Flames Prospects NHLE – December 17th, 2012

It has been about a month since we looked at the NHL equivalencies of Flames kids and with Ryan giving us a more qualitative run down of their progress below, it seems like as good a time as any to see how their scoring is coming along.

We’ll start with the guys up front

Forwards

Forwards League PPG Translation NHLE
John Gaudreau NCAA 1.64 0.41 55
Sven Baertschi AHL 0.89 0.55 40
Roman Horak AHL 0.69 0.55 31
Bill Arnold NCAA 0.93 0.41 31
Matt Deblouw CCHA 0.75 0.41 25
Coda Gordon CHL 0.84 0.30 21
Turner Elson WHL 0.79 0.30 20
Mark Jankowski NCAA 0.57 0.41 19
Markus Granlund SM-liiga 0.43 0.54 19
Paul Byron AHL 0.41 0.55 19
Max Reinhart AHL 0.16 0.55 7
Greg Nemisz AHL 0.00 0.55 0

Gaudreau has pulled away after his blistering start and is now all by himself at the top of the chart. I fully expect Sven to overtake Johnny G at some point (assuming he comes back healthy), but it’s hard not to gush about Gaudreau’s sophomore season thus far. His NHLE, although only based on 14 games (small sample alert), is still really, really impressive.

Everyone else below the two big guns has sunk to mediocre or worse territory. Granlund’s numbers are particularly disappointing – his NHLE has almost been cut in half relative to his output last year (34). It’s a really bad sign when guys in their teens take a big step backwards and suggests their previously impressive results weren’t real. Granlund naturally has the rest of the season to right the ship, but currently it looks like he was riding his big brothers coat tails to a non-trivial degree last season.

I added Turner Elson to add context, though his output implies he isn’t really a prospect of interest –  a guy with an NHLE of 20 in his 20/21 yar old season in junior probably isn’t going to go too far as a pro (unless he’s a fighter).

Defense

Defensemen League PPG Translation NHLE
TJ Brodie AHL 0.54 0.55 24
Tyler Wotherspoon CHL 0.79 0.30 20
Ryan Culkin CHL 0.82 0.29 19
Brett Kulak CHL 0.50 0.30 12
Patrick Sieloff CHL 0.26 0.30 7
Brady Lamb AHL 0.13 0.55 6
John Ramage NCAA 0.13 0.41 4

Brodie’s number have sunk as the Heat have gone through their ice cold phase over the last few weeks, but he continues to lead the blueline prospects in NHLE anyways. Wotherspoon finally usurped Culkin from the second spot thanks to the QMJHL being a slightly easier league than the WHL.

There’s hope both Kulak and Culkin will turn out to be capable two-way guys like Brodie and Pat Sieloff is impressing folks with his big hits and defensive acumen in the OHL. That said, the Flames prospect cupboard is barren when it comes to high-end offense from the back-end.

Backlund Bonus

Mikael has slowed down after averaging nearly 2 points-per-game in the early going for Vasteras. His 27 points in 20 games now translates to an NHLE of about 40.

    • From the perspective of the NHLE stat, yes. The low 30’s is “good”, but it’s not exceptional by any means. Anyone who is going to score at the NHL level is usually a consistent 40+ by this metric as a youngster.

      He’s still one of the better forward prospects in the Flames system I’d say, but he’s definitely a solid tier or two below a guy like Baertschi.

      Mediocre is probably not terribly accurate when it comes to Arnold and Horak – they’re in the “good” strata of the results. Everyone below them is solidly mediocre or worse though.

  • the Heat’s collective offensive drought probably has a lot to do with that too. Still, I think a 30 point E is fairly decent for Horak. I always thought of him as more of a 2way than an offensive forward, anyway.

    Arnold is definitely tracking as a great defensive 3rd line center. I think he’ll probably be converted to RW as a pro, though.

    • That’s true. On the other hand, Horak’s current # relies a lot on an uncanny shooting percentage run. In fact, his SH% in the AHL right now is still 21% despite the fact that he has scored 3 goals in his last 17 games after being red hot in October.

      I personally like Horak from a tools perspective. He’s a smooth, agile skater and he has some puck skills. Still, the objective observer in me is wary of red flags.

  • RexLibris

    Horak, to me, looks like that versatile extra forward an NHL coach likes to use. He can play wing or center, appears to have a decent level of competitiveness and energy that he brings, and at this point in his career, isn’t as likely to suffer from sitting the occasional game that others might.

    In other words, it looks like he’s eaten Nemisz’s lunch.

  • Purple Hazze

    Looking 3-4 years out I could see Reinhart and Arnold combing to create a very effective shut down line 3rd line.

    I think the WJHC coming up will give us a better opportunity to see what kind of player Granlund really is, if he fails to impress maybe Flames should look at moving him to the Wild to play with his older brother … they might be willing to overpay.