Flames WJC Camp: Quick Scouting Report


PC #32 Jon Gillies

– pic via D. Mahoney

I didn’t get to see any of the Flames kids at the recent WJC development camp tournament, but Hockey Prospectus‘ Corey Pronman took in every second of play (or close anyways). So in oreder to buttress Christian’s insights from earlier today, I contacted Pronman and asked him to weigh on how the Calgary kids performed.

Kent Wilson: Although their individual performances during the season will go a long way to determining who will make the cut, was there one guy who stood out to you as a near lock after watching the exhibition games?

Corey Pronman: Sieloff, Monahan and Gillies are all locks if Monahan isn’t in the NHL. Monahan didn’t stand out but it’s a fairly safe assumption.

Mark Jankowski was a "surprise" invite to camp this summer. How did he fare? What would you say his chances of making Team Canada are?

Jankowski was below-average. He had some flashes, like a scoring chance per game, and while he skates well and has skill he was well behind the quick pace that is U20 hockey. His chances of making the team are low.

Emile Poirier appeared to get some reps in a scoring role for Team Canada. How did he perform?

I thought Poirier was average in the first game, but he was good in the second. Showed good speed, nice work ethic pressuring defensemen and some nice passes setting up a few chances.

Jon Gillies is almost guaranteed to be the Americans starter this year. How did he look?

Gillies didn’t play a ton, mostly I think because USA already knows what they’re getting with him, but the full game he played versus Canada he was outstanding. His athletic skills are great but his technical aspects have really developed in the last 12 months.

I know you are profiling Pat Sieloff for ESPN so you can’t talk to much about him but…do you think he makes the club as a top-4 defender?

Sieloff is clearly in their top 4, and may even play on the top pairing when it’s all said and done. Mind you the USA U20s aren’t strong this year so read that statement with that in mind.

Overall, who were the best players in the exhibition tournament (Flames prospects or otherwise)?

Teuvo Teravainen (CHI) was the most impressive player there. Other standouts were Andre Burakowsky and Connor Carrick (WSH), Sebastian Collberg and Artturi Lehkonen (MTL), Gustav Possler (BUF) and Connor McDavid (2015).

Thanks to Corey for his observations. You can follow him on twitter here.

      • DoubleDIon

        Generally speaking drafting players who played Midget AA in the 1st round is a bad idea. Especially when you could have had a guy who looked good in one of the best pro leagues in the world as a 17 year old.

  • Parallex

    After the year that Gillies had last year his technical aspects have developed even further? The thought of him being even better must scare the manure out of Hockey East people (outside of Providence).


    • Tenbrucelees

      yeah, last season he was almost as terrifying as Connor Hellebucyk (1.37 GAA, .952 sv%) being a year younger. Getting better… holy.

      Of course, you would hope he would get better. Well, all Flames fans would, of course. I’m sure Oilers and Canucks fans would prefer he didn’t.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      If I could have trashed this comment more than once, I would have.

      Maybe you could anticipate that most people understand the difference between an opinion and fact. Having followed Pronman for 3+ seasons, I’ve come to value his opinions.

  • DoubleDIon

    Teravainen kicks puppies, that’s why we didn’t draft him I mean sure he might be great but I’m okay not having a puppy kicker on the team. (I don’t actually know if he kicks puppies but must be something like that for him to fall in the draft like he did.)

  • Truculence

    Before anybody get’s carried away, let’s remember there are kids every year (and I’ve been watching them religiously for the last 12 years) that excel at the WJC and get no more than a sniff at the NHL level. The Teravainen/Janko debate will not be settled in the near future. Also, remember that the Flames also acquired Sieloff by dropping down.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      You realize of course that Teravainen hasn’t just excelled at the WJC U20 level for Finland right? He’s played well for them at every age level internationally. He’s also excelled at every club level in Jokerit’s system too hence finding himself an SM-Liiga vet now at 18.

      Frankly, I like Chillout’s puppy kicking theory. 🙂

      • Truculence

        He scored 31 points in 44 games on a playoff team in SM Liga. That`s good, but not great. For context, Markus Granlund scored 34 points in 47 games in his draft +1 year. In other words, neither are elite prospects. And the circumstances in which they played (i.e. QOC and zone starts) were relatively easy according to analysts.

        The thing to keep in mind is that the Finnish league -a league in which a 5`7 Canadian who could not crack an NHL roster almost won the scoring race in competition with other twenty and thirty-year old somethings who no one will recognize -is nowhere near the quality of the NHL. It is also a league that is conducive to faster, more agile players who excel on bigger ice surfaces. The transition to the more physical NHL with its smaller surface is a transition a majority of Finnish picks never make.

        Hell, for a recent example of this difficulty take a look at our Czech import, who put up very good numbers in a much better league.

        Given his small size and stature, and his inability to post truly elite numbers in the SM Liga like his compatriot Barkov, it will suffice to say that Teravainen is no sure thing to be a regular NHLer.

        • SmellOfVictory

          Comparing Teravainen’s post draft season to Markus Granlund’s isn’t fair, because Granlund played with his brother. You know, the guy who was widely considered the best prospect in the world?

          Consider also how Granlund’s numbers slipped a little last year.

          • Truculence

            Contrary to popular belief, Granlund Jr. didn`t spend a majority of his ice-time skating beside his brother in his first pro year. In fact, a Finnish journalist interviewed on this site last year stated as much to KEnt.

            Secondly, why are you assuming that Teravainen had inferior line-mates? Have you any evidence? Was he carrying the mail on said line, as opposed to being simply along for the ride? Point is, you have absolutely no advanced stats to compare their respective circumstances in a second-tier league.

            Finally, at what point in time was Granlund Sr. considered the best prospect in the world? He was drafted in 2010 and has yet to appear in hist first full NHL season. Other players from the 2010 draft who have already played in the NHL include: Hall, Seguin, Connolly, Skinner, Jaden Schwartz, Tarasenko, Etem, and Beau Bennet. Hell, Baertchi, Hopkins, and Landeskog, among others, were drafted a year later and proved themselves to be much better suited to the NHL game already. Granlund is 5`10 and could not make the Minnesota roster full-time last year: a fact that does not bespeak of a prospect deserving of the `best prospect in the world` tag.

            In sum, he is skilled, but being smaller and slighter than even the Baertchis of the world will mean he will have to evince a Kane or St. Louis level of skill and hockey sense to make it in the league as a top-six forward, let alone as a star.

            In a similar vein, Teravainen is less skilled than Granlund Sr. and will have an even steeper hill to climb to become a competent NHLer.

        • McRib

          What does any of this have to do with what I posted? Your original post implied that Teravainen was maybe some sort of WJC wunderkind which yes, we’ve all seen tons of along with Jrs. players in general who never materialize in the NHL. As if his performance and any associated accolades is confined to what he’s done on that stage. I simply pointed out that it’s shortsighted to paint his career so far that way when he’s clearly developed, progressed, and played well and in some cases very well season-to-season wherever he’s tasked to whether it’s for Finland or Jokerit. I proffered no opinion about whether he is an NHL “sure thing”.

          But sure, if asked I personally think he likely has strong NHL potential because of his skill, high hockey IQ, and talent which I think have gone a long way to serving him playing well and with composure in a men’s league since the age of 16 without the benefit of a body of someone like a Barkov.

  • DoubleDIon

    Thanks for the update from someone who was there. Now we can only wait and see how each of these young men develop. I wish them all well; even those we may have missed out on.

  • DoubleDIon

    We couldn’t have had TT and Sieloff. I’m not as high on Sieloff as everyone else seems to be though. I’d happily trade Janko and Sieloff for Teravainen.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Considering the fact the Flames would have picked Sieloff in the first round had Jankowski been picked by their pick at 21, I think they did alright in getting both.

    Throw in Gillies and I don’t know how anyone can be dissapointed with the the ’12 draft.

    Sieloff and Jankowski combined are much more valuable than TT.

    Sieloff could turn pro as soon as this year and make an impact. In the long run I can see Sieloff having a bigger impact in the NHL than TT.

    I personally cant wait to see a dman that strikes fear into the opponants again.

    Throw in Jankowski as an asset and I dont know what else there is to debate about until the theoretical day comes when TT becomes an elite forward and Jankowski becomes another 1st round bust.

    We had similar players in Granlund, Baertschi and Guadreau. It was a solid gamble they took and I think we will all realize that one day.

      • Truculence

        I said he could turn pro this season.

        I think he will be assigned to the AHL this year and be in the call up group with Breen and Cundari, possibly even Wotherspoon & Billins.

        I think Hartley will continue rotating dman in and out until he finds the right mix. He rotated veterans in and out last year.

        Given that youth will be taken over experience, if all else is equal, there is a good chance we will see alot of different looks on d this season.

        Gio, Wideman and Brodie can expect to play every night. Outside them everyone else has to prove themselves to Hartley.

        This will be fun to watch as I like the mix of size, skill and grittiness within our defensive depth chart.

  • Truculence

    I wanted to remind myself of the three drafts that Feaster has conducted since he took over.
    2011: Sven, Grandlund, Wotherspoon Johnny Hockey, Brossoit. 3 small skilled forwards, a stay at home defenceman and a goalie. It seems likely that all of them will play pro hockey at some time this year and 4 of the 5 may actually suite up in a Flames jersey this season.

    2012: Had the 14th over all and traded down to 21 acquire a second round draft pick. Likely the player they really wanted at 14 had been selected and they did not see a big difference between the next 7 prospects so they traded down. They selected; Janko, Sieloff, Gillies, Kulak and others; all of whom were larger than anyone except Wotherspoon the previous year. Would anyone suggest that they needed another small forward or that anyone who was left has more potential than Sven or Johnny hockey? Two of the top three played world juniors last year and the third got an invite this(yes I know the family connection) this will help his development.

    2013: The year the rebuild officially begins; three first round picks. All skilled forwards; 2 of three get invites to WJC camp; both played reasonably well. The third could be an invite if he has a good season; one will likely get a cup of coffee with the big team this year. The big debate was not taking Hunter but instead taking Poirier who by this account of his play sounds like someone that Hartley will love. After the first round a lot of gambles but who knows in two years one or two of these young men may be closer than we think.

    While this is the official beginning of the rebuild I think we have some other pieces in place from the last two draft years. Plus a small group of vets who I think will be great role models and complimentary pieces. I know this year will be a struggle but I look forward to a better future and believe it might be sooner than we expect.

  • McRib

    Not a fan of Corey Pronman at all as he just states the obvious (living in Florida and all its hard to watch much Hockey outside of the top teams/tournaments that he catches online or makes the odd apperance, yet claims to have seen everyone.

    Anyway the thing that infuriates me the most is his love affair for Europeans/Americans…. I understand that outside of London, Portland, Edmonton, Barrie, Halifax, etc he watched very little of the CHL last year, but still its ridiculous to claim to be a draft expert and completely ignore the best developmental league in the world.

    “Teuvo Teravainen (CHI) was the most impressive player there. Other standouts were Andre Burakowsky and Connor Carrick (WSH), Sebastian Collberg and Artturi Lehkonen (MTL), Gustav Possler (BUF) and Connor McDavid (2015)”

    Canada was clearly the best team in the tournament (We beat Sweden, Finland and if not for Gillies would have beat the USA constantly sititng top players, while everyone else had close to final rosters) and all he can say is McDavid was good, lololololol!!! Noone else on Canada was good? I know Brendan Gaunce surpised me he looks like a player (unfortunatly). Not to mention Max Domi, Anothny Mantha and Sam Reinhart.

    Look at his ranking of Emile Poirier he does the same thing as THN or TSN, anyone without little hype they just plug into a safe middle of the second round position. Where firms like McKeen’s & Red Line Report who actually have a decent Quebec League presence loved the kid. Corey Pronman only see pospects at the World Juniors, U18s, etc much like TSN. So anyone who doesn’t preform well or get invited to these tournments has no chance in his rankings.