Flames Comparables: Reserve Forwards



This year we’re using the Snepsts system to project how many points each of the Flames may score this year. The Snepsts system, explained over at Hockey Prospectus, searches history for players with similar statistics (adjusted for era scoring levels) and uses their future performance as yardsticks for today’s.

We’ve already looked at most of the Flames key forwards and defensemen, and this week we’ll look at some of their reserve forwards: Lance Bouma, Stefan Meyer, Paul Byron and Greg Nemisz.

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Lance Bouma

Sitting next to a season Flames veteran in pre-season, Lance heard someone welcome him to camp with “You may be Bou-MA, but I am the Bouw-MEESTER.”

Ok that didn’t really happen. But it would be pretty cool if it did. Lance Bouma, Calgary’s 3rd round pick in 2008, played 16 games for the Flames, but under 6 minutes a game, and therefore scored just a single point.

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He was more successful for the Abbotsford Heat, where he scored 20 points in 61 games. If you translate his AHL data and add his NHL scoring, that would work out to 7 goals and 6 assists for 13 points in 77 games, which actually isn’t bad for a 20-year-old.

If you search history there are 12 players with similar scoring at that age, but it’s mostly secondary guys like Aaron Gavey and Maxime Talbot. On the other hand, Adam Graves started off slowly with 12, 22 and 25 points before finally breaking out with 26 goals and 59 points at age 23. 

We might have to wait a while before we know if he’s going to have a Gavey-type career, or bust out. The VUKOTA projection is 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points in 33 games.

Stefan Meyer

Stefan Meyer, Florida’s 2nd round pick in 2003, played 16 games for Calgary last season after just 4 in his entire previous NHL career, scoring only 2 points thanks to a lousy 7 minutes and 45 seconds a game.

If you translate his AHL scoring to an NHL equivalent and add his limited NHL experience, here’s the sort of NHL career the 26-year-old would have had thus far.

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Season  GP G  A PTS
2005-06 68  6  8 14
2006-07 63  6  5 11
2007-08 74 10 10 20
2008-09 65  9 11 20
2009-10 67  6  4 10
2010-11 58  6  5 11

Comparable players who made the AHL to NHL jump include Troy Bodie, Chris Porter and Cody McCormick. VUKOTA’s projection calls for 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points in 31 games.

Paul Byron

The tiny Lord Byron was acquired as part of the recent Regehr/Kotalik salary dump, and scored 2 points in 8 games as a 21-year-old in Buffalo last season. Here’s his AHL-to-NHL translation with those 8 games added in.

Season  GP G  A PTS
2009-10 57  7 10 17
2010-11 75 11 11 22

VUKOTA projects 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points in 30 games, which works out to over 30 points over a full season. Small players tend to stay in the AHL, but if his scoring is high enough he might get a look on the Flames.

Greg Nemisz

Greg Nemisz, Calgary’s 1st round pick in 2008, played 6 games for them last season, scoring a point despite just 5 minutes per game. If you convert his AHL season to NHL equivalent and add those 6 games, he’d have 7 goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 74 games – okay for a 20-year-old.

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Searching history there are 25 players that age with that scoring level, including coach Brent Sutter, who managed 63 points in 77 games the next season. While that’s not likely for Nemisz, players like Steve Tambellini, Jan Ludvig and Wayne Simmonds offer hope of a 30+ point season if given the opportunity. 

All together his historical matches average 9 goals and 16 assists for 25 points over a complete 82 game schedule. VUKOTA calls for 5 goals, 7 assists and 12 points in 28 games.

Coming Up

Raitis Ivanans, Guillaume Desbiens and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.

  • Bustmeester

    The world is full of what ifs. This useless article is just another one.
    P.S. Byron is getting a look right now, but this article certainly won’t get another by me.

    • Not every article is written for your express entertainment. Believe it or not, this type of stuff is of interest to some people. If it’s not to you, then move along. If you don’t agree with the analysis, then offer an argument.

      Snide attacks won’t be tolerated, however.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Interesting projections. I would assume Bouma will be projected into more of a non scoring shut down role whereas Byron given his size would need to be top 6. Given his projection that doesn’t bode well for him.

    I was suprised by Byron’s call up as he had 1 goal 4 points in 9 games and a -1 at the time. Niemisz who is a year younger had 13 points in 14 games and a +2. He could also play any role fromm PP to PK as he currently is in Abottsford.

    Is that the “meritocracy” we are looking for?

  • Tonelli's Stache

    Thanks Robert. I would love to see Nemisz get a crack at trying to test the projection.

    I had a question for you that is related to team stats: is there a stat out there that serves to measure the recovery rate of dump ins by a team?

  • SmellOfVictory

    It just dawned on me that Lance Bouma has an amazing hockey name.

    For those anxious to see Nemisz in NHL action: he’s probably the next winger injury callup, and if he doesn’t get called up this year he’s very likely to play next year, given his current level of success.

  • everton fc

    Hate to say it, but if the organization is rewarding for flat-out results, Kolanos, regardless of age or past, deserved the call-up.

    Of course, the organization is looking at it’s youth. I think people are way too optimistic on Byron. He is tiny. He’ll never clear the other side of 180 lbs.

    Meyer, to me, is the most ready 4th liner. Bouma secondary. Byron is not a 3rd line centre in the NHL. Nor a 4th line-type.

    I’d love to see what Kolanos could do up here on a line with Kosto & Jackman. Purely from a fan’s perspective. But I know the organization needs to give these kids a chance.

    Nemisz only hope is if Moss moves to 4th line centre. That’d move Stempniak up to 2nd line RW, and eitehr Nemisz or Jackman gets a look on 3rd line RW. The 4th line would be Kosto-Moss-Jackman/Nemisz.

    Could happen. Seems like Moss’s stock is dropping.