Johnny Gaudreau and the likelihood of injury

Byron Bader
September 17 2016 09:00AM

Johnny Gaudreau, the Flames' emerging superstar, is currently locked in a negotiation with the Flames over his next contract. Many argue "he's our best player and if he's asking for $7 million or $8 million... he's worth it. Pay the man." However, others argue that he's not worth that kind of money. 

A central argument against him getting paid like other top flight young stars is that he is too small and is bound to get injured in the near future. 

"He's one bad slash away from never playing again." 

"His body won't hold up over the years."

Is this really a legitimate concern?

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FlamesNation Prospect Profile: #6 Andrew Mangiapane

Byron Bader
August 26 2016 08:00AM

FN6

Coming in at #6 in FN's annual Top 20 Prospects is 2015 sixth round pick Andrew Mangiapane of the OHL's Barrie Colts. Drafted only last year, the dynamic and highly skilled Mangiapane jumped up six spots from our rankings last year, where he found himself in the 12 hole. 

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FlamesNation Prospect Profile: #14 Dillon Dube

Byron Bader
August 16 2016 08:00AM

FN14

Coming in at #14 on FN's Top Prospects of 2016 is a center: Dillon Dube of the Kelowna Rockets, a second round selection (56th overall) of the Flames in this past draft.

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Common Misconceptions: "Too small to play in the NHL"

Byron Bader
July 21 2016 02:00PM

Every year we hear some derivative of "skilled, but is he too small to play professionally?" or "has the tools, but can he make it work in the NHL at his size?" 

These types of statements portray that short players almost never make the NHL and the ones that do must be very special. However, what's actually happening tells a different story from this common misconception.

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Diamonds in the Rough: Finding Elite Talent Late

Byron Bader
July 11 2016 02:00PM

The later round picks (round three on) in the NHL draft have provided very few true NHLers. From 1980 to 2015, 6,127 selections were taken after the second round. Of those, 815 of the 6,127 have gone on to play in the NHL in a meaningful way (150 games or more) thus far. That's a success rate of roughly 13%. 

As a result, late round picks are not treated as a high commodity by teams. Late round picks are mostly used as filler in larger trades or used to acquire energy players or "room guys." Or GMs take complete gambles on extreme low-probability players with those picks.  

The belief seems to be that finding an NHLer or even an elite NHLer late is a stroke of luck. You pick a player with little upside and a few years down the road, he's turned a switch and turned into something. How can you predict that? 

However, if you look closely at the elite talent, namely forwards, selected late... there's a few things that stand out which suggest it's possible to improve on the extremely low probability (1.6%) of finding great talent later in the NHL draft. 

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