November 15 2016 10:00AM
Let's appreciate Andrew Mangiapane.
When talking about the winger, I always like to defer to his junior teammate Brendan Lemieux. In their draft years, Lemieux scored 53 points in 65 games while Mangiapane scored 51 in 68. Lemieux was an early second round pick, while Mangiapane was passed over. In their draft +1 year, Lemieux scored 60 points in 57 games. Mangiapane scored 104 in 68. That was enough to get scouts' attention, but Mangiapane still wasn't picked up until the sixth round, fortunately by some very good folks.
I don't mean to pick on Lemieux, he's just a very convenient target to point out the dumb drafting biases that still exist in hockey. Despite having 14 more OHL games (209 total for Lemieux) on Mangiapane, he only had 189 points. Mangiapane had 210 in his final 127 games. Even with a six-game lead on the Breadman in the AHL, Lemieux still has three fewer points.
If you're a draft nerd, it's quite infuriating that Lemieux gets the benefit of the doubt for the usual reasons - good bloodlines, big size (even though he isn't that big), "hard to play against" - while Mangiapane, who is extremely promising, gets passed on. Even after a 100-point season in the CHL's toughest league, he was still overlooked until the sixth round.
The point is that Mangiapane is good, and has a really good chance of being good in the NHL. Based on his junior performances, many thought he could be up in the NHL for a significant chunk of this season. That hasn't happened yet, but it does beg the question: when should we expect to see him?
November 15 2016 08:00AM
You know there's always good news here.
November 08 2016 10:00AM
Morgan Klimchuk will always have big boots to fill. Being the guy who was traded for Jarome Iginla, he has most often been the butt of the joke that was post-apex Jay Feaster management.
While Sean Monahan dazzled in the NHL and Emile Poirier was lighting lamps in the Q, Klimchuk plodded along in the Dub. He probably was the least impressive of the 2013 first rounders, struggling to find his place among the WHL's best. At the same time, Monahan was scoring 60 in the NHL and Poirier was being named an AHL all-star in his first year of pro. His unimpressive WHL stint turned into a disappointing AHL stint, with nine points in 55 games during his first full try in the league. Many, probably everyone, thought he was done.
That's why it's such a shock to see people clammoring for him to be called up, or to have no choice but to acknowledge him as one of the best prospects in the organization right now. Morgan Klimchuk has broken last year's records for points and goals in 48 fewer games. How did he turn the corner?
November 08 2016 08:00AM
If the current state of Flames hockey has you in the dumps, we've got something to cheer you up.
November 03 2016 02:30PM
Matthew Tkachuk will play his 10th NHL game tonight, burning off the first year of his ELC, meaning his contract will expire a year earlier than it needs to. With four points in nine games, it's a bold move for the team.
Tkachuk, from a points perspective, isn't producing enough to say he is a vital contributor to this team. Since he is not providing any additional wins through his points contribution, it would be good from a contract perspective to send him to London and bring up Hunter Shinkaruk and have him produce at a similar rate for no ELC loss.
On the other hand, Tkachuk is simply playing out of his mind, regardless of whether or not it shows up on the scoresheet. By looking at the possession numbers, you can certainly make the argument that Tkachuk playing in the NHL is the right spot. In fact among one of the strongest rookie classes in recent NHL memory, he is one of the best possession players.