Flames Prospect Update, October 22 2012

Ryan Pike
October 22 2012 09:51AM

 

 

Every hockey league except for that one league is now in action. There are a lot of Flames prospects in action. Most of them played this weekend. Actually, everybody except for John Ramage. Here's an update.

AHL and ECHL

The Heat haven't lost in regulation! They lost a tight shootout game to Chicago on Friday night, then came back and won in convincing 4-1 fashion on Saturday (on national television). Sven Baertschi? Pretty good – six points in four games. Roman Horak? Four goals in four games. The top line of Ben Walter, Dustin Sylvester and Baertschi has combined for 18 points in four games, but they've gotten production from all four lines. And the penalty-kill, led by Max Reinhart, has killed off 13 man-advantages and are the only team in the AHL without a power-play goal against.

The Utah Grizzlies, the minor league affiliate of Calgary's minor league affiliate, split a pair of games with the Alaska Aces, who are an orphan team with no parent (or grand-parent) clubs. Mitch Wahl has four points in four games, but before you get too excited, he did the exact same thing last year in the ECHL (40 points in 38 games) and it didn't translate to the AHL at all. Defender James Martin, the #7 man for the Heat last year who hardly played, has three assists this year, as does forward Gaelan Patterson. Ryan Howse has no points in two appearances.

Junior

Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit had a win and a shootout loss this week, allowing six goals against over the two starts. So far he has a 5-1-1-2 record, a 2.92 goals against average and a .890 save percentage this season. He also has three assists, more than several players on his team that don't spend their entire game playing in goal.

Portland D Tyler Wotherspoon had two assists in Portland's only game this weekend. Overall he has seven points in 10 games and is a very impressive plus-9 (second on the team behind Nic Petan and Oliver Bjorkstrand). Red Deer winger Turner Elson, recently named captain, has five points in seven games. He went pointless in two weekend games and was minus-1.

Swift Current F Coda Gordon has 15 points in 14 games and is tied for the team lead in scoring with Adam Lowry. He had two assists in four games this week, but was minus-5 overall. Over in Vancouver, blueliner Brett Kulak has five points in 10 games. He didn't put up any points this weekend, but he was plus-2 in Vancouver's loss to the Calgary Hitmen.

The Quebec Remparts on the QMJHL went 2-1-0 on their three-game weekend set, beating Saint John and Drummondville and losing to Victoriaville. Ryan Culkin missed Sunday's game in Drummondville due to a reported foot injury. Through 11 games, Culkin has 12 points. As a rookie two years ago, he scored 11 points in 40 games.

Finally, Patrick Sieloff and the Windsor Spitfires beat the Erie Otters twice (on Thursday and Saturday) and lost to the Brampton Battalion on Friday. Sieloff has three points and is a minus-3 through 13 games, but has been a difference-maker for the Spitfires due to his raw physicality. A hit on Otters rookie Hayden Hodgson on Thursday prompted Erie captain Adam Pelech to jump him, earning a major penalty and a game misconduct. The Spits scored twice on the ensuing power-play and won the game 2-1.

NCAA

Boston College won both their games on the weekend, starting with an impressive come-from-behind overtime win over Massachusetts on Friday and capped by a 3-0 shutout win over Northeastern at home on Saturday as they raised their NCAA Championship banner. Sophomore phenom Johnny Gaudreau scored a goal and an assist in each game, including the dramatic overtime winner on Friday night. Bill Arnold had a goal in the comeback effort on Friday as well.

Providence College went the distance this weekend, tying Miami 1-1 on Friday and losing in overtime 4-3 the following evening. (Their lone conference game was a loss against Boston University last weekend.) Mark Jankowski has reportedly been solid but not Gaudreau-esque; he has three points this year, but two of them are from the opening night thrashing of Sacred Heart. He's also minus-2, but remember he's also one of the youngest players in his conference.

The Wisconsin Badgers (and captain John Ramage) were off this weekend.

The Michigan State Spartans beat Niagara on Friday 3-2 and tied them 3-3 on Saturday in non-conference play (they won the shootout, but it won't be reflected in their record). Matt Deblouw scored his first college goal in Saturday's game. Through four games Deblouw has two points and is minus-3, but he's also second on his team in shots on goal.

Nick Larson and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish split a pair of games with Minnesota-Duluth, losing 3-1 on Thursday and winning 4-1 on Friday. Larson had an assist in Friday's game. He's one of three seniors on the Fighting Irish, who boast 11 NHL draftees (including Blue Jackets pick T.J. Tynan).

EUROPE

HIFK Helsinki's Markus Granlund has eight points in 14 games. He's also plus-4. Joni Ortio has started all but one game for HIFK, posting a 6-6-3 record with a 2.31 goals against average and a godly .919 save percentage. If he had more goal support, his record wouldn't be so lousy.

I don't count Roman Cervenka, Karri Ramo or Mikael Backlund as “prospects,” but they're all apparently doing quite well with their various European hockey clubs. Backlund in particular has three goals and seven points in four games with Vasteras so far.

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Now in his fourth season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers and the Wrestling Observer.
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#1 T&A4Flames
October 22 2012, 10:40AM
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Is Nick Larson a prospect of ours? Hockeys Future has him listed as a 7th round pick of the Wash. Caps. in 2007. Did we sign him as a FA or something?

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#2 Derzie
October 22 2012, 10:45AM
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Thanks for these updates. Really positive news all around.

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#4 Steve
October 22 2012, 11:15AM
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I think the prospect crop is looking very good. May be time to trade a goalie or some forwards for some 22-26 year old defencemen though. Ramage isn't looking like a likely NHLer, Lamb's not getting any time in Abby. At least 3 years before any of the current crop sees the big time (maybe 2 for Wotherspoon).

Ortio is putting up some awesome numbers, and it looks like Granlund is playing pretty well too. From his ice time, looks like he's playing second line minutes, generating lots of shots and on the positive side in plus/minus for a pretty average team. 3 point game on Saturday maybe a bit of a breakout.

Listened to Heat game on the radio on Friday and watched it on Saturday. Baertschi was good for most of Saturday, awesome at times and it sounded like Friday he was making the Wolves NHL dmen look pretty silly. Hard not to get really excited about this guy. Hope we can get a few Heat games at the 'Dome, I bet they'd sell out.

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#5 T&A4Flames
October 22 2012, 11:18AM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

The Flames drafted Nick Larson in the 2008 Entry Draft.

Yea, I see that on the Fighting Irish website. Weird. It looks like the player listed on Hockeysfuture.com could be the same player but there are subtle differences. whatever.

Anyway, I caught the Heat game on the weekend and there are certainly the positives with Baertschi, Brodie, Horak as well as Bouma. However, watching that game just strengthened my thinking that our D prospect pool is SOOOOOO pooooooor. Where was Lamb? Nobody aside from Brodie stood out. Breen had a fight but he got beat BADLY a couple of times. At least it looks like we have a few possibilities in junior. The 2012 draft could end up being the draft that resurected our D prospect pool with Sieloff, Culkin & Kulak. I'm also looking forward to, hopefully, seeing Wotherspoon in the 'A' next season.

I love that pic of Gaudreau, kid has passion!

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#6 Kent Wilson
October 22 2012, 11:29AM
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It's funny that the Flames depth at d has gone from a strength a few years ago to a weakness now. Brodie, Pelech, Aulie, Erixon, Negrin...

Culkin, Seiloff and Kulak have had some good early returns, but they are still many years away at best, assuming any of them turn out to be NHLers.

The Flames "roster hole" of capable NHLers in their prime extends from the front to the back of the line-up.

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#7 ChinookArch
October 22 2012, 12:08PM
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Please tell me these updates will continue, when or if the NHL season begins.

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#9 Kent Wilson
October 22 2012, 12:41PM
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@ChinookArch

Of course. The Flames will soon be entering a "the kids are suddenly very important" phase I think.

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#10 Baalzamon
October 22 2012, 12:53PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Is Nick Larson a prospect of ours? Hockeys Future has him listed as a 7th round pick of the Wash. Caps. in 2007. Did we sign him as a FA or something?

there are 2 Nick Larsons. 8 seconds of sleuthing turned up this:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=18600

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=14399

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#11 FireOnIce
October 22 2012, 12:56PM
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"Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit had a win and a shootout loss this week, allowing six goals against over the two starts. So far he has a 5-1-1-2 record, a 2.92 goals against average and a .890 save percentage this season."

That's a winning record but... Brossoit sounds awful. 2.92 GAA and .890SV%. Those are like, Marty Turco or Bulin Wall numbers! 6 goals in 2 games?

And Backlund has 7 points in 4 games against a bunch of people his age or younger. Woopdeefreakin'doo.

Thanks for the prospect updates, nice to see some of them aren't total slags. Living in Denver during the lockout SUCKS. It's a pain in the ass to drive 45 minutes to see a college game at 11pm in the middle of the week when you have school and work to deal with as well.

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#12 FireOnIce
October 22 2012, 12:58PM
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Also, didja hear about this Justin Schultz fella they recently signed up in Shelbyville? Something like 2 SHG, an A on the GWG, 6 shots, and +5 in his first AHL game. Leads AHL defenceman in scoring and 6 points in 4 games.

Sounds a bit like Baertschi, except this dude plays defense. Holy crap on a stick I hate hockey.

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#13 Kent Wilson
October 22 2012, 01:03PM
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@FireOnIce

And Backlund has 7 points in 4 games against a bunch of people his age or younger. Woopdeefreakin'doo.

The Allsvenskan is a full-on pro league - in fact, a relegation league below the SEL. Meaning, the ages range from the rare teenager, all the way up to the 30's.

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#14 Kent Wilson
October 22 2012, 01:04PM
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@FireOnIce

He's just killing it apparently. Jonathan Willis watched some games with him and said he was the best player on the ice.

Sucks the Oilers landed him.

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#15 SmellOfVictory
October 22 2012, 01:27PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

He's just killing it apparently. Jonathan Willis watched some games with him and said he was the best player on the ice.

Sucks the Oilers landed him.

Don't worry, the Flames signed Wideman instead!

*crickets*

@FireOnIce: Allsvenskan is a decent pro league; not SEL level, but by all reports it's a better league than the AHL, for example.

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#16 RexLibris
October 22 2012, 05:11PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

He's just killing it apparently. Jonathan Willis watched some games with him and said he was the best player on the ice.

Sucks the Oilers landed him.

= )

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#17 weevil17
October 22 2012, 05:36PM
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i really like watching Sven play. he has really good hands and a great shot. A good future for the flames!

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#18 Baalzamon
October 22 2012, 06:26PM
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RexLibris wrote:

= )

weird that Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins have done practically nothing whatsoever in the AHL though, eh? I fully expected Oklahoma to destroy all comers for the whole time they were there.

instead, the two of them combined have 1 point less than Roman Horak.

I'm sure they're not playing badly (their shots on goal suggest they're playing well enough) but the two of them combining for 3 points is downright embarrassing.

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#19 Kent Wilson
October 22 2012, 06:54PM
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@Baalzamon

Attack of the small sample size.

I have no doubt pucks will start going for them relatively soon.

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#20 Jai Kiran
October 22 2012, 10:45PM
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Thanks again for this update.

Go Horak Go.

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#21 RexLibris
October 23 2012, 08:03AM
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@Baalzamon

As Kent said, small sample sizes. They were also kept out for the entire AHL preseason so getting one's game up to speed can take time.

Personally, I also believe that the AHL is a very good, although very different league. A player can have outstanding results there that never translate to the NHL (Alexander Giroux, for example).

Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins have more or less shown an aptitude for the NHL game, the AHL will allow them to keep playing and to experiment with difference situations - penalty-kill and so on.

I'm excited, but cautious about Schultz's success thus far. I wish I could watch the games because the things that I would look for to determine what I ought to expect in the NHL don't show up on the scoresheet.

Marincin and Martindale have had a good start to their season as well.

Things are looking good in Abbotsford. The question now is how much carries over to the Flames if/when the season begins?

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#22 Baalzamon
October 23 2012, 11:29PM
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@RexLibris

I think Marincin's start can be entirely attributed to playing on a pair with Schultz. of course, I've been biased against Marincin since the first second I saw him play.

it's about time something went Martindale's way, even if it is just the first handful of AHL games of the season.

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