We’ve profiled many of the significant Flames prospects over the last few weeks. Here’s the rest of the pack, albeit in briefer form.
John Negrin, D
Chosen in the third round in 2007, Negrin is a tall, mobile defender who has some (limited) offensive upside. He scored at a decent enough rate in the WHL, including a career high 49 points in his final season, but never put up the kind of numbers that would lead one to suspect he’ll be quarterbacking the power play as a pro.
Negrin’s strengths are his skating and first pass. He isn’t overly physical and doesn’t have elite skills in any one area. Last year, he managed five goals and 15 points in 45 games as a rookie for the Heat. His season was shortened by an "upper body injury" and it’s likely he’ll spend at least another year developing in the AHL. Sutter has been effusive in his praise for Negrin since he was drafted and even recalled him for a 3 game cup of coffee in 2009 while he was still a junior.
Keith Seabrook, D
A former 2nd round pick of Washington Capitals and brother to Chicago Blackhawk Brent Seabrook, Keith is a smaller, less defensively adept version of Brent. He is a capable offensive defender with good quickness and quick strike ability from the point. He led the Abbotsford Heat in scoring from the blueline this year with 10 goals and 28 points in 78 games.
Generously listed at 6′ and 198 pounds, Seabrook doesn’t have ideal NHL size and his way to the big league is going to be crowded by the Flames organizational depth at the defensive position.
Gord Baldwin, D
Rather large and lumbering, Baldwin was the Flames second pick behind Matt Pelech in 2005. Baldwin played his first full season in the AHL last year due in part to the Heat’s cavalcade of injuries. He managed some impressive results for a guy with no real history of scoring (4 goals, 24 points in 64 games), but I’m guessing he had a run of bounces more than a sudden step forward.
Baldwin is not overly quick and has looked rather awkward whenever I’ve seen him play. My guess is he’s an AHLer for life.
Gaelan Patterson, C
An overaged 7th rounder in 2009, Patterson was a two-time 20 goal getter in the WHL, although he never managed a point-per-game pace in any of his seasons for the Sakatoon Blades. Patterson doesn’t excel in any one area and projects more as a utlity forward at the pro level. He’ll play for Abbotsford next season and it remains to be seen what kind of impact he has.
Kris Chucho, RW
Sutter recently said the pending RFA will be re-signed by the club this year, even though Chucko is rapidly moving from the "prospect" to "bust" territory. Drafted in the first round of 2004, Chucko has been passed by most of his cohort and has only really managed one season of noteworthy results in the AHL. Not overly impressive at anything in particular, Chucko isn’t good enough around the net to be a scorer in the NHL, nor is he defensive enough to check anyone. Most forwards who are going to be NHL players have made the dance at this point and it’s safe to say that if Chucko can’t blow the doors off of training camp and/or the AHL this season, he’ll be relegated to "veteran to help the incoming kids" on the farm.
Leland Irving, G
Big step back for Irving this year after usurping Keetley last season. Irving stumbled hard mid-way through the season and was eventually sent down to the ECHL (where he continued to struggle). The Heat finished the season with David Shantz as the installed starter. Not the most encouraging results for a former first rounder.
This isn’t an exhaustive list – just the guys I consider more interesting currently. If there’s anyone you feel I’ve missed or are curious about, don’t hesistate to ask in the comments or send me an email.