Flames Top 15 Prospects 2013: #1 TJ Brodie

 


TJ Brodie

  Via kkthemook

TJ Brodie just continues to exceed expectations.

The fact that he’s even made it to the NHL as a 4th round pick is nothing short of amazing. Well, not only is Brodie an NHLer – but lately he’s been playing his way into top-pairing status.

While we at FlamesNation have always been bullish on Brodie and his chances at an NHL career, I don’t think I ever would’ve guessed Brodie would be playing top-pair minutes at any point in the future. Regardless if he played on the top pairing post-Bouwmeester because of necessity or ability (a little of both), the fact that he didn’t look completely overwhelmed is a good sign.

  Justin Ryan Kent Hayley BoL
Brodie 1 1 1 1 1


The underlying numbers don’t quite line up with the visual evaluation, but as we explored in Brodie’s WOWY that’s likely more to do with his moving up and down the lineup more than everything else skill-wise. We’ll probably be able to take a little more from next year’s results, as his role should stabilize a little. That said, he has led the Flames blueline in possession over the last two seasons. In his rookie year, the difference between Brodie on and off the ice in terms of team-wide shot differential was one of the widest in the league.

Personally, I think Brodie’s best skill/asset is his calm skating. His feet are calm and he takes long strides. He also has great first pass ability – I’d bet many of the Flames’ controlled zone entries down the stretch were started by Brodie’s stick. We know for a fact that Brodie’s scoring chance numbers were unreal the entire season. Games where he out chanced the opposition by a wide margin – even when much of the team was underwater – were the norm, not the exception.

He also has some offensive upside, but that’s started to take a back seat to the defensive game ever since he arrived in Abbotsford. He’ll probably be used on the 1st PP unit next year though – at the very least, his PP time will increase sans Bouwmeester – so that’ll be a good place for him to collect some more points.

  GP PPG Translation Factor NHLE
2006-07 OHL 20 .20 .30 04.92
2007-08 OHL 68 .44 .30 10.82
2008-09 OHL 63 .79 .30 19.43
2009-10 OHL 65 .86 .30 21.16
2010-11 AHL 68 .50 .44 18.04
2010-11 NHL 03 .00 1.0 00.00
2011-12 AHL 12 .25 .44 09.02
2011-12 NHL 54 .26 1.0 21.32
2012-13 AHL 35 .57 .55 25.71
2012-13 NHL 47 .30 1.0 24.60

It’s hard to say where Brodie will eventually settle in. Every time I try to pin down Brodie’s ceiling, he just blows past it. Last year, I said he’d top out at a #3 PP-QB. The year before that, I thought 4/5. Year before that, I thought him to be a good bottom pairing guy. This year? I’m saying a 30-point #2 guy.

This year, he finishes ahead of Sven Baertschi simply because he showed more this season at the NHL level. Really, the two are pretty much interchangeable depending on what you value more – a first line winger or a top-pairing defender. Hell, I had Sven 1st until like last 5 games of the season.

Conclusion

The Flames’ current prospect pool is probably underwhelming to most fans, simply because of the lack of high-end ability. Sure, many of the prospects here are going to top out at 3rd liners or 5th defensemen (maybe) – but those guys are important. Having a good bottom half of the roster gives you more opportunity to shelter the top half, which leads to better results. There’s a lot of guys with two-way, tough-minutes potential here.

Hopefully, the Flames can add to their number of high-end prospects tomorrow.

Flames Top 15 Prospects 

  • Franko J

    I’m wondering what type of contract the Flames will sign him to?

    I agree with Kent he reminds me of OEL.

    I just like the fact that the Flames management has given him a chance to show what he is capable of. Along with Backlund and Baertschi, I’m looking forward to watching him further develop. With all three, I believe they will provide a good start of transitioning and transforming the core of the Flames.

  • BurningSensation

    The only down arrows for Brodie relate to his World Championship performance, but I think they can mostly be chalked up to some insane coaching choices by Lindy Ruff (like what he did with Taylor Hall).

    I do worry that Brodie’s ceiling is lower than hoped, 2nd pairing guy out of place on the top pairing, but that’s a pretty good worry to have at this point.

  • PrairieStew

    Brodie is not only the best prospect, but could very well be the team’s best player this upcoming season.

    6 of the 15 prospects should be in the opening day lineup this fall. That shows that this team has finally turned the page to a new era. Regardless of where the team is at come mid season, they should be dealing pending free agents Cammaleri, Stajan, Stempniak, and Jackman, which could allow 4 more of those prospects, or a couple of those not on the list (Knight, Hanowski) to get playing time at the end of the year. It is as these guys mature, along with the assets that can be added in this draft and the next one that will set the team up for the future.

    So I hope Feaster is not very active in the FA market next week; lets see what the kids have and add another high pick next year.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Been a big Brodie tout’er since he his draft +1 year. I am glad for once all my enthusiasm has paid off.

    When I watch this kid skate and carry the puck, especially the Dzone, everything seems effortless. His puck retrieval in the Dzone is just phenomenal, even under heavy pressure. He has no issue being a bit reckless to make something special happen.

    Is he a star player? No, but he will quietly be one of the best blueliners on the Flames next season, again, I have a strong feeling.

    PS. It is really hot in Iraq right now, so if my thoughts are jumbled, it’s because my brain has boiled a little bit.