Early thoughts on the 2016 top 5 forwards

Byron Bader
March 08 2016 12:00PM

Sixteen games left in the season and we can say with 99% confidence that the Flames will not be making the post-season dance. A horrendous season has nearly come and gone. Many would have guessed the Flames would have fallen back this year after the miracle season of 2014-15 but would we have guessed they would be fighting it out with Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Buffalo for last overall... probably not. It's not all bad... it's mostly bad... but at least it appears we're going to get a top five pick out of the deal. 

I have some thoughts on the 2016 top five forwards. Join me on a look at the numbers.

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Sam Bennett: An Elite Player in the Making

Byron Bader
November 14 2015 12:00PM

Sam Bennett, 4th overall pick of the 2014 draft and the highest draft pick the Calgary Flames have ever had, has played just shy of 30 games total in the NHL (18 in the regular season and 11 in the post-season) but has already impressed quite substantially. Sam has 11 points in 17 games this year (0.65 ppg), contributing more and more offensively of late. A safe estimate is 40-50 points by the end of the year which puts him in the top 20-30 in rookie scoring over the past decade or so.  Here's his best example so far...

But the offense isn't the only thing Sam is showing an incredible early knack for as his underlying possession numbers, in this small initial sample set, are all pretty impressive thus far.

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FN's All-Time Greatest Flames Team: Doug Gilmour

Byron Bader
September 16 2015 03:00PM


Doug Gilmour was a player of much debate when the contributors of FN were discussing the all-time greatest Flames team.  He was a great player who had a Hall of Fame career.  The problem wasn't his talent but rather the length of time he was a Flame.  Gilmour didn't spend a lot of time in a Flames uniform and is generally always associated with the Leafs.  But after much debate ... nobody felt right leaving Gilmour off the greatest Flames team as he was one of the best centers and players the team ever had.

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2015-16 Reasonable Expecations: Sam Bennett

Byron Bader
September 16 2015 12:00PM

Sam Bennett is the highest drafted player in Flames history and the organizations current unequivocal best prospect.  His draft +1 year was mostly used to rehab a bum shoulder but it also featured a short dominating stint back in the OHL with Kingston Frontenacs and a modest playoff run with the Flames.  This year he will most certainly be a lock to make the big club and become a full-time NHLer. 

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2015-16 Reasonable Expectations: Dougie Hamilton

Byron Bader
September 14 2015 09:00AM


June 26th and 27th, 2015 were a great few days for the Calgary Flames.  The weekend was filled with savvy drafting from the Flames brass that delighted the fan base, especially the analytically-minded folks at FN.  But the weekend's finest moment was when 22-year-old stud defenceman Dougie Hamilton was acquired from the Boston Bruins for a 1st round pick and two 2nds.  The addition of Hamilton on the Flames blueline took them from a mediocre d-core with two elite pieces in Brodie and Giordano to one of the best d-cores in the league. 

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