Flames October Prospect NHLE 2013-14

Justin Azevedo
November 04 2013 08:37AM

 

Via The NHL

 Via the NHL

Another year, another year of monthly NHLE updates.

Go here for a primer on NHLE if you need it, otherwise, hit the jump and we'll get started.

Forwards

Forwards GP Points Translation NHLE
Sean Monahan 12 10 1.00 68.3
John Gaudreau 5 8 0.41 53.8
Émile Poirier 16 26 0.30 40.0
Sven Baertschi 11 5 1.00 37.3
Bill Arnold 5 5 0.41 33.6
Mark Jankowski 5 5 0.41 33.6
Corban Knight 10 9 0.44 32.5
Morgan Klimchuk 16 20 0.30 30.8
Ben Hanowski 10 8 0.44 28.9
Coda Gordon 17 18 0.30 26.0
Roman Horak 9 6 0.44 24.1
Max Reinhart 10 6 0.44 21.7
Josh Jooris 9 5 0.44 20.0
Markus Granlund 6 3 0.44 18.0
Matt DeBlouw 4 1 0.41 8.4
Turner Elson 7 1 0.44 5.2
Kenny Agostino 2 0 0.41 0.0
Tim Harrison 6 0 0.41 0.0
Mike Ferland 8 0 0.44 0.0

Monahan's scoring pace is unsustainable, full stop. The team is scoring goals at a rate they haven't in like three seasons (3 GPG) and will likely regress to anywhere between 2.5 and 2.75 by the end of the season. That means his assist production will likely go down, and his shooting percentage is likely to decrease from where it was at the time of writing (~19.4%) to about 12% or 13%. However, that's not going to make him unique on the team, pretty much everyone on the NHL roster right now (with the exceptions of Baertschi, Galliardi and Backlund) will likely see a little drop in production overall. As long as he keeps his shot stats up, I'll be happy with even as little as 35 points (depending on PP time).

Gaudreau's scoring pace, however, is totally sustainable. He's the best player in the NCAA and he plays on a powerhouse team. In fact, I'd actually put money on him increasing his NHLE by the end of the year. I watched the Minnesota - BC game last week and there wasn't a time that Gaudreau was on the ice that I didn't notice him immediately. His size provides zero impediment to his game right now.

Poirier's scoring pace isn't totally surprising, given his point splits from last year. I think he drops back a little but he's tracking like a first line winger would right now. I believe that he and Klimchuk will be within about 3 points of each other at the end of the year.

Sven's right around where I thought he'd be. Expect his scoring pace to stay consistent: even though team scoring might decrease, he's only shooting about 8% right now and I expect he'll start to get a little more PP time. To my eye, he is looking excellent in all factes of the game. He is still on track to be a top-6 forward.

Arnold plays with Gaudreau, so add that plus his team plus the fact that he's usually good for around a point per game and I see his scoring staying pretty consistent. He's still tracking to be a bottom-6 centre, but a good one.

Jankowski's numbers look okay right now, but he's only averaging 2.8 SH/G (I'd like at least 3.25). His SH% is also almost 30%, which is huge. Expect a little regression in GPG. He's also been a bit unlucky on the assists part of it, though - only 1 on 24 goals means you can expect a few more apples. I feel as though his scoring pace as a whole will stay around 30 unless he increases his shots a substantial amount. While that's a good jump year-over-year, it's still a little bit behind the pace we'd want to see from a potential top-6 centreman.

Knight and Hanowski are scoring at a pretty good pace, but not one that is top-6 material simply because their shooting percentages are pretty high right now. Abbotsford as a whole struggles to score (22 goals at even strength in 10 games, which is garbage) so don't expect them to decrease a significant in terms of production. As their SH% increases, (hopefully) Abbotsford will start scoring more, which will lead to more assists for them.

Klimchuk's raw totals are a little low, but he's in on 44.3% of team scoring and his goals-per-game are down a little, which is likely a function of luck. The WHL doesn't keep shot data but I can't see any reason why he'd be shooting less this year than last, so that means you should expect a bit of a bump in his goals based on his GPG from last year. He's leading his team in points and only has 2 penalty minutes on the season.

Gordon's scoring at an okay pace, but his skating will likely hold him back from making an impact at the next level.

Granlund, Horak, Reinhart, and Jooris are all falling victim to the low scoring Heat for one reason or another. Granlund, Horak and Reinhart are among the team's shot leaders but they're not getting the bounces (all have SH% under 10%). Expect a little bump from those three down the road. The shot volume they're getting is very impressive. Jooris, on the other hand, only has 10 shots (not good) but is shooting at 10%, so you can still expect a marginal increase down the line.

Agostino hasn't played enough games yet (only 2). Ferland, Harrison, Elson and DeBlouw are all performing about as good as a replacement level AHLer would.

Defense

Defensemen GP Points Translation NHLE
John Gilmour 5 5 0.41 33.6
Brett Kulak 17 16 0.30 23.2
Ryan Culkin 15 13 0.30 21.3
Eric Roy 15 11 0.30 18.0
Tyler Wotherspoon 9 2 0.44 8.0
Rushan Rafikov 21 9 0.19 6.7
Mark Cundari 6 1 0.44 6.0
Keegan Kanzig 13 1 0.30 1.9
Patrick Sieloff 2 0 0.44 0.0
John Ramage 9 0 0.44 0.0

Gilmour's totals are a little inflated becuase he's got a couple points on the PP and Providence has scored 24 goals in just 5 games. If the team keeps up that scoring pace, Gilmour might be able to keep his pace up. However, I don't think that's super likely as his SH% should come down a tiny bit more and Providence probably won't continue to score 5 goals per game the rest of the season. Still, a positive result for the Soph.

Kulak and Culkin are both in their 20 year old seasons in the CHL, so while this level of production is nice early on, take it with a little grain of salt. We'll re-evaluate in November.

Roy has had a fantastic start to the year on a brutal Wheat Kings team. He's in on about 22% of the team's scoring (very healthy for a 5th round defenseman) and to my eye he's playing in all situations. Something like this current pace being kept up is very likely.

Wotherspoon and Cundari have reportedly been fine on the farm but like the forwards they've suffered with the team's lack of scoring. Both should increase their totals soon.

Rafikov doesn't have overwhelming totals but the MHL is a garbage league and he's the team leader in points by a defenseman. Hopefully he can move up to the KHL at some point this season.

Kanzig's not looking too good at this point of the season. He's actually behind the miniscule scoring pace he had last year. Defensemen who don't score at least .2 PPG in the CHL don't have much of a hope of making it to the NHL. I understand that "he wasn't drafted for his point totals" but it stands to reason that a guy with enough hockey talent to be drafted in the 3rd round would be able to at least get to .2 PPG in a league where right now he's ostensibly better than at least 50% of the players around him. He is not tracking well, and it's not his team's fault, either: he's been in on 1.6% of the team's goals.

Sieloff hasn't played enough games yet as he's fighting an infection in his cheekbone after minor surgery. Go fighting! Ramage is not performing well at all by this measure and I can't find any positives right now.

Fearless Prediction

We will see a significant jump from the line of Horak - Granlund - Reinhart: at least 10 points between the three of them.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

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Justin is a 23-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#51 Kent Wilson
November 04 2013, 01:59PM
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@TRAV

We linked a study here previously when Kanzig was drafted and basically if you can't score at a basic level in juniors as a defender, your chances of making it in the show weren't 0, but they were rapidly approaching zero. It was based on previous drafts, each players PPG pace in junior and how much they played in the NHL afterward (if at all).

Kanzig might be an exception to the rule. every so often, someone like Hal Gill makes the show. I guess we'll see.

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#53 the-wolf
November 04 2013, 02:19PM
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Kevin R wrote:

I think we need to be very aware with what is happening up North. I laugh because we are so critical on some of our drafting & in particular Janko. Geez, this kid was drafted twenty something not top 8. I never expected the pedigree of a Monahan or Sven. In fact you can see the difference in pedigree between our 13th Sven & 6th Mons. We need to relax on this debate & give Janko some time, especially now that we have a lot of other prospects trending so well.

But look at the Oil, 3 1st overalls in a row, not to mention their 2nd rounders could also be construed as late 1st rounders & their rebuild looks like it just started because they had fire sold off everything veteran & didn't replace the higher end vets. That & giving their young guns too much money too soon anticipating they are going to be superstars. Had they bridged Hall & Eberles contracts, they could have afforded to sign or trade for established top 6 players to transition their young stars. I think Buffalo is about to make the same mistake, they sound like they are jettisoning every vet.

So who to keep should be a discussion on itself & possibly what players should we target for the mega cap space we have while transitioning our future young stars. I haven't been so excited about Flames hockey for quite some time, we finally have some talent & we have the tools & the ability to put this puzzle together.

Yeah, I boldly predicted several times that the Oilers would be shooting past the Flames by now. It's actualyl quite remarkable just how bad they are, it's hard to wrap one's head around.

I still think they have nucleus there and could significantly alter that team with some "bold" moves, but apparently, that was all cheap talk.

I honestly think that the org is paralyzed with fear. They're scared to death to move out one of those 1st overalls because it may come back to bite them. OK, understandable, but why aren't they moving out some of their top prospects for some veteran help? Why aren't they going after the Berras and Ramos of the world? It's like, if they don't draft it, theywon't play it. I'm 100% for building through the draft, but it's not the sole solution either.

They should hire Feaster, he's perfect at adding 3rd and 4th liners, support guys, etc.

Speaking of which, where's Rex at these days?

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#54 mattyc
November 04 2013, 02:35PM
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@Justin Azevedo

Why do you think Colborne should be on the wing (as opposed to Backlund)?

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#55 vowswithin
November 04 2013, 02:48PM
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@the-wolf

I would imagine he is soul searching.

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#57 coachedpotatoe
November 04 2013, 04:40PM
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This is an interesting article, what it gives is us fans some hope into the future and a glimpse into the future of the Flames. What many of us would like to see is the AHL guys get a real look at the NHL level and the we will have a clearer picture. Right now we have a pretty good idea what we have with Monahan, Sven and Bouma but would like to see what Knight and others cn bring to the table.

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#58 everton fc
November 04 2013, 05:02PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

generally, players who turn out to be elite are pretty adept at scoring at a good pace in junior, regardless of position.

in the chl, the threshold tends to be about .2ppg for defensemen.

just an fyi - this only includes scoring from october as I wrote it on friday night.

I didn't like the poirier pick immediately but after taking a quick glance at his splits I was okay with it. I totally believe montreal was after him now.

@everton fc: i said i expected him to keep it up :)

as for the colborne thing, I think it's he who should be moved to wing, not backlund. however as that likely won't happen i'm more okay with backlund playing wing in the top-9 than i am c on the 4th.

glad everyone liked it

Saw that after I posted, Justin. But had to bail, as other things came up.

I've been high on Roy for a while. Glad he's getting the kudos he deserves. He's a good kid. Good work ethic.

And I agree on the Colborne on the wing suggestion.

Someone mentioned Ferland being a disappointment; Ward hasn't said anything negative about him yet. Lots of young guys down there. Lots of rotation. He'll be fine, me thinks. Remember, he didn't start playing the game until he was much older than the average kid.

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#59 Brent G.
November 04 2013, 05:09PM
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I absolutely do not agree with how they are treating Backlund and hope this doesn't lead to him giving up on the organization by asking for a trade. This log jam is somewhat short sighted as well. It's safe to say Stajan will either be traded or not resigned and leave at the end of the year. This should give him more time when something happens but hopefully it's not too late.

Just for curiosity what is the ceiling everyone pictures backlund achieving? Ideally I could see a 3rd line hard minutes centre. Ideally it would be great to see Monahan in a 2nd line role long term and a first line star of Mcdavid. I can only dream of something like that happening though...

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#60 Johnny Be Gaudreau
November 04 2013, 07:20PM
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Dave wrote:

My opinion on Jankowski is that even if he doesn't pan out as an every day NHLer I'm OK with the draft pick. When you're picking high risk high reward players sometimes they don't pan out. I liked the attitude of swinging for a homerun. If they strikeout then at least they went for it. That's fine by me.

Beats going for the safe pick *cough*NEMIZ*cough* and striking out anyhow. I like the outside of the box thinking. Gaudreau, Jankowski, Poirier. These were all out of the box picks.

I think the great thing with Jankowski is he has a good 3 years of improvement in him. I hope that he progresses. Maybe he won't in reality. But so far he has shown progress from last year if this continues this season there's definite hope.

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#61 Parallex
November 04 2013, 08:10PM
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@Brent G.

His high ceiling is probably a Kesler type Hard Minute Center... but he'd need a talent cast of characters around him to make those point totals. More achievable ceiling... Bolland? He's a quality player even on a quality team in either event.

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#62 Kevin R
November 04 2013, 08:10PM
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Brent G. wrote:

I absolutely do not agree with how they are treating Backlund and hope this doesn't lead to him giving up on the organization by asking for a trade. This log jam is somewhat short sighted as well. It's safe to say Stajan will either be traded or not resigned and leave at the end of the year. This should give him more time when something happens but hopefully it's not too late.

Just for curiosity what is the ceiling everyone pictures backlund achieving? Ideally I could see a 3rd line hard minutes centre. Ideally it would be great to see Monahan in a 2nd line role long term and a first line star of Mcdavid. I can only dream of something like that happening though...

Hate to crash your dreams Brent but I would put money that Buffalo are out of the gate & leading in the McDavid sweepstakes. I suggest we try to catch some of the wreckage as they self destruct. Tyler Myers would be a nice piece to catch.

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#63 Kevin R
November 04 2013, 08:15PM
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Parallex wrote:

His high ceiling is probably a Kesler type Hard Minute Center... but he'd need a talent cast of characters around him to make those point totals. More achievable ceiling... Bolland? He's a quality player even on a quality team in either event.

Someone mentioned shifting Backs to wing where he posted great numbers riding shotgun with Berglund during the strike. I love that idea. In fact the suggestion of Backlund, Sven & Monahan line sounded like a great idea. Possibly a line of the future. Hudler has been great but put him with Cobourne & Cammi. See what happens.

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#64 Bean-counting cowboy
November 04 2013, 08:15PM
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@the-wolf

"Speaking of which, where's Rex." I was thinking that myself lately.

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#65 Baalzamon
November 04 2013, 09:37PM
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@Kevin R

"Someone mentioned shifting Backs to wing where he posted great numbers riding shotgun with Berglund during the strike. I love that idea."

I'm probably in the minority here, but I absolutely hate this idea. Backlund is a center. His value is derived from his two-way game. There is more value to a two-way center than a two-way winger. Moreover, I've never liked his game on the wing. It's hard to say exactly why, but he seems to lose an entire dimension. Finally, the Flames are ridiculously stacked on the wing. If Mickis moves over, we'll be complaining about Baertschi playing on the 4th. It is NOT a solution. It merely causes a new problem.

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#66 the-wolf
November 05 2013, 07:17AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

"Someone mentioned shifting Backs to wing where he posted great numbers riding shotgun with Berglund during the strike. I love that idea."

I'm probably in the minority here, but I absolutely hate this idea. Backlund is a center. His value is derived from his two-way game. There is more value to a two-way center than a two-way winger. Moreover, I've never liked his game on the wing. It's hard to say exactly why, but he seems to lose an entire dimension. Finally, the Flames are ridiculously stacked on the wing. If Mickis moves over, we'll be complaining about Baertschi playing on the 4th. It is NOT a solution. It merely causes a new problem.

I tend to agree. The solution is to either dop Stajan down the depth chart or move him altogether.

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#67 piscera.infada
November 05 2013, 08:39AM
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the-wolf wrote:

I tend to agree. The solution is to either dop Stajan down the depth chart or move him altogether.

Moving him out is clearly what's happening here, but management has to be patient in that regard. You might be able to pull a reasonable coup under the right circumstances - but you obviously need those circumstances to develop, you can't just force your hand by saying "he's gone". Moreover, the last thing you would want if your Feaster is to be trading a "fourth line centre" instead of a "second line centre".

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#68 the-wolf
November 05 2013, 08:59AM
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piscera.infada wrote:

Moving him out is clearly what's happening here, but management has to be patient in that regard. You might be able to pull a reasonable coup under the right circumstances - but you obviously need those circumstances to develop, you can't just force your hand by saying "he's gone". Moreover, the last thing you would want if your Feaster is to be trading a "fourth line centre" instead of a "second line centre".

I hear you, but I'm not so sure that the return for Stajan even as a "2nd line centre" is going to be all that fabulous vs just getting rid of the player, though I may well be wrong.

However, to get some sort of decent value for him probably means waiting until the trade deadline, at which point one has to ask, is it worth it vs the loss of development for Backlund?

Maybe it won't affect Backlund at all, but again, I don't see getting anything so substantial in return for Stajan that I wouldn't just ship him out to the first taker.

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#69 backburner
November 05 2013, 09:22AM
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I couldn't believe it when Flames took Poirier over Hunter Shinkurak.. Now it seems like he should have been picked in the top 10!

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#70 Baalzamon
November 05 2013, 09:24AM
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@piscera.infada

The "right circumstances" is a team missing two of its top three centers. Ie: Toronto.

Any trade with the Leafs would likely require taking salary (read: Liles) back. But that only pushes the return higher.

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#71 piscera.infada
November 05 2013, 09:25AM
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the-wolf wrote:

I hear you, but I'm not so sure that the return for Stajan even as a "2nd line centre" is going to be all that fabulous vs just getting rid of the player, though I may well be wrong.

However, to get some sort of decent value for him probably means waiting until the trade deadline, at which point one has to ask, is it worth it vs the loss of development for Backlund?

Maybe it won't affect Backlund at all, but again, I don't see getting anything so substantial in return for Stajan that I wouldn't just ship him out to the first taker.

I agree, I don't think you get "second line centre" return for him, but by "the right circumstances" I mean that you wait for a team with an injury to their first or second line centre. That way, Stajan has great value as a third line centre (with relative upside) who could fill in for a month or two as a second line centre. I see that as maximizing his value, as I don't think he's really a "playoff rental" type player, nor is he a guy an organization takes a flier on in a trade to resign at the end of the season.

Thus, dealing him is a delicate situation. As you pointed out, he really has little value unless a team needs him, as opposed to wanting him. As such, if your plan as an organization is to trade him at the trade deadline as a diminished-return-rental, then you might as well play him on the fourth line. Likewise, if you're just going to let his contract run out, then the pragmatic choice is again fourth line duty. We'll just have to wait and see.

I also don't know what his NTC includes, is it limited or modified? Or, is it a full no-trade? That could make this all moot.

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#72 piscera.infada
November 05 2013, 09:28AM
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@Baalzamon

I agree, Toronto seems reasonable (see above - I didn't see your response until after I wrote that), and I agree that taking back salary pushes the return higher.

As I said though, I'm not sure what his NTC includes. Would he even be willing to go back to Toronto? I would assume not likely, as the gave up on him for all intents and purposes.

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#73 Parallex
November 05 2013, 11:15AM
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@piscera.infada

"I also don't know what his NTC includes, is it limited or modified? Or, is it a full no-trade?"

Capgeek says modified.

I'm not so sure about him not being willing to go back to TO. I mean he was traded for the guy they pretty much immediately made captain (so they didn't trade him for a bag of pucks), the management that "gave up on him" (AKA Burke) is here not there, and they're (at least by W/L record) a playoff contender, and he'd be stepping into a situation where he'll get minutes (maybe even PP time).

From TO's perspective now would be the ideal time to pick him up because with two guys out if one or both return by the trade deadline they can trade him and recoup some of the cost of getting him in the first place. If they can offload Liles contract at the same time that's a really good deal for them (and the cap space that Liles eats up meaningless to us).

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#74 canadian1967
November 06 2013, 08:21PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

i believe that c is the position that has the most impact on the game. backlund is a better player than colborne, so he should be playing the more impactful position.

backlund's also just as good, if not better, at faceoffs.

Pretty sure that centremen nowadays should be larger than Backlund, who is a "small" 6 footer.

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