Flames Prospect Update, November 19 2012

As American Thanksgiving looms upon us mere Canadians – and with it, the opportunity for big, big savings on Black Friday – hockey continues to chug along. Every single Flames prospect was in action this weekend. Here’s how they’re looking in mid-to-late November.


Strangely, this weekend found both Flames’ affiliates – the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat and the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies – beginning road-trips.

Abbotsford kicked off a five-game sojourn with stops in Rochester, New York and Toronto, Ontario. The Heat beat the Americans 3-2 in a back-and-forth affair. Quintin Laing, Sven Baertschi and Paul Byron scored, with Byron getting the game-winner. Leland Irving made 36 saves for the win. All-in-all, a good effort.

Sunday was not quite as good an effort. The Heat lost 5-0 to the Marlies. Both teams put 24 pucks on the opposite net. Ben Scrivens gave up zero goals, while Leland Irving gave up five. Roman Horak, Ben Walter and Sven Baertschi – the Heat’s best line – were a combined minus-9 (or minus-3 apiece).

In the ECHL, the Grizzlies went 1-1-1 over their three-games-in-three-nights trip. Bryan Cameron had five points over the three games and leads Utah with 17 points in 14 games. Mitch Wahl continued his point-per-game pace with four points in the two games he played (he wasn’t dressed on Friday). Both continue to be the most consistent Flames properties in Utah.


Down in junior, some players continued to win. Others did not. These are their stories.

The Quebec Remparts are a very good team and Ryan Culkin is a good player on that team. The Remparts won both their games this weekend and Culkin had two assists and was plus-2. Portland is also really good and split their games this weekend. Tyler Wotherspoon had two assists and a plus-2 rating. Edmonton Oil Kings goaltender Laurent Brossoit made 18 saves in an overtime loss, his first game after a pair of Subway Super Series starts.

The Windsor Spitfires used to be amazing and now they’re less so. Young Patrick Sieloff had an assist and an even rating, but the Spitfres lost both of their games. The WHL’s Vancouver Giants are, to be blunt, much worse than Windsor and Brett Kulak may be their best blueliner. The Giants won one of their three weekend games. Kulak was minus-2, but also had three points.

The Red Deer Rebels are a .500ish hockey club that just fired their old coach and brought back in their owner/GM Brent Sutter. Captain Turner Elson, a Flame signee, had a goal and an assist as the new/old/new Rebels won both their weekend games. Swift Current also wobbles around that .500 mark. They lost both of their games this weekend and Coda Gordon was minus-2 with zero points.


Boston College won a game! Bill Arnold had an assist on the game-tying goal, and Johnny Gaudreau pushed his scoring pace to 14 points in 10 games with a pair of assists (including setting up the game-winner). To paraphrase the great Peter Loubrardias, that Gaudreau is some kinda player.

Providence College won their hockey game, as well. Mark Jankowski exploded for three points giving him seven in 10. Jon Gillies made 22 saves for his fifth win of the year. Gillies continues to be great, while Jankowski appears to be making progress.

Matthew Deblouw is sixth in his conference in scoring after an assist this weekend. He also is great at face-offs this year and is frequently called on to take important draws in the defensive zone. He is doing quite well for a middling Michigan State team, particularly as a freshman.


Roman Cervenka moved to the KHL (and to an arena a few blocks from his old team’s arena) recently! He had zero points this weekend and wasn’t great at face-offs, and his club (HC Lev Praha) lost both of their games. Karri Ramo’s Avangard Omsk club lost 4-3 in a shootout on Friday against the awesomely-named Traktor Chelyabinsk. His back-up started on Sunday and got a shut-out.

In SM-Liiga, HIFK Helinski split their weekend games. Markus Granlund had an assist on Thursday as the club lost 3-2 to Jokerit, but Joni Ortio shut out TPS Turku on Saturday. Ortio continues to be excellent on a team that is decent but not amazing, which may actually qualify him for a job with the Flames. (Or not.)

Oh yeah, and Mikael Backlund continues to be dominant for VIK Vasteras, potting a goal and an assist in the club’s 5-1 win over the weekend. That gives him 21 points in just 13 games so far.


  • I watched the BC game. That team is unbelievable. They fell down 3-0 on a couple of rare soft goals on Parker Milner, but just kept at it.

    After the 3rd goal went in, they only allowed something stupid like 5 or 6 shots against the rest of the way. Everytime Gaudreau touches the puck the electricity in that home rink picks up.

    On another note, 2012 prospect camp invite Connor Hardowa is having a good start to the year. He has 9 assists in 10 games and is a right handed shot. I would be shocked if Feaster isn’t calling his agent when the season ends.

  • T&A4Flames

    I’d like to thank all of the writers who continue to try and bring new stories during this stupidly idiotic lockout.

    The updates on the prospects is certainly one article I look forward to reading each week. Also, thanks for updating the progress on our younger players like Backlund & Cervenka as well.

  • I agree, it is a lot of work to keep track of all the prospects and report on it. Great work Ryan, I can only hope that FN keep this type of article alive and keep the updates coming no matter what happens with the NHL.

    Its funny how small sample sizes can be altered so easily. When Kent was talking about Jankowski in his Piece earlier this week he was 4 pts in 9 games for a .44 ppg and 1 game later he grabs up 3 points and is 7 pts in 10 games for a .7 ppg total (which I might note is the magic number Kent mentioned he needed to grab in order to keep his development on track to make an NHL impact)

    Once again its a small sample with only 10 games but in a 35 or 40 game season things change quickly. I would say seemingly you don’t have too much time to get into the rhythm of things.

    Hopefully he is warmed up and ready to really make the most of the last 2/3 of the season.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Yeah, and the sample size is even worse with NCAA with their sparsely-populated season. Imagine how one of Iginla’s 10+ game goal droughts would look in the context of a 40 game season as opposed to 82 games.

  • As an absolute hockey geek, I am pleased to an extreme with this kind of coverage of Flames assets not playing in the NHL.

    Would like to think that, if, as and when the lockout is over, we could look forward to similar coverage. Keep up the great work!

    I would alos like some direction as to how one might be able to access live NCAA video coverage. With the Flames assets playing Div I, watching BC, Providence, Michigan State, Wisconsin in action might be a great way to pass a winters eve. . .!

  • SmellOfVictory

    I think it’s worth noting both in relation to Gaudreau and Jankowski expectations: Gaudreau’s PPG rate after 25 games in his freshman season was 0.68 (17/25). He had 8 goals and 9 assists. Down the stretch in the final 19 games he had 13 goals and 14 assists for a 1.42 PPG clip. He lead the Eagles in every listed category except shots where he bowed to Kreider 66 to 65. Goals: 13 to Paul Carey’s 11, Assists: 14 to Pat Mullane’s 13, Points 27 to Kreider, Whitney and Mullane’s 20, +21 tied with Brian Dumoulin.

    If we’re expecting him to keep progressing, there should be more to come: right now he’s just picking up where he left off last year.

    And Jankowski, even if he only maintains his current pace, he’ll be ahead of Gaudreau at midseason.

    This is for the benefit of anyone else who’s had concern with Jankowski’s start – it is early. Just the facts – read into them what you will…

    • SmellOfVictory

      it’s also worth noting that Gaudreau plays for a ridiculously good team (they were even better last season, when Kreider, Arnold, and Gaudreau were nearly always on 3 separate lines(!!!)) While Jankowski, at 7 points, is tied for 2nd on his team, and is tied for 1st in goals (4)–also remember he’s a playmaker as you make note of this.

      • SmellOfVictory

        Yup. And consider that his (appreciably older) linemates have historical scoring paces of 0.5-0.75 points/game, and it seems fairly likely that nobody’s really bolstering him to any great extent. Whatever he’s creating offensively is heavily dependent on him.

        That said, it’s entirely fair to say that Gaudreau is currently better and more polished than Jankowski. Any real comparisons beyond that are difficult due to circumstances, though.

        • SmellOfVictory

          “That said, it’s entirely fair to say that Gaudreau is currently better and more polished than Jankowski. Any real comparisons beyond that are difficult due to circumstances, though.”

          absolutely. It’s rather impressive, to me, that Gaudreau has managed to get back to the 1.4PPG even now that he’s his team’s primary offensive weapon (when last year, he was mostly on the 3rd line). But it certainly helps that his center is Pat Mullane.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    As has been mentioned, I also love these weekly updates. Look forward to them every Monday. I’m enough of a Flames fan to dig into some of this on my own, but Ryan’s updates bring more peace with the wife and less nagging to get off the computer! Ryan Pike – saving marriages everywhere!