Flames Prospects Updated NHL Equivalency



Now that the organization has added a few more kids to the mix, it’s time to take a look the Flames youngster’s NHLE, or NHL equivalencies based on their most recent season’s work. NHLE gives us an idea of how well a given skater’s output would translate to the NHL and allows us to compare players across disparate leagues.

Flames Forward Prospects NHLE

Player League PPG Translation NHLE Age
Sven Baertschi WHL 2.00 0.30 49 19
Michael Ferland WHL 1.41 0.30 35 20
John Gaudreau NCAA 1.00 0.41 34 18
Makus Granlund SM-liiga 0.72 0.54 32 18
Max Reinhart WHL 1.28 0.30 31 20
Bill Arnold NCAA 0.86 0.41 29 20
Greg Nemisz AHL 0.57 0.44 21 22
Turner Elson WHL 0.82 0.30 20 19
Coda Gordon WHL 0.80 0.30 20 18
Akim Aliu AHL 0.33 0.44 12 23
Mark Jankowski* HS 1.63 0.07 10 17
Matt Deblouw USHL 0.58 0.20 9 18
Ryan Howse AHL 0.23 0.44 8 21
Nick Larson CCHA 0.23 0.41 8 23
Gaelan Patterson AHL 0.11 0.44 4 21

 *Jankowski’s NHLE was a best guess arrived at here.


There aren’t a lot of surprises here, except perhaps the Janko number. Of course, we can’t really be sure of that one because he played in such and obscure league, one for which isn’t an established translation factor.

This process shows just how out in front of the pack Sven Baertschi is – even the older guys like Max Reinhart and Michael Ferland weren’t all that close to him. Keep in mind the younger a guy is, the further he is from his production peak and the more likely he is to take a step forward in the near future. That is, of course, bad news for guys beyond their 21st birthday like Greg Nemisz or Nick Larson who are already well back of some of their younger peers.

The other guy that stands out is Gaudreau, given his age, the quality of the league he played in and the fact that most freshman aren’t handed big roles or minutes. If he can crest an NHLE of 40 in his sophomore season, the Flames know they really have something with him.

Of course, NHLE has some obvious blindspots: it doesn’t know who a guy was playing with and in what situations and it doesn’t necessarily adjust for changes in role or ice time. So if Sven makes the Flames this coming season but is relegated to a 4th line, 8-minute per night role, there’s obviously no chance he’ll be challenging for 50-points. Still, this gives us some idea of how each prospects performance stands relative to the NHL and one another.

  • Colin.S

    Larson and Patterson will never make the NHL IMO.

    I don’t think we can even really get a handle on Jankowski’s NHLE until he plays in a league that people know exsists.

    And like you said NHLE does have its flaws. From what I understand it doesn’t take into account where those points come from PP vs ES. And like that Oilers prospect all showed up, that is a very important distinction.

    • Yup, that’s correct. It’s very broad brush, in part because of how hard it is to get contextual data from lower leagues.

      As with NHL players, younger is better, ES points are better and tougher circumstances are better.

    • Most top-end offensive prospects are north of 40 in their teens. Gaudreau might get there as a 19-year old in NCAA. So the Flames could have two guys in that range (with the Janko wild card).

      Teams with high-end systems have multiple guys like that, plus however you want to rank top notch defenders as well (I’d say Calgary has zero of those on the blueline currently).

  • MC Hockey

    Good stuff Kent.

    I was a bit surprised at Janko’s number but he is very young and will improve one would think (right?).

    It will be interesting to see if he goes USHL or college for 2012-13 and I assume eithe rway you can and hopefully will do a new NHLE in the middle of the year like January perhaps?

  • MC Hockey

    It seems like Calgary is definately doing a better job with it’s drafting, we have top end offensive talent with Baertschi, then a wild card with Jankowski but even he’s looking good. Then with Gaudreau, high risk/high reward, and then bottom 6 type players like Ferland, Reinhart, and Arnold. It seems to me like Feaster has done a good job re-stocking our forwards’ prospect ranks, but our defenseman are lacking. Other then Brodie who has already turned pro, we don’t really have anything in our system except Brady Lamb.

  • I think everyone’s feeling a little better about Janko after watching him. If you want an indication of how he’ll do against better competition, he was really pretty dominating at development camp, against better and older competition than he’ll be facing next year. Looking at risk/reward and seeing what I’ve seen I’d say it was a VERY good gamble. I think there is good reason to believe he could have been a top 10 pick next year. You can get him at 21, and get a second rounder?

    Why is no one mentioning Granlund or Ferland? That’s a pretty good looking NHLE for an 18 year old in Granlund. And we’re saying (given Ferland’s G/A ratio) he might be capable of scoring 20 g in the NHL right now? Can’t wait to get rid of some dead weight contracts so we can see these guys.

    • Nice find. He lasted to round 4 because he’s 5’10” and 170 pounds I assume. Still, worthwhile gamble by ANA in the middle rounds.

      Of note is the fact that the guy who placed second on his team in scoring was nearly 50 (!) points back of Roy.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Not sure why there’s such a hate on for Greg Nemisz as a prospect as a sudden. He just finished his 21-year-old season, played 9 games with the Flames, and drew great reviews from management on his last of 3 NHL recalls.

    So he didn’t light up some scrimmages with no systems and minimal coaching in the middle of a summer regime that has him training with Gary Roberts and focused on peaking for Training Camp in the Fall… confusing.

    • I think it’s more to do with his limited ceiling and the Flames almost endless parade of first round busts. Particularly at the forward position.

      He hasn’t hit 24 yet, so he still has time to figure things out. I don’t know if he’ll ever graduate too far beyond the 4th line if he ever makes the leap however.

    • McRib

      I agree there seems to be a bit of unfair criticism of Nemisz. We seem to get all excited about some of the NCAA players but if he played NCAA he would have been a Junior and I have no doubt he would have done exceedingly well at that level.
      While the new guys are exceedingly motivated to show at the prospect camp Nemisz has had at least 3 and would therefore be focused on training camp.
      I’m guessing with guys like him an Reinhart a more accurate assessment can be made at training camp.
      I thing playing more games in leagues such as WHL and AHL is better preparation in many regards than NCAA so let’s not be too hard on the 20 and 21 year old AHL players.

  • RexLibris

    The prospect list is beginning to look better for Calgary.

    One problem that I see, though, is that the level of talent in the farm system would be ideal for a team looking to sustain a high level or that is developing complementary talent.

    The issue is that the Flames need a few high-end prospects at both forward and defense.

    That being said, at least the development model appears to be moving in the right direction. Step one complete.

  • RexLibris

    I don’t hate on Nemisz. He seems like a good kid, and its not his fault Sutter drafted 2 rounds too high. But he is a first round pick, and with that comes expectations.

    I seriously doubt that he will ever be a good enough skater to stick in the nhl.

    • SmellOfVictory

      His NHLE is 37 points based on his season last year, and 61 points based on the preceding year. I think that provides a pretty decent bracket in terms of what we can expect of him.

      • zachg

        yup. That previous year was with Jaromir Jagr on his line, though, and last season he still led the team in goals, assists, and points. His playoff production is encouraging, though.

  • McRib

    The thing that stings the most about the Nemisz selection is that Tyler Ennis went right after him, its not like Darryl Sutter and Co. didn’t get a chance to watch him in Medicine Hat for three years. UUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! He was also outstanding at the U18s/ World Junior summer camps in CALGARY!! Remember watching those camps he was the most physical player on the ice really made you forget about his size. Apparently the Flames were unaware of that though. Oh and John Carlson was the next selection

    NCAA Translation seems kind of high at 0.41 compared to WHL’s 0.30, considering no league has produced more NHL players than the WHL. Still interesting though.

    Also Markus Granlund stats are skewed because he had the luxury of playing on a line with his brother who should have been in the NHL last year. After watching him in the World Juniors if he ever wants to come over to North America desperately needs to get stronger, really got pushed around in the corners against Canada/ USA. There were more than a couple times where he came out of the corners on his knees, haha.

    Really liked Bill Arnold in the World Juniors for team USA looks like he will be a solid third liner down the road that can produce and has toughness.

    • zachg

      the NCAA translation is that high largely because the players in College tend to be older than in Major Junior. The average age in the WHL is just less than 19 years, and in NCAA it’s above 21. Almost 3 years of development is a lot for players that young.

  • BurningSensation

    I’m still giddy about the Big Jankowski, and that we have a GM with the brass nuts to draft him!

    One feature of the old Flames team was how it was built by landing multiple players in a single draft. In 1984 alone the Flames picked; Roberts, Ranheim, Hrdina and some guy named Brett Hull. Hitting that many picks in a draft reinvents your team in a way trades don’t.

    When was the last time we had multiple guys from a draft make the team?

    • McRib

      2008, with Brodie and Bouma so far, Nemisz maybe soon. 2004 had Prust, Boyd, and Pardy. 2002 had Nystrom, Lombardi, and McElhinney. 2001 had Kobasew and Moss. Still, not great returns in those years, really. Generally depth players at best.

  • McRib

    @Baalzamon Great so the young future star NCAA players get to play against crappier “older” competition who will never make it. Honestly the good teams in the NCAA are so stacked it would inflate potential if anything. The old guys in the NCAA rarely pan out and its the guys who stay two years then leave that become stars.

    When Toews played a double header against Minnesota State when he was at UND, did he honestly say this is going to make me a better hockey player, hahaha. No, He was like me TJ Ohsie, Drew Stafford and Travis Zajac are going to pad our stats so our NHL teams notice!!! That year of their top 10 players 9 of them left school early the only guy who stayed was Ryan Duncan who won a Hobey and will never play in the NHL.


    Personally think that this NHLE is a load of CRAP. There are a ton of other factors that go into your future NHL success. All this NHLE says is you scored a lot of points in a decent league when you were younger. They should call this the Alexander Daigle predictor!!

    Examples: Did they play on a good team (Inflate Stats)? Did they play on a bad team (Deflate Stats)? Did they get injured and miss significant games? Did they grow late (Mark Jankowski)? Did they bulk up after junior? Did a junior coach not like their style as much as an NHL coach (Roman Horak)? This indicator leaves so many questions its stupid.

  • McRib


    … what exactly is your point? most junior players don’t make the NHL either.

    honestly, you make it sound like I claimed NCAA was the “bestest leeg evarrr!!1!” when all I did was say the players were older.

  • I'm Just Sayin'

    Not a fan of advanced stats. There are far too many variables to consider when you are judging teenagers or early twenty players. If every team depended solely on these numbers the league would miss out on numerous late bloomers (e.g. Clarkson) who were never drafted and have excelled at the elite level.

    There is something to be said for their use, but relying on them entirely is foolish. No offence to you stat geeks out there.

    As far as you Nemisz lovers, well you need to get some glasses. He can’t skate, shoot, or pass the puck at an elite level. The fact that he did not dominate this camp should be an eye opener for anyone who thinks he will contribute at the NHL level.

  • PrairieStew

    The important thing to look at is progression. In Nemisz’s case his NHLE ppg has gone

    17 – 0.16
    18 – 0.30,
    19 – 0.35,
    20 0.41
    21- 0.21, and
    21 – 0.25.

    Clearly in his last 2 years of junior, playing alot and with quality players such as Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique he put up good numbers. His role in Abbotsford not as big, pretty safe to assume that he didn’t get the kind of pp time and total minutes. Can he step it up this year and continue to improve that number? Maybe, too early to give up in my view. If that number goes down again though you have to take a long look