NHL Draft Scout Series: WHL

Christian Roatis
May 20 2015 01:00PM

Courtesy of the Western Hockey League

As we rapidly approach the 2015 NHL Draft, most every hockey site and blog on the internet will post rankings, previews and mock drafts to get its readers geared up for the events that will take place this June in sunny Florida.

Each of their writers has read up on the prospects to some extent or even watched a few in action, but fact is: the draft isn’t most people’s bread and butter – isn't their main course, if you will. It’s more of a side dish, ordered once a year.

There are those, however, who eat up junior hockey all year long and make their name scouting these draft eligible kids in miserably cold rinks day-in and day-out as we focus on our local National Hockey League team or whatever else is notable around the league, September through April (or May, or June depending on how far your local hockey heroes go in the playoffs).

Absolutely will we be doing the profiles and the mock drafts and the dissections but – as we introduced last year – I’ll be interviewing real scouts to get the inside scoops and expert opinions on the prospects that could be drafted out of their jurisdictions, at this year's National Hockey League draft.

That means WHL, OHL, QMJHL, USHL/NCAA and Europe will all be covered over the course of the next couple months, in very similar fashion to last year. It was a great success last season and I’m hoping it’ll be even better now.

Today, we kick off the 2015 edition of the Scout Series with a look at the WHL courtesy of Future Considerations' Head Western Scout, Zenon Herasymiuk.

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2014-15 By The Numbers: #17 Lance Bouma

Ryan Pike
May 20 2015 11:00AM

Lance Bouma is another personal favourite of mine, if only because he seems hell-bent on doing whatever he can do to help the Calgary Flames win games.

He's not what you would traditionally define as a franchise player, but you could argue that his intangibles - his willingness to sacrifice his body for his team, and his knack for clutch goals - make up for his lack of talent. And thank goodness, because his underlying numbers are not particularly good.

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Asset Management And The Last 5 Drafts

Ryan Pike
May 20 2015 09:00AM

The National Hockey League's annual entry draft is a wonderful time of year. It's a time of hope, of renewal, and one where every team is allocated the same number of picks, with each team having equal opportunities to make hay or absolutely biff it in terms of managing their assets.

With that in mind, let's prepare for the Calgary Flames' 2015 Draft by looking at their asset management over the previous five drafts.

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Flames Sign D Jakub Nakladal To ELC (1 Year)

Ryan Pike
May 19 2015 04:26PM

Once again, it appears that Brad Treliving has gotten his man.

The Calgary Flames continue to bolster their group of right-handed defenders, signing Czech native Jakub Nakladal to an entry-level contract. Because of Nakladal's age (27), it's a one-year, two-way deal.

He joins Kenney Morrison and Dennis Wideman (and Deryk Engelland) as right-handed defenders with valid contracts for 2015-16.

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2014-15 By The Numbers: #15 Ladislav Smid

Ryan Pike
May 19 2015 01:00PM

When I played ice hockey, way back when, I began as a stay-at-home defenseman before graduating to playing the left wing beside the more talented players. It was the era that the left-wing lock was in vogue, and I developed an appreciation for the finer points of ice hockey.

It also helped that my shot wasn't very good, but I could stick-check and pass fairly well for a youngster. (Sadly, my on-ice skills topped out when I was 12.)

But my background in the defensive end probably explains my appreciation for Ladislav Smid. You probably forgot that Smid was on this team, what with his injury troubles this season, but Smid ate up a bunch of minutes on the third pairing until he went down. His absence with a neck injury coincided with Bob Hartley having to play mix-and-match with his blueliners, and a whirlwind of new faces, new pairings, and general chaos.

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