Flames Prospects in Junior, College and Europe

Kent Wilson
September 20 2012 11:35AM

 

 

Ryan covered all the angles when it comes to the Abbotsford Heat recently. Of course, the Flames have other prospects scattered throughout the junior and college ranks here in North America, as well as couple plying their trade versus men in pro leagues across the pond.

For those wondering who they are, where they are and how to look up their stats...this post is for you.

Canadian Hockey League

The CHL season starts right away and will feature a number of Calgary kids, particularly in (of course) the Western Hockey League.

WHL -

Coda Gordon, LW - Swfit Current Broncos

A 6'01 winger who scored 30 goals for Swift Current last year. Selected in the 6th round in 2012 by Calgary. Isn't the best skater or passer, but has sniper elements to his game.

Tyler Wotherspoon, D - Portland Winterhawks

Sven Baertschi's teammate was selected the same year as Sven by Calgary (2011) in the second round, but is about 6 months younger so won't be graduating to the pros quite yet. Wotherspoon is a decent stay-at-home defender, but doesn't have any true stand-out qualities aside from perhaps his physicality. Skating is a concern and he doesn't have much offense to speak of.

Brett Kulak, D - Vancouver Giants

"The next TJ Brodie" needs to put some meat on his 6'01" frame. Played a steady, understated game for the Giants last year, but is poised to become a top pairing defender for the club this year. Is thought to have more offensive upside than his 24-points season suggests. Selected by the Flames in the 4th round in 2012.

Laurent Brossoit, G - Edmonton Oil Kings

Calgary's 6th rounder from 2011 jumped into the spotlight last year by becoming the starting goatender for the WHL champs. He appeared in 61 regular season games, winning 42 of them and posting a .914 SV% which was 5th best amongst goalies who played 40+ games. He upped the ante in the playoffs where his .933 was the best save rate by miles and a big reason why the Oil Kings took the west.

OHL -

Patrick Sieloff, D - Windsor Spitfires

When Calgary traded down to pick Mark Jankowski in the first round this past June, they used the second round pick they garnered on Michigan born Pat Sieloff. The hard-hitting defender decided to leave the US development system/college ranks behind and join the Ontario Hockey leagues Windsor Spitfires this year, where he figures to be a big part of their defense.

Sieloff isn't all that big at just 6' and 197 pounds, but loves to take the body and find any opponent with his head down in open ice.

QMJHL -

Ryan Culkin, D - Quebec Ramparts

The QMJHL link incorrectly lists Culkin as a center, but make no mistake the former 5th round pick in 2012 plays defense. Like Kulak, Culkin isn't very big, but can skate and has a good all around game. More is expected from his this year in terms of offensive production as well.

College

For the first time recent memory, the Flames have a lot of youngsters plying their trade in fancy schools south of the border. College kids tend to take a bit longer to develop (since they often stay in school for the full 4 years), but also tend to see some higher quality opposition since colleges teams feature with older guys (relative to junior).

John Gaudreau, LW/RW - Boston College

The fastest riser on the Flames prospect rankings last year, former 2011 4th rounder Johhny Gaudreau will look to build on his point-per-game freshman season with the BC Eagles. Fast, agile, creative and with a laser accurate shot, Gaudreau was one of the best skaters at the Flames recent development camp despite being grossly undersized. If he can take a step forward this season and gain some size/weight, he'll solidify himself as the Flames organization's biggest sleeper prospect.

Bil Arnold, C - Boston College

A third round pick in 2011, Arnold is in many ways the exact opposite of his teammate Gaudreau - a solidly built centerman whose game is much more meat and potatoes. Arnold contributes at both ends of the ice and is considered highly defensively adept already, so projects more as a third line, checking type pivot in the majors.

Mark Jankowski, C - Providence College Friars

The Flames contentious first rounder from June is skipping the USHL intermediate step altogether and heading straight to college. It's completely unknown how the 18-year old (birthday was last week) will fare as a freshmen since it can be tough for rookies to garner a lot of ice time in their first year, especially young guys like Janko. He has the offensive tools to be dangerous, but it remains to be scene how he handles the tougher, faster game in Providence.

John Ramage, D - Univesity of Wisconsin Badgers

A 4th round pick back in 2010, Ramage is known for his no-nonsense game and leadership. He doesn't bring any offense to speak of and isn't very big (6', 195 pounds) so it may be a tough go for him in the pro ranks. There was some talk about Ramage trying to make the Heat this winter, but he ultimately decided to return to school, which is probably the right move.

Jon Gillies, G - Providence College Friars

A towering 6'5" goalie out of the Indiana Ice of the USHL, Gillies was picked in the third round by the Flames this past summer. He'll be joining Mark Jankowski in Providence this year. He had a good season as the Ice's starter previously, but has a long ahead of him before he becomes a prospect of note for Calgary.

Matthew DeBlouw, C - Michigan State Spartans

Another product of the USHL, DeBlouw is a faster center known more for defense than offense. The Flames picked him in the 7th round in 2012, so he's a longshot prospect.

Europe

Games in Europe have already begun, including pre-season tournaments. As usual, the Flames don't have a lot of hopefuls overseas.

Markus Granlund, C - HIFK Helsinki

A slick, creative center with some physicality concerns, Granlund was a second round pick of the Flames in 2011 and was one of the highest scoring teens in the Finnish Elite League last season. The kid's big test will come this season now that his older brother (and one of the best prospects in the game), Mikael, will ply his trade on this side of the pond. If Markus can take a step forward without Mikael on the club, he could solidfy his standing as one of the Flames top prospects.

Joni Ortio, G - HIFK Helsinki

The 2009 6th round pick has bounced around various leagues the last few years, appearing in both pro and minor capacities in Finland before getting a cup of coffee with the Abbotsford Heat last year (where he struggled). He's on loan to HIFK this year where he figures to be the starter.

Other

Karri Ramo is the #1 goalie for Omsk Avangard in the KHL this season, although he's not really a "prospect" per se. I also excluded 2008 pick Nick Larson from the list because, frankly, he's not an asset of note at this point.

For more background on Flames prospects and how they stack up across the league, check out Corey Pronman's list of the NHL's top-100*.

*Hint - three Calgary kids made it.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 RexLibris
September 20 2012, 11:44AM
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I had a look at Pronman's list last night.

The Flames came in at 20, 46 and 94, if I recall correctly.

There are enough prospects this time around, and the media interaction is substantial enough, that it seems there will be NHL-esque diversions for Flames fans in the meantime.

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#2 McRib
September 20 2012, 01:13PM
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Agree with everything except the comment on Tyler Wotherspoon as follows: "doesn't have much offense to speak of".

Last season he increased his offensive point total by 57% and this preseason had more than a point a game. Think he will easily hit 35-40 points this season.

Honestly Portland has been loaded with offensive defenseman the past two seasons, so Wotherspoon got pushed into the role of "shutdown defender". He will never be a PP Quarterback but I think his offensive numbers will increase again this season. To the point where he can compliment an offensive guy and become more of a two-way defender.

Joseph Morrow looks like he is on his way out which will give Wotherspoon much more time on special teams to prove himself. He looked great in pre-season playing with Seth Jones, think Portland sticks with that top unit to start the season and leaves Derrick Pouliot/Troy Rutkowski together.

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#4 Ryan Pike
September 20 2012, 02:17PM
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Nick Larson is the new C.J. Severyn, in terms of being a depth forward drafted from a mid-American school that failed to really materialize.

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#5 RexLibris
September 20 2012, 04:23PM
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@Kent Wilson

So are you suggesting that Wotherspoon is the new Regehr?

Point of order: Kent's use of the term quantum leap is fairly appropriate here. It has always been a pet peeve of mine when misused. The strict definition of the term is "an abrupt change or step, especially in method, information or knowledge".

So based on that definition and Kent's description of Wotherspoon's talents, a quantum leap would be to see him suddenly begin to play like Cam Fowler.

As for the powerplay time, if he is paired with Seth Jones then his numbers might be best revisited to see if his performance is at all inflated from the matchup.

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#6 Primo
September 21 2012, 08:48AM
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WOW! Tim Erixon is at the top of the list as far as current or former Flames prospects are concerned. If we can ever see beyond the hate for him we will unfortunately see how good of a prospect we did indeed lose. Big loss for a franchise that cannot afford to lose top talent.

Interesting to see young prospects like Cody Ceci so high on the list. These are prospects that Flames could have drafted but opted for Jankowski. For Feasters sake that decision better work out for the best!

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#8 Stockley
September 22 2012, 08:50AM
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@Kent Wilson

I still remember watching the draft where Erixon was selected. I remember the dejected look on his face as he went through the motions of pretending he was excited. He had no intentions of playing for Calgary from the get-go. He might not have pulled a Lindros and refused the jersey but his reaction spoke for itself. I guess as a result I never got too excited about his progress as a prospect and I wasn't surprised when the little jerk pulled his power play and got the trade he wanted. Why Feaster and company didn't pursue a tampering charge against the Rangers is a mystery. Maybe they couldn't find any evidence?

Like most others on these boards; I'm ecstatic to see Timmy banished to hockey purgatory. Looks good on him to be stuck in Ohio. The only thing that could be sweeter is if he fails to make the Jackets top 6 (which oddly enough isn't a lock for him) and winds up playing the full season in Springfield.

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