Weekend Open Thread: Who Makes the Jump?

Kent Wilson
August 02 2014 10:06AM

It's no secret the Flames suddenly have a lot of kids knocking on the door. In addition to established guys like Max Reinhart, Markus Granlund, Sven Baertschi, Corban Knight, Ben Hanowski, Michael Ferland and Tyler Wotherspoon, the organization is going to add Johnny Gaudreau, Bill Arnold, David Wolf, Emile Poirier, Brett Kulak, Ryan Culkin, Pat Sieloff and Kenny Agostino to the mix full time this year. Sam Bennett is a possibility as well, but for now we'll assume the team is going to send him back to junior.

The competition is beneficial because it means whoever is able to poke his head above the fray is going to have to be pretty damn good. Nobody is making the Flames by default simply because there aren't a lot of options.

The challenge for the org is potentially accommodating more than one or two stand-outs should that come to pass. Although Calgary has one of the cheapest rosters in the league, there is nevertheless only a couple of potential roster spots available for the hopefuls (absent trade or injury). 

Pick your Prospects

Here's who I think will make the cut to one degree or another next season:

  • John Gaudreau (75 games)
  • Sven Baertschi (60 games)
  • Markus Granlund (30 games)
  • Max Reinhart (15 games)
  • Corban Knight (10 games)
  • David Wolf (10 games)
  • Tyler Wotherspoon (40 games)
  • Sean Acolatse (15 games)
  • Mark Cundari (10 games)
  • Brett Kulak (5 games)
  • Pat Sieloff (5 games)

Up front, Gaudreau more or less makes the team out of camp while Baertschi is a call-up who sticks. All the other guys get cups of coffee as veterans get injured or traded.  Of course, part of these predictions are role dependent - for instance, if Brand Bollig or Brian McGrattan get hurt long-term, you can assume David Wolf is going to get the call before Reinhart or Granlund.

On the back-end, Tyler Wotherspoon is the first call-up and in-and-out of the big club lineup all year. If he takes a step forward, he could start challenging one of the bottom rotation vets for full time work. Sena Acolatse and Mark Cundari get some time because they're AHL vets and the org will be curious to see if they have any kind of ceiling above that. It wouldn't surprise me if Brett Kulak and Pat Sieloff get spotted a game or two out of curiosity as well.

So...who do you think makes the team?

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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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#51 Aussie Flame
August 03 2014, 05:46PM
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If Cundari can continue to score goals like this, he'll make a case for himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16b1U_mcJLg

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#52 Burnward
August 03 2014, 05:58PM
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@Kristjan

He was number one ahead of Kane? Craze.

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#53 madjam
August 03 2014, 10:25PM
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mike and the boys wrote:

I really see Wotherspoon in the top 6. He's a great shutdown dman. Wolf should be on the team somewhere, he looked better than I thought watching the d-camp. Hes got skill and he's a Burke style player. Johnny G will play the season with the Flames, wayyyy tooo skilled for Adirondack. Granlund, Ferland, Hanowski, Knight, Klimchuk, Baertchi, Arnold, Van Brabant, Agostino (guy people forget about) Gilmour, all have a great shot at sneaking in there.

Overall, Flames got lots of great youth coming. They should destroy in Penticton.

But can they beat the Oilers youth is the question in Penticton ?

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#54 Chambers
August 04 2014, 06:58AM
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madjam wrote:

But can they beat the Oilers youth is the question in Penticton ?

No that is not the question in Penticton.

The Oilers youth is by far the worst level compared to the other teams competing in Penticton. That was clearly proven last year and they have not made any significant improvements since...sorry.

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#55 SmellOfVictory
August 04 2014, 09:14AM
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madjam wrote:

But can they beat the Oilers youth is the question in Penticton ?

The Oilers youth doesn't include any of their 1st overall picks, so it's honestly not that good. They have a couple of good-looking dmen (Klefbom, Nurse) who are eligible for the tournament, and Leon Draiasaitl. The rest of their prospects are pretty unimpressive.

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#56 Alt
August 04 2014, 10:38AM
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Still waiting for our rich owners to throw money at one of the few teams that are cap strapped.We,ve been hearing about this oppurtunity for a few years now, although it appears more and more to be "a pie in the sky" type prayer.

C'MON BT ,Pronger to Calgary for there 2015 1st round pick.

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#57 loudogYYC
August 04 2014, 11:13AM
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@Alt

The Flyers don't need to get rid of Prongers contract because they can simply put him on LTIR for the entire season. Same as the Bruins with Savard.

I'm sure the owners are ok taking on a heavy contract because it was reported by Darren Dreger that the Flames offered to take Cam Ward off Carolina along with their 1st round pick and made the same offer to the Coyotes for Ribeiro.

It's not that that the owners aren't willing, it's that the price of doing it is high and it better be. There's still 2 months to go before puck drop and there's 3 to 4 teams in cap trouble. I'm sure something will go down but I doubt it'll be huge.

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#58 RexLibris
August 04 2014, 11:41AM
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@SmellOfVictory

The Oilers were also without a number of other young blueline and European prospects last year like Dillon Simpson, Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Slepyshev.

The prospect group has struggled for a number of reasons, most notably injuries to their two main forward prospects from the 2010 draft, Hamilton and Pitlick.

I suspect this year's prospect camp will be interesting to watch as the Flames will be flush with players in that age range while the Canucks finally have some players to offer as well.

The goal of the tournament is twofold: to drum up fan interest and to see the prospects play against their peers in an environment controlled by the organization. Most of the time franchises can only extend arm's length control over position, circumstantial deployment, time on ice, and practices.

As fun as it is for fans, it isn't necessarily a bellwether of real potential. The real value comes in allowing the coaching staff to see how players respond to on-ice situations and try to identify areas of strength or weakness in a game situation that is within their range.

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#59 RexLibris
August 04 2014, 11:55AM
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@loudogYYC

The Flyers need to be under the cap on the day the season begins and before they can put Pronger on LTIR.

They'll need to clear $3.061 million prior to the season starting.

Without any ELCs they can send down and recall without fear of waivers that is going to be more difficult this year than previous.

Without knowing all the details of the contracts, Matt Read and Nick Schultz would appear to be the best bets to waive. Read is a small winger on an expensive contract ($3.6 million) and Nick Schultz, were he picked up on waivers, wouldn't be a crippling loss to their blueline.

With regards to the prospect of a trade, the Flames could attempt to trade for Read (he's a versatile LW/RW, .57 NHL career ppg). It isn't something I'd necessarily recommend, but he'd probably be a more useful player than Bollig.

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#60 Kevin R
August 04 2014, 12:38PM
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loudogYYC wrote:

The Flyers don't need to get rid of Prongers contract because they can simply put him on LTIR for the entire season. Same as the Bruins with Savard.

I'm sure the owners are ok taking on a heavy contract because it was reported by Darren Dreger that the Flames offered to take Cam Ward off Carolina along with their 1st round pick and made the same offer to the Coyotes for Ribeiro.

It's not that that the owners aren't willing, it's that the price of doing it is high and it better be. There's still 2 months to go before puck drop and there's 3 to 4 teams in cap trouble. I'm sure something will go down but I doubt it'll be huge.

I know everyone wants to have a top 3 pick next year but there is some real intriguing opportunities. Bruins present a real interesting one where they have to move some significant salary to get Krug & Smith resigned. They are so deep on the blueline & Boychuk seems to be in line for a pretty big raise after next year. This kid has some pretty nice stats & would he ever look good in our 2nd pairing given we are pretty thin in the cupboards. What would it take to get him? Well, there will be a lineup of teams wanting him. Maybe a deal like Boychuk/Kelly & Bruins 2015/1st for Sven & our 2015 2nd?? I don't know but to get a 30 year old hitting good numbers dman from a winning environment might be a pretty solid acquisition. Might cost us gaining some wins next year.

If Philly need some ELC's to move around, we have lots. Agostino & someone for Coburn??? Gonna get interesting in a few weeks.

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#61 A rye morning
August 04 2014, 01:05PM
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@Kevin R

Boston is currently $809,143 over the cap. Dougie Hamilton can be sent to the minors and the Bruins will be cap compliant. They can then LTIR Savard giving them just over 4 million in additional space. That probably isn't enough money to resign Smith and Krug. I think Kelley is available, top 4 d are harder to find and replace than third line centre men. Sven has far more upside than kelley and boychuk and we control him for much longer as well. In all reality, if we did this Boychuk would be gone at the of the season to a cup contender and Chris Kelley is just another Matt Stajan. The Flames can add some depth to their blue line by taking a shot at MDZ and not have to give up an asset to do so. I think the whole using cap space to take on other teams bad contracts and getting additional assets for it is a red herring. It was sold to us by Feaster when it was clear the Flames would not be close to the cap. The only occurence of a GM offering up quality assets to take a bad contact was when Feaster gave Buffalo a 2nd to take Kotalik.

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#62 Jeff In Lethbridge
August 04 2014, 02:41PM
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I just dont know how Gaudreau isnt in the starting line up. seems to me that while he could dominate, there is alzo a bigger risk of injury in the AHL, which seems to be top heavy with crashbangers trying to get noticed...

I also think Sven is back up to start the year or shortly after, and plays at least 2/3rds of the season in the NHL.

I expect management to carry as many bodies as posible on the big club, rotating guys in and out of the press box. this allows for experience, pro exposure and a chance to analyze the game, along with the occasional breather for guys not accusstomed to the hard schedule.

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#63 Jeff In Lethbridge
August 04 2014, 03:02PM
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what I wonder, and would like to hear some thought on, is - who plays along with Gaudreau? he is definitely a target at his size and could use a strong linemate, but needs someone who can both pass and shoot to keep people from focusing solely on him.

Backlund? Monahan? Bollig? Wolf?

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#64 everton fc
August 04 2014, 03:19PM
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I think Ferland has a chance to make the cut. He lasted a while last year. If he's recovered from the knee-knock, and proves to be the offencive weapon I think he may be... He's certainly big enough, can skate without the puck, can play defence, and will give anyone in the league a good scrap to defend his team mates. I know there's a lot of great names on this list, and Johnny G's going to be on the opening day roster most likely. A few roster moves could open up a spot for Ferland. And I hope the starts align to make this happen.

I also like Wolf's chances. I think Sven may turn out to be a bit of a bust. I so hope I am wrong, of course. Hanowski doesn't have NHL wheels. I really like Van Brabant's attitude, and hope he pushes an older player off the 4th line. Agostino and Arnold will need time in the AHL. Ditto Glimour. Agostino hasn't been forgotten by this fan. And I really like Klimchuk. Wolf and Van Brabant would be an interesting line, with another hard-nosed player. A pretty good 4th line, perhaps. Young, hungry, aggressive.

Time will tell. Soon.

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#65 Alt
August 04 2014, 03:28PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

I just dont know how Gaudreau isnt in the starting line up. seems to me that while he could dominate, there is alzo a bigger risk of injury in the AHL, which seems to be top heavy with crashbangers trying to get noticed...

I also think Sven is back up to start the year or shortly after, and plays at least 2/3rds of the season in the NHL.

I expect management to carry as many bodies as posible on the big club, rotating guys in and out of the press box. this allows for experience, pro exposure and a chance to analyze the game, along with the occasional breather for guys not accusstomed to the hard schedule.

I guess you haven't noticed that the watered down NHL is also top heavy with crashbangers,about 150 of them, maybe more..

We can thank Uncle Gary for that.

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#66 coachedpotatoe
August 04 2014, 03:41PM
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everton fc wrote:

I think Ferland has a chance to make the cut. He lasted a while last year. If he's recovered from the knee-knock, and proves to be the offencive weapon I think he may be... He's certainly big enough, can skate without the puck, can play defence, and will give anyone in the league a good scrap to defend his team mates. I know there's a lot of great names on this list, and Johnny G's going to be on the opening day roster most likely. A few roster moves could open up a spot for Ferland. And I hope the starts align to make this happen.

I also like Wolf's chances. I think Sven may turn out to be a bit of a bust. I so hope I am wrong, of course. Hanowski doesn't have NHL wheels. I really like Van Brabant's attitude, and hope he pushes an older player off the 4th line. Agostino and Arnold will need time in the AHL. Ditto Glimour. Agostino hasn't been forgotten by this fan. And I really like Klimchuk. Wolf and Van Brabant would be an interesting line, with another hard-nosed player. A pretty good 4th line, perhaps. Young, hungry, aggressive.

Time will tell. Soon.

Is Gilmour not returning to Providence or am I thinking of someone else?

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#67 Alt
August 04 2014, 06:27PM
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A rye morning wrote:

Boston is currently $809,143 over the cap. Dougie Hamilton can be sent to the minors and the Bruins will be cap compliant. They can then LTIR Savard giving them just over 4 million in additional space. That probably isn't enough money to resign Smith and Krug. I think Kelley is available, top 4 d are harder to find and replace than third line centre men. Sven has far more upside than kelley and boychuk and we control him for much longer as well. In all reality, if we did this Boychuk would be gone at the of the season to a cup contender and Chris Kelley is just another Matt Stajan. The Flames can add some depth to their blue line by taking a shot at MDZ and not have to give up an asset to do so. I think the whole using cap space to take on other teams bad contracts and getting additional assets for it is a red herring. It was sold to us by Feaster when it was clear the Flames would not be close to the cap. The only occurence of a GM offering up quality assets to take a bad contact was when Feaster gave Buffalo a 2nd to take Kotalik.

Bad contract's for additional contract's is a red herring indeed.

That red herring offered up by Feaster was also offered up by Burke.Unless I'm mistaken BB communicated that there would be opportunities with strap capped teams that they would position themselves to take advantage.

That deal with Buffalo for Kotalik was horrible.

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#68 Cham Churrun
August 05 2014, 09:24AM
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make leafs nation do articles like this

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#69 Will
August 05 2014, 11:57AM
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No Jankowski?

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#70 jeremywilhelm
August 06 2014, 12:10AM
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Will wrote:

No Jankowski?

I lol'd

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