Flames Prospect Update, November 12 2012


The clock keeps on ticking on the 2012-13 National Hockey League season, but the Calgary Flames prospects continue to play hockey in stunning ignorance of the fact that hockey is supposed to entirely stop during an NHL lockout. Weird, eh?

Anyhow, while Canada observed Remembrance Day and the United States observed Veterans Day this weekend, there was a lot of hockey being played.


The AHL’s Abbotsford Heat did battle with the Oklahoma City Barons, the affiliate of the dastardly Edmonton Oilers, in back-to-back games this weekend. The Baby Flames took three points away from the weekend series against the uber-stacked Barons (who boast two first-overall NHL draft picks) in the form of a 4-0 win Friday night and a 2-1 overtime loss on Saturday.

Goaltender Danny Taylor started both games and made 57 saves over the two games. Forward Paul Byron returned from injury and looked a bit rusty, but gradually improved throughout the weekend. Ben Street was excellent, with three points. T.J. Brodie had two assists and was all over the ice all weekend. Dustin Sylvester had a goal in each game, including the marker that sent Saturday’s game into overtime. Roman Horak and Sven Baertschi combined for a single point, but were generally quite good.

The Heat are now 7-1-1-2 overall this season, good enough for fourth place in the AHL’s Western Conference. However, they have two games in hand on division-leader Lake Erie, who are a single point ahead of Abbotsford, and who’ll visit the Heat for a pair of games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In the ECHL, Utah lost twice and none of the Flames youngsters did much of anything. Bryan Cameron had two assists, but he probably doesn’t count.


Boston College played twice this weekend and won both games. As expected, Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold continued to drive the bus in terms of offense. Gaudreau had three goals over the two games, including the game-winning goals in each contest. Gaudreau continues to make a case for himself as a Hobey Baker candidate; he’s got 12 points in 9 games so far, currently sits second in his conference in scoring. He also leads in terms of points-per-game pace and has twice as many game-winning goals (5) than the next-best player.

Heck, Bill Arnold is tied for third in conference scoring with 10 points in 9 games. He’s building a strong resume himself, although his game doesn’t project to be a high-scoring one. He’s one of a few Eagles players with points on both the power-play and the penalty-kill though.

Providence College only played once, losing 4-0 to Massachusetts. Despite the lopsided loss, Jon Gillies made 28 saves and was apparently good. He’s emerged as a solid goaltender for the Friars. Mark Jankowski was held off the score-sheet and has 4 points thus far this season.

Michigan State split a weekend series with their arch-rivals from Michigan. Matthew Deblouw had three points and a plus-1 rating on the weekend. He’s put up 10 points in 10 games this year, despite being a freshman on a fairly decent team. He’ll need to work on his consistency, as he’s been scoring in bunches or been held off the board. Still, 10 points as a freshman is pretty good, and he’s still got most of the season left.


Edmonton’s Laurent Brossoit hasn’t been amazing this year. He’s still won games, but his underlying numbers have been iffy. But as he begins to get close in on the time of year where Hockey Canada decides who’s representing them at the World Juniors, he’s starting to round into form. He made 38 saves this weekend against Prince George and has been excellent in November with a 3-1-0 record, 1.75 goals against average and .943 save percentage. Sustainable? Heck no. Closer to where he’s been in the last year or so? Definitely.

Portland’s Tyler Wotherspoon continues to rack up points. He had a goal and two assists, along with a plus-5 rating, in a trio of back-to-back-to-back Portland games. The Winterhawks won all three games. Wotherspoon has 16 points and a plus-23 rating over 18 games this year.

Quebec’s Ryan Culkin returned from the Subway Super Series and reportedly looked…okay. He had an assist and a minus-3 rating in a pair of Remparts wins. Culkin has 17 points in 18 games this season. It helps he’s playing on a good team, as the Remparts are one of the best outfits in junior hockey. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Brett Kulak is playing for a bad, bad team in Vancouver. They split their games over the weekend and Kulak had two assists and a minus-4 rating. The Giants are dead-last in the WHL’s Western Conference (and ahead of only the Kootenay Ice overall) and Kulak has 11 points this year.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Yeah, it’d be nice to have at least one Flames prospect make the Canadian WJC team, and he’s about the only one who has a legitimate chance as far as I’m aware. Not sure if Wotherspoon might get an invite to camp or not.

      • SmellOfVictory

        probably not–Canada’s pretty solid on D.

        In direct contrast, the Flames might have 3 guys on the American team–Gaudreau, Gillies, and Sieloff all have a legitimate shot, though if Gillies makes it he probably won’t play all that much behind John Gibson.

        • SmellOfVictory

          Yeah, I was thinking possibly if the lockout ended prior to camp. Presumably Hamilton and Murray would both be in the NHL, which would open things up a little more on defence.

          • SmellOfVictory

            even then, you’ve got Scott Harrington, Ryan Murphy, Matt Dumba, Ryan Pulock, Morgan Rielly, and presumably Griffin Reinhart ahead of him. If he outperforms Reinhart in camp, though… who knows. They’ll want grit to go with all that skill.

            But you’re right, if the lockout ends before selection camp, Wotherspoon should probably be in the top 12 or so names.

  • SmellOfVictory

    The cupboard is still bare of potentially great prospects.

    I would look at a Jay-bo trade to strictly secure a couple of top end prospects…badly needed!

  • SmellOfVictory

    5 game winners in 9 games is a impressive stat at any level, particularly by a sophomore thats 5’7, highly intrigued by Gaudreau.
    On another note, interesting to see Ryan Pinder (radio guy for the Heat) give it to Vancouver media for their lack of coverage, in particular Jason Botchford on twitter last night.

  • Deaner_

    5 game winning goals in 9 games is a impressive stat at any level of hockey, when its a sophomore thats 5’7 playing in a very challenging div even more so. I’m very intrigued by Gaudreau, and Arnold for that matter.
    On another note, interesting to see the Heats radio guy Ryan Pinder take a few swings at Vancouver media for lack of coverage on Twitter last night, in particular Jason Botchford. I live in the Vancouver area and the only time the Heat are mentioned is for the lack of turn out to games or the opposition coming to town.

  • Deaner_

    5 game winning goals in 9 games is freaking impressive at any level of hockey. Very intrigued to see just where Gaudreau is able to take his game this season, an appearance at the WJC would be some what telling of his abilities vs the best at his age.
    On another note, interesting to see Ryan Pinder (voice of the Heat) get into it with Canuckcentric media type Jason Botchford on Twitter last night about the lack of coverage in the Province for the Heat.