Random Thoughts - Flames 2013 Draft

Kent Wilson
July 01 2013 10:50AM

 

 

Now that "the most important draft in organizational history" is over it's time to pick through the wreckage a bit...

- Although I half expected the Flames to deal at least one of their first rounders for some sort of return (or at least waste one on something stupid like a goalie), the team did good work in getting three 70+ point forwards. Sean Monahan was the natural choice at six, even though there are questions about his true offensive upside in the show. As we mentioned in his draft profile, Monahan was the 67's offense this year, but he was also very dependent on the PP to get his points, which is a pair of mixed signals. 

There's no question Monahan is NHL-sized already and has played in the toughest circumstances as a pivot in junior. He should more or less leap fully formed into the NHL down the road.

- On that note, I'm almost certain that the Flames are going want to sell hope this upcoming season, meaning they are going to push Monahan onto the parent roster to start the year. As relatively complete as the kid's game is already, that probably doesn't make sense from a hockey perspective - Monahan has yet to truly dominate junior in the Taylor Hall/Steven Stamkos sense, so there's no reason to assume he'd be able to make the jump and be an impact player right away. In addition, the Flames aren't going to win anything next year anyways, so burning a year of Monhahan's entry-level contract so he can play 3rd/4th line minutes while the team struggles is a waste.

Like many tweener kids, Monhahan would likely be best served as a 19-year finding his legs in the AHL to bridge the gap. Unfortunately, thanks to the arrangement between junior and pro hockey, he is ineligible to play in Abbotsford, so it's either Calgary or Ottawa for Sean next year. And unless he's, say, Gabriel Landeskog, Monahan should definitely go back to Ottawa.

- The 22nd pick, of course, is much more contentious. Emile Poirier was well down the list of most consensus scouting firms. Which isn't to say that other NHL teams didn't covet him, although it certainly suggests he could have been had later. Of course, the real issue (like the Jankowski move down the year prior when Teuvo Teravainen was still available) was the presence of a much higher ranked talent in Hunter Shinkaruk.

The Calgary kid and Medicine Hat Tiger was considered a top-10 talent by many heading into the season. He took a marginal step backwards, though, after scoring a mind-boggling 49 goals and 91 points in his draft-1 season. This past year, he "only" managed 37 goals and 86 points (and a much worse -13 rating), which, when combined with his less than ideal size (5'10, 180) seemed to scare a lot of teams off, including the Flames.

Still, Hunter's 177 points in his past 130 games was easily one of the best two season totals of any draft eligible junior player in 2013. Although it's somewhat worrisome to see a kid run in place, it's also indicative that he put together back-to-back 85+ point seasons.

Poirier, on the other hand, is much more flash-in-the-pan relative to Shinkaruk. The December, 1994 birthday winger has only played two seasons in the QMJHL so far (one fewer than you would expect of a soon-to-be 19 year old) and was only a 15-goal, 40-point player as a rookie in 2011-12.

His ascension up the depth chart on a bad Gatineau team was capped off by a playoffs that saw him score 10 points in 10 games. The steep slope of his improvement may be what convinced the Flames to go "off-board" at 22 to pick him. On top of having good size, good speed and high-end passing ability, Poirier also led his club in scoring by 16 points over second place Tomas Hyka (although Kyka only played 49 games).

So there's some things to like about the kid. I will go through his numbers in more detail this week to determine his team% and ES/PP splits.

The red flag here is how small of a sample we're talking about. Poirier came out of nowhere after being a just okay 40-point QMJHL rookie in his 17-18 year old season and the basis of his rise seems to be a very strong second half of a year and a 10-game playoff run. Relative to Shinkaruk, Poirier's body of work is much smaller and therefore much less proven. For example, Hunter scored 16 goals and 42 points in 2010-11 as a 16-17 year old, a year before Poirier even made major-junior. Keep in mind that the Quebec league tends to be a bit easier to score in as well.

We won't know for years if the Flames made the right choice in this instance. The guy they took had some things to like, but there's certainly some risk involved.

- Morgan Klimchuk was much less of a question mark choice at 28. The only guy to outscore Klimchuk on the Regina Pats was three years his senior. The next guy on the scoring list was a full 30-points back with just 45 points in 46 games. Klimchuk is not very big and most scouting reports say he'll need to up his strength and size to make it past junior, but nabbing a 36-goal, better than PPG guy at the end of the first round is decent work.

- After round 1, there isn't much to talk about. Feaster failed to nab any other early-to-mid picks so it's even more baffling that the organization decided to use their lone choice between 30-100 on man mountain Keegan Kanzig. The 6'7", 240+ pound defender, by all accounts, is a guy who can't really skate, can't handle the puck and has no offense to speak of. He was ranked in the 190's amongst North American skaters by Central Scouting. Corey Pronman didn't rank him in the top-100 either.

The only thing you can really say about Kanzig is he is huge, mean and can drop the gloves with anyone. Which is a description of Derek Boogaard and John Scott, but not of anyone who is actually useful at the NHL level. I woudn't even endorse using a 7th round pick on this type of player since they can generally be had via free agency or waivers quite easily, so wasting a top-90 pick on him is flat-out mystifying.

Organizationally, Chris Breen is comparable, except that he is 20-pounds lighter and doesn't tend to rack up the PIM's like Kanzig. Remember, Breen was signed as a free agent out of junior after being undrafted and, at 24 years old, has yet to play a single NHL game.

BTW - Jordan Subban and JC Lipon were both chosen AFTER Kanzig yesterday.

- Eric Roy is probably the only Flames post-first round pick with any hope of doing anything. As mentioned yesterday and in his darkhorse profile, the kid has a lot to learn in the defensive end, which is naturally a major concern for defenseman as they try to transition to the pro game. If someone can reach Roy and teach him how to play in his own end, however, he has the tools to make some noise. 

- Beyond that, the rest of the picks are typical 6th and 7th round long-bombs. We can't say much about them at this point and they probably aren't worth discussing until they have at least a draft+1 season under their belt.

- Overall, Calgary beefed up their collection of offensive prospects via the first round, which is good, but it doesn't look like they got much value beyond that this weekend, aside from maybe the Roy gamble. What's additionally surprising about the Kanzig and Poirier picks is that the team didn't attempt to trade down and beef up their number of selections in return. It's a good bet either guy could have been had a little later on givn their general standing amongst scouts (especially Kanzig), so it's odd the team wasn't able to move down a tad and one or two more 3rd/4th/5th rounders. Oh well.

- I'm also a bit disappointed the Flames weren't in on one of Cal Clutterbuck or Michael Frolik. Clutterbuck was had for Nino Niederreiter, so it's understandable that the Flames couldn't match return, but Frolik (a long time trade target of mine) went to Winnipeg for just a 3rd + 5th round picks. Frolik was had for Kanzig and Roy more or less.

He might never be a 20-goal scorer again, but Frolik is a young, useful bottom-6 possession/PK guy who would be cheap to sign and could firm up a team's forward depth for years to come. He certainly wouldn't be the difference maker for a rebuilding club like the Flames, but his addition would have been a small step in the right direction.

The good news is the Hawks gutted some of their bottom-6 depth (Bolland and Frolik trades) and signed Bickell to a bad deal this weekend, which weakens them and also means the Flames can't go out and sign Bickell to a bad deal themselves. Word is capable middle rotation winger Viktor Stalberg is also on the outs in Chicago and he would make a much more sensible target for the Flames to sign come July 5.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
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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#101 SmellOfVictory
July 01 2013, 10:05PM
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Franko J wrote:

Only time will tell how good of a draft 2013 was for the Flames. While the pick in the third round was a head scratcher and a stretch with drafting Kanzig, I believe the three selections in the first were a priority and the subsequent rounds were left to certain scouts in the organization.

So far under Feaster and company he has slowly increased the stable of prospects in the organization through the draft. Just think in 2011 I knew very little of John Gaudreau and now he is one of our most valuable assets either in trade talks or upcoming prospects.

Now I'm looking forward to prospect camp and see how the first three picks look live and in person.

The thing with '11 and '12 is that the later round picks were all guys who were highly rated that the Flames managed to grab beyond their ranking. So there was support from scouts/consensus lists that the Flames' late round drafting was good. This time around, it was a grab bag of complete unknowns and our beloved third round coke machine, of course, so it's a lot harder to feel good about (the first round was solid, though).

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#102 Robert Cleave
July 01 2013, 10:08PM
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suba steve wrote:

Anyone else find it ironic that many FN posters and at least one FN writer have pulled out the old "Feaster and the Flames scouts think they are the smartest ones at the draft" thing. Obviously, those that make this statement would be the smartest, if they could only get into that room!

Thinking you are the smartest is fine, and I actually prefer that in a management group and scouting dept. at the NHL draft. Shows confidence in your hard work. Telling everyone that you would be smarter then that group...well, that's just the opposite of smart.

I'll answer this directly, since I mentioned it. It isn't just FN commenters and writers. I was in Newark Sunday and that view of the Flames' management is so widely shared by other writers, agents, and assorted NHL people that one might consider it universal. I don't mind confidence, but you don't hear Doug Wilson or Ken Holland beaking off about how guys they reach for in the first round could be the best players in the draft in 10 years. When the Flames prove something, they can talk. Now? Maybe not so much.

As for being smarter than that group, well, I'm not the guy that signed Babchuk or Sarich, am I? Jay, John and Todd aren't dumb, but they have holes, and not discussing those holes is the sort of thing the rights-holders do. I'm not sure that should be the approach here.

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#103 RexLibris
July 01 2013, 10:52PM
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@Robert Cleave

The most intelligent thing I have read in 101 comments.

Very well put.

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#104 Baalzamon
July 01 2013, 11:03PM
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In other news, it's possible the Flames' Kanzig wasn't the biggest reach of the draft. Other picks in the discussion include Remi Elie (2nd round, Dallas, managed a whopping 17 points with the London Knights) and Zach Sanford (2nd round, Washington, nearly a point per game in the EJHL, which is apparently an ice hockey league of some description).

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#105 suba steve
July 01 2013, 11:04PM
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@Robert Cleave

Well, "one might consider it universal", but I'm gonna call BS.

As for Sarich and Babs, couldn't agree more, both were errors. Not sure what that has to do with the draft though.

As for Feaster speaking when he should be listening, I don't disagree there either.

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#106 BurningSensation
July 01 2013, 11:08PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

I'll answer this directly, since I mentioned it. It isn't just FN commenters and writers. I was in Newark Sunday and that view of the Flames' management is so widely shared by other writers, agents, and assorted NHL people that one might consider it universal. I don't mind confidence, but you don't hear Doug Wilson or Ken Holland beaking off about how guys they reach for in the first round could be the best players in the draft in 10 years. When the Flames prove something, they can talk. Now? Maybe not so much.

As for being smarter than that group, well, I'm not the guy that signed Babchuk or Sarich, am I? Jay, John and Todd aren't dumb, but they have holes, and not discussing those holes is the sort of thing the rights-holders do. I'm not sure that should be the approach here.

The guy has a degree from Harvard and a Stanley Cup ring as a GM. I think there is a very good chance he actually is the smartest guy in any given room.

The reason I think that this particular charge is so weak is that it is jealousy masking as a criticism. It reveals more about the person making the accusation than it does about the person it is being said about. Only an insecure person accuses someone else of 'thinking he's so smart'.

Should Feaster shut up and not brag about how awesome he thinks a particular prospect pick is? Absolutely. I think he is terrible at the PR game and hope that at some point he leaves that stuff to someone better suited to it (like Conroy who is a likeable motormouth), but pretending to read someone's mind and accusing them of feeling superior is the stuff of grade schoolers.

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#107 loudogYYC
July 01 2013, 11:12PM
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@suba steve

The Sarich and Babchuk comment relates to that damn attitude Flames management shows whenever they make a questionable move and then talk about how great it was.

That attitude is common in ignorant people who don't care to know any better. So it has a lot to do with the draft and Flames management, who selected Kanzig at 67 when he was the 190th ranked NA skater.

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#108 clyde
July 01 2013, 11:25PM
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@loudogYYC

Watching Kanzig, I think he can become our version of Harold Snepts or Brad Marsh. If they call the penalties like they did in these playoffs, he may be a player.

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#109 T&A4Flames
July 01 2013, 11:46PM
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Happy Canada day to all!!

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#110 Uppies
July 02 2013, 12:00AM
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It's ridiculous how the media jumps all over the Flames for taking a player earlier than a scouting agency (who would probably have pro scouting jobs if they were the best) had them ranked. Especially a kid that I have heard described as one of the top risers in the draft. Yet the same media has little to say about The Red Wings taking a kid (Tyler Bertuzzi) 58th that I can't even find ranked in the top 200 among NA skaters. I guess Det is just smarter than everyone else

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#111 Tommynotsohuge
July 02 2013, 12:09AM
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Just a question. Wouldn't the best scouts in the world be working for the best teams in the world? If so, all these scouting agencies don't know anywhere near as much about what it takes to be in the NHL than actual NHL teams. Just food for thought. Unless top scouts work for both the agencies and the teams, but I doubt it.

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#112 Uppies
July 02 2013, 12:13AM
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@clyde

I agree with that except I would say that they don't necessarily have a history of taking guys way off the board. More they find those diamonds in the rough in the late rounds. Taking bertuzzi in the 2nd rd is way more of a reach than poirier at 22

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#113 clyde
July 02 2013, 12:15AM
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Uppies wrote:

I agree with that except I would say that they don't necessarily have a history of taking guys way off the board. More they find those diamonds in the rough in the late rounds. Taking bertuzzi in the 2nd rd is way more of a reach than poirier at 22

True, just saying they draft well so get questioned a lot less.

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#114 Sean Bennett
July 02 2013, 12:30AM
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Uppies wrote:

It's ridiculous how the media jumps all over the Flames for taking a player earlier than a scouting agency (who would probably have pro scouting jobs if they were the best) had them ranked. Especially a kid that I have heard described as one of the top risers in the draft. Yet the same media has little to say about The Red Wings taking a kid (Tyler Bertuzzi) 58th that I can't even find ranked in the top 200 among NA skaters. I guess Det is just smarter than everyone else

Actally, they are. But your point about scouting agencies stands. If someone like Corey Pronman was actually a good scout, they would have a full-time NHL job.

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#115 Drewski
July 02 2013, 12:39AM
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BurningSensation wrote:

Lambert's loathing for Flame's management has descended into self parody.

It is literally a shock to read anythng he writes that does not contain some billious cheap shot purely for the sake of taking one (this happened last week, I almost fell over).

I suppose though, that calling him a 'tool' was pretty harsh. I should have said his writing is 'hack-tastic' and just left the personal attack out.

Agreed 100% on your Lambert take. I don't think any of us regular FN readers think of feaster as infallible, but lambert's articles have just descended into crap.

Overall it was a good draft. We picked up a centre who can win draws and has size. I would have liked A solid puck moving d man but we can't have everything.

For everyone complaining about the Poirer pick...12 months ago we would have cried tears of joy for a return like this for Jbouw. Lets count our blessings that jay had a bounce back year, restock the cupboard and move on. I do agree with Cleave on feaster's bluster though. STFU already. Win and then talk. Or better yet, just win and still don't talk.

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#116 Justin Azevedo
July 02 2013, 12:43AM
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people: there is a difference between cerebral ability/intellect and smarts.

feaster has a significant amount of the first, and, when it comes to hockey, not much of the second.

fact: the best people for the job are not usually the people in the job. this is not the weberian theory of bureaucracy at work here. personal realtionships and such are always put into play. think about the leader at the head of the political party you subscribe to. you may think you can do a better job, and it's possible that you can - but by the logic displayed above, because he has the job already your opinions are somehow less valid.

for us to critique the organization to the degrees we do is our prerogative. personally, i'm happy to argue with anyone here about anything ever so long as the arguments are based in fact and not the psuedo-psycho analysis that is often mentioned here. real, empirical facts are valued more than anything else.

carry on with civility, gents.

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#117 jeremywilhelm
July 02 2013, 06:34AM
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Justin found himself a thesaurus.

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#118 Uppies
July 02 2013, 08:40AM
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Sean Bennett wrote:

Actally, they are. But your point about scouting agencies stands. If someone like Corey Pronman was actually a good scout, they would have a full-time NHL job.

K this is the last I want to say on this but I think you are missing my point. Clearly the wings draft and develop players extremely well. My point is cgy brass is getting ripped for not trading down and gaining assests since the media feels that the guy they took would have been available at a later spot. So regardless if Bertuzzi becomes a good pick or not, using the same thought process that media is on the Flames, Det should be getting ripped for using their 2nd on a guy that was ranked nearly 200 spots lower. I don't care who teams draft or where they take them, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. What bothers me is media that clearly has a double standard.

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#119 the-wolf
July 02 2013, 09:05AM
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BurningSensation wrote:

The guy has a degree from Harvard and a Stanley Cup ring as a GM. I think there is a very good chance he actually is the smartest guy in any given room.

The reason I think that this particular charge is so weak is that it is jealousy masking as a criticism. It reveals more about the person making the accusation than it does about the person it is being said about. Only an insecure person accuses someone else of 'thinking he's so smart'.

Should Feaster shut up and not brag about how awesome he thinks a particular prospect pick is? Absolutely. I think he is terrible at the PR game and hope that at some point he leaves that stuff to someone better suited to it (like Conroy who is a likeable motormouth), but pretending to read someone's mind and accusing them of feeling superior is the stuff of grade schoolers.

Let me start off by saying that I'm happy with the Flames' first round. I obviously like Monahan (though would've been happy with Lindholm too) and Klimhcuk was a top target of mine.

As for Poirier, I really didn't know him, but in addition to some speed and great hands, he plays a complete game and has decent size.

Shinkaruk was never a favorite of mine, which doesn't mean I'm knocking him, because I'm not, but his stall in numbers always bothered me. Perhaps Calgary simply valued the larger size and 200' game of Poirier.

I do take umbrage with your 2nd paragraph though. Quickly:

- as already noted, just because someone is in a certain position does not by default mean they must therefore be the most qualified person for that position.

Ditto for education. Highly educated folks often make poor leaders and decision makers. One could fill volumes with examples of 'brilliant' people making stupid decisions and running organizations into the ground.

Not even saying that about Feaster, but for anyone who has ever had a job, it's true.

- I don't think "jealousy" enters into it per se. It's a simple matter of observation. Just because you repeatedly observe someone make comments and act in a manner that would suggest to yourself that "they think they're the smartest person in the room" doesn't mean you're jealous. It's not reading minds, it's merely an observation of their behaviors. What's wrong with that? Especially when backed up with their performance history.

- Your 3rd paragraph contradicts your 2nd paragraph as you're really just doing the same thing by saying Feaster is terrible at PR. It's your opinion, formed through observation. No different than observing that someone finds themself intellectually superior.

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#120 HongKongHockeyFan
July 02 2013, 09:22AM
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Just ran across this mock draft by Sam Cosentino done a few days ahead of the draft. He accurately predicted all three picks by Flames and projected Shinkaruk would slide.

It's a shame we were not able to get Lindholm, looks like he has much more upside than Monahan, which explains why the Hurricanes wisely did not pass up on him.

Here is the link (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/2013-nhl-mock-draft-sam-cosentinos-30-picks/)

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#121 the-wolf
July 02 2013, 10:22AM
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HongKongHockeyFan wrote:

Just ran across this mock draft by Sam Cosentino done a few days ahead of the draft. He accurately predicted all three picks by Flames and projected Shinkaruk would slide.

It's a shame we were not able to get Lindholm, looks like he has much more upside than Monahan, which explains why the Hurricanes wisely did not pass up on him.

Here is the link (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/2013-nhl-mock-draft-sam-cosentinos-30-picks/)

Wow! Kinda freaky.

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#122 Jeff Lebowski
July 02 2013, 10:23AM
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I think what is bothering people with the entire smartest guy in room thing comes down to this:

Weisbrod ranked the list as best Calgary Flames player available.

What I mean by that is his constant droning about character, what they want a Flames player to look like, act like, think like. It seems obvious to me that this is first priority (given requisite skill). This will be the difference in their list compared to consensus which is who has the best skills. As example, there is video on Flames site where Weisbrod says after interview they moved Galchenyuk to top of that draft (over Yakupov).

Now, that is the crux of it right there. People should have that debate. What do you as fans want? People who consider things this way or just the guys who make pucks go into opposition nets.

I think Kent wrote an article about the character question and I think Strudwick wrote about it from the opposite (unrelated to Kent's) on Oilers Nation. Guys like Nich/Shink may lack those character parts that Weisbrod considers immensely important.

To be honest I'm not sure if they are in fact passing up talent (which in the near term-teenagers, seems negligible but by time 20's has grown substantially).

Would you want Galchenyuk over Yakupov? Do you want a GM that picks that way? Is having soft skills (character) going to allow more wins (becoming a player, then team winning at NHL) than hard skills (consensus rankings).

It's not that they don't see other players as talented, they just prefer them to have intangibles that they have identified and quantified as being better. Are there better skilled guys who may also polarize the locker room. Boston is the template They seem to have the team guys first attitude, therefore no mega stars and mega egos.

Furthermore, on video there is interview with Button talking about first round. Feaster had made the top 13 comment (mentioned quadrants of their list). Button says the lists consider players they feels would be already gone (which is concerning if their assumption is wrong, a player is still there, but they stick to list).

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#123 BurningSensation
July 02 2013, 11:33AM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

I think what is bothering people with the entire smartest guy in room thing comes down to this:

Weisbrod ranked the list as best Calgary Flames player available.

What I mean by that is his constant droning about character, what they want a Flames player to look like, act like, think like. It seems obvious to me that this is first priority (given requisite skill). This will be the difference in their list compared to consensus which is who has the best skills. As example, there is video on Flames site where Weisbrod says after interview they moved Galchenyuk to top of that draft (over Yakupov).

Now, that is the crux of it right there. People should have that debate. What do you as fans want? People who consider things this way or just the guys who make pucks go into opposition nets.

I think Kent wrote an article about the character question and I think Strudwick wrote about it from the opposite (unrelated to Kent's) on Oilers Nation. Guys like Nich/Shink may lack those character parts that Weisbrod considers immensely important.

To be honest I'm not sure if they are in fact passing up talent (which in the near term-teenagers, seems negligible but by time 20's has grown substantially).

Would you want Galchenyuk over Yakupov? Do you want a GM that picks that way? Is having soft skills (character) going to allow more wins (becoming a player, then team winning at NHL) than hard skills (consensus rankings).

It's not that they don't see other players as talented, they just prefer them to have intangibles that they have identified and quantified as being better. Are there better skilled guys who may also polarize the locker room. Boston is the template They seem to have the team guys first attitude, therefore no mega stars and mega egos.

Furthermore, on video there is interview with Button talking about first round. Feaster had made the top 13 comment (mentioned quadrants of their list). Button says the lists consider players they feels would be already gone (which is concerning if their assumption is wrong, a player is still there, but they stick to list).

This might be the best post question about the Flames drafting ever.

I went through some of the interviews you metnioned and I think the Flames use something like the following as a checklist that they sub sort they lists with;

- intelligence: which explains the focus on college kids, Ivy Leaguers, etc. It's not that they are overscouting the college region, or looking for Americans, but that the focus on intelligence is leading them to kids who are likely to pursue an education.

- character: guys who show they can lead and perform, even, and maybe especially - on poor teams, will pop up on their radar more often. This fairly describes each of our 1st rounders as they were all very good performers on below average teams.

- hockey IQ/ceiling: I think its clear from trading down to take Jankowski over Girgensons, and from passing on guys like Hartman at the draft to take Klimchuk, they prefer someone who projects as a potential 1st liner - however flawed they are at the moment, over a guy who has a ceiling of 'good 3rd liner, maybe below average second'.

This leads to some interesting questions, which are really just a rephrasing of Jeff Lebowski's;

- how much should these items play a role? Should we prefer a Tyler Seguin over Taylor Hall because Hall is famously 'uncomplicated'? (Hall failed a boating exam 3x. It's open book. He tweeted this information).

- will making character and leadership important foci actually lead to a better room and competitive environment?

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#124 Baalzamon
July 02 2013, 11:46AM
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@Jeff Lebowski

Or, to paraphrase our good friend Clyde, different teams prioritize different qualities. We'll have to wait and see if the Flames currently prioritize a good mix of qualities (or, perhaps more importantly, if they measure these qualities accurately).

Great comment.

PS: It surprises me not at all that the Flames might have had Galchenyuk first overall in that draft. I felt they might even at the time (mostly because he's basically their ideal center).

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#125 Jeff Lebowski
July 02 2013, 01:08PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

This might be the best post question about the Flames drafting ever.

I went through some of the interviews you metnioned and I think the Flames use something like the following as a checklist that they sub sort they lists with;

- intelligence: which explains the focus on college kids, Ivy Leaguers, etc. It's not that they are overscouting the college region, or looking for Americans, but that the focus on intelligence is leading them to kids who are likely to pursue an education.

- character: guys who show they can lead and perform, even, and maybe especially - on poor teams, will pop up on their radar more often. This fairly describes each of our 1st rounders as they were all very good performers on below average teams.

- hockey IQ/ceiling: I think its clear from trading down to take Jankowski over Girgensons, and from passing on guys like Hartman at the draft to take Klimchuk, they prefer someone who projects as a potential 1st liner - however flawed they are at the moment, over a guy who has a ceiling of 'good 3rd liner, maybe below average second'.

This leads to some interesting questions, which are really just a rephrasing of Jeff Lebowski's;

- how much should these items play a role? Should we prefer a Tyler Seguin over Taylor Hall because Hall is famously 'uncomplicated'? (Hall failed a boating exam 3x. It's open book. He tweeted this information).

- will making character and leadership important foci actually lead to a better room and competitive environment?

If I was Weisbrod and I just got hired by Calgary, I would've went through Calgary's draft history and the league draft history. Where did the mistakes happen? What is the common thread?

Although lesser lights, I look at guys like Howse and Ryder. They had the hard skills, it would be very easy to rationalize picking them. But how come they kind of became busts? Was it talent? Was it empirical data interpreted incorrectly? I'd say no.

When you watch the interviews, Calgary talks about the interviews, asking trainers etc. Will that be reliable to figure guys heads out? I don't know but if that was a question to investigate (soft skills) I'd do that kind of questioning. Weisbrod and Button talk immediately of the importance of those things, it's the first thing that comes out of their mouths.

Having said the above, is Weisbrod's method effective because how insanely complex is determining human behaviour when so many variables start changing. Take Dion-what happened to him after he got paid? How can anyone say what will happen to them once put in that situation? Maybe some guys mature into it (Marc Savard, Nazem Kadri).

It is debatable but I see value in them trying to crack that nut.

I think this is where the sentiment of people thinking Calgary are smarter/different. Because they are (different) and it gets confused with smarter. Maybe other teams say the same things about character but if you listen to Weisbrod's comments he really drills down on what that means.

It could be all pseudo science hocus pocus to make Weisbrod seem like some svengali.

It could also be the CONTINUAL refinement of a process from a historical background of root cause analysis.

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#126 Jeff Lebowski
July 02 2013, 01:45PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Or, to paraphrase our good friend Clyde, different teams prioritize different qualities. We'll have to wait and see if the Flames currently prioritize a good mix of qualities (or, perhaps more importantly, if they measure these qualities accurately).

Great comment.

PS: It surprises me not at all that the Flames might have had Galchenyuk first overall in that draft. I felt they might even at the time (mostly because he's basically their ideal center).

Exactly right. Are they measuring those qualities accurately. In the case of human behaviour is that just a fool's errand?

I honestly don't know. When you read Kent's Halo effect article you can see the scientific approach to that question.

Perhaps the are over complicating things and ultimately put on a terrible path.

Perhaps they are right and as the adage goes success is more mental than anything else.

I think ultimately, with all things being equal or mostly equal (pure talent) what kind of decisions do people make? Can you learn something about projecting success (in any field) based on analyzing people's decisions (even from the mundane like what they like to eat-I'm an athlete and I'm hungry I want McD's or I'm an athlete and I'm hungry- I want healthy food).

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#127 Justin Azevedo
July 02 2013, 03:12PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Justin found himself a thesaurus.

you learn some fancy words when you're spending 10 grand a year on school

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