June 25 2014 10:00AM
Few Calgary prospects have had an amateur career comparable to Johnny Gaudreau. National champion, gold medalist, tournament MVP, league MVP and multiple all-star, Gaudreau can count himself amongst the very few hockey players who has had several t-shirts made of them before ever stepping on the ice as a pro. He's a sublime talent and probably the most exciting player in the Flames system.
The only reason Gaudreau isn't #1 on this list is the same thing that has no doubt dogged him throughout his career: his small stature.
June 20 2014 11:30AM
We're about a week away from the 2014 Entry Draft and the Flames have 5 picks inside the top-90, including a franchise high 4th overall. It's not hyperbole to say this summer will be a pivotal one of the Flames road back to respectability. If they pick a future star or two and not stub their toe horribly in free agency, it will give the club a much better chance of making their up the crowded Western Conference standings ladder.
Of course, the other key consideration is how they develop and manage their current crop of players...
June 17 2014 09:20AM
Jon Gillies makes his second appearance in the Flames top-10 prospects list (9th last year), a rarity for goalies since they are extremely difficult to predict. Projecting puckstoppers is mostly voodoo, even for the pros, to the degree that NHL starters are usually randomly scattered through the draft (or signed as free agents from other leagues). That is why I am staunchly opposed to using a top-60 pick on a goalie in any given draft, or paying anyone outside of, say, Henrik Lundqvist (drafted in the 7th round) big, long-term dollars. It's also why I typically discount most goaltending prospects until they've managed to do something noteworthy as a pro.
June 06 2014 09:00AM
It's June so naturally the hottest topic is the entry draft. Calgary is at 4, the highest this organization has ever picked, but there's talk of both the first (FLA) and second (BUF) overall picks being available for a price. Should the Flames make the move to ensure a shot at either Sam Reinhart or Aaron Ekblad? That obviously depends on a number of factors.
May 28 2014 07:59AM
In the functional toughness article we looked at the bottom-end of the Flames forward roster and found the club could improve things just by skating NHL caliber skaters on the 4th line. That's not quite true of the Flames blueline - none of their current guys are quite sub-replacement skaters like Brian McGrattan or Kevin Westgarth - but there's no denying Calgary is grotesquely top heavy and lacking in depth once you get past the noteworthy TJ Brodie/Mark Giordano pairing.