FlamesNation Player Evaluations: Derek Grant

Ari Yanover
May 18 2016 10:00AM

Derek Grant was the afterthought of July 1, 2015. The Flames had re-signed Karri Ramo and had brought Michael Frolik into the fold on one of the bigger contracts of the day; why spend too much time thinking about a guy who looked to be a 25-year-old AHL lifer? He'd be great depth for Stockton, but probably not much else.

Flash forward throughout the season, and Grant seems to have taken another step. Depth for Stockton? Try arguably one of the better players in the entire AHL, and maybe even someone who might be a reliable depth NHL player one day.

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Flames First Round Targets 2016: Alexander Nylander

Christian Roatis
May 18 2016 08:00AM

The Flames First Round Targets series is back, and we’re kicking it off with the guy who most think will end up in Flames silks by the end of the evening on June 24: Alexander Nylander.

In 2013, we kicked it off with Sean Monahan and, well, we probably shouldn’t have wasted our time much after that. But we did then, and we will now!

Nylander is generally considered the lesser of the “Other 3”, as I’ve dubbed them, consisting also of Matthew Tkachuk and Pierre-Luc Dubois. Nonetheless, he’s still a prospect to get excited about. 

He’s hyperskilled, fast as they come and has a knack for putting points up on the board. The cherry on top is the fact he plays right wing. This is good. 

Nylander’s also born in Calgary, and we all know how much fans and media love their local boys. Standing 6 foot, he’ll join Big-and-Local Joe Colborne and Small-and-Local Hunter Shinkaruk. Let’s call him Average-and-Local and complete the trio.

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Mikael Backlund goes to Worlds: Sweden vs. Russia

Ari Yanover
May 17 2016 02:00PM

The bad news: Team Sweden got thoroughly trounced by Team Russia, throttled by a final score of 4-1. 

Their one goal, courtesy of Mattias Ekholm, was a garbage gimme at the start of the third period when the Swedes were already down 4-0, though they performed much better in the third period. That wasn't even close to enough, though, and the Swedes will face Team Canada in the quarterfinals on May 19.

The good news: Mikael Backlund wasn't injured. He got himself into some trouble early in the second period, but fortunately, there weren't any retaliatory actions taken.

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FlamesNation Player Evaluations: Jon Gillies

Ryan Pike
May 17 2016 12:00PM

Few Calgary Flames prospects have begun their professional careers with as much fanfare and anticipation as Jon Gillies did in 2015-16. Few faced such disappointment in their rookie season.

Coming to the Stockton Heat after a really, really great three-season run with the Providence College Friars, culminating with an NCAA championship victory, the hope was Gillies would be able to see a lot of pucks and adjust to the pro game.

He ended up playing just seven games due to a hip injury.

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Could Jon Gillies be the Flames' best trade chip?

Ari Yanover
May 16 2016 02:30PM

Because the Tampa Bay Lightning are one of a couple of teams with two really good goalies on their hands, naturally, we turn to them as a potential trade partner. Ben Bishop's contract is expiring soon, and he's a proven quality starter with a young up-and-comer on his heels.

But let's flip that around. What if the Flames traded for the up-and-comer, Andrei Vasilevskiy, instead?

And what if they dealt Jon Gillies in exchange for him?

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