Giordano in Sieloff with Pat’s skating style and some of his hits. It remains to be seen whether Sieloff will top out as a 3, 4 or 5th defencemen on the Flames in the future, but I am pretty confident that all of Brodie, Wotherspoon, and Sieloff have NHL upside.

9. Ryan Culkin: Call him Brodie V2.0, ME Vlasic, or anything in between. Call me impressed. Culkin has the mobility and puck moving ability that the Flames desperately need and I am optimistic about his current development and potential.

10. Leland Irving: I’m making a real attempt to not get too caught up in the “what have you done for me lately” mantra. Even if the Flames as an organization do seem to be almost overly in love with this whole “meritocracy” thing. With that in mind, I am refusing the temptation to move Irving totally off the map. It wasn’t that long ago that Irving was finally showing his mettle last year and looking like our version of Cory Schneider. By a narrow margin Irving remains the Flames top goalie prospect.

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01-06-2013, 01:24 AM
  #36
Johnny Hoxville
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My deep thoughts, I love the nickname T-Spoon!

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01-06-2013, 01:06 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by InfinityIggy View Post
I said at the time Wotherspoon was way too low, and I caught a lot of flak for it.
You and me both. I got a warning for calling people bat **** crazy.

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01-06-2013, 01:13 PM
  #38
Sean Monahan
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My deep thoughts, I love the nickname T-Spoon!
Pretty sure I started calling him Tspoon

/shamelessclaim

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01-06-2013, 03:53 PM
  #39
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The thing I like about Wotherspoon is his mobility.

I remember a few years ago when we had Regehr, Lydman, Leopold and co. ..and Lydman and Leo could SKATE, even if JL had better offensive upside then Toni.

Anyway, I could see Wotherspoon as being Canadian version of Lydman. Absolutely a guy with Top 4 potential.

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01-07-2013, 06:40 AM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Qubax View Post
Anyway, I could see Wotherspoon as being Canadian version of Lydman. Absolutely a guy with Top 4 potential.
Yeah, I also thought that TSpoon is just like Toni Lydman. Couldn't agree more. He's just so stable and safe defender that I will be surprised if he doesn't make it to NHL.

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