Hockey’s back, in the form of the Battle of Alberta from Penticton’s YoungStars Tournament! The puck drops at 5pm MT and can be experienced via webcast from the Flames website.
Can the Flames start off the prospects tournament on a winning note against the team their kids have (hopefully) been conditioned to hate the most? We can only hope.
Via our pals at the Flames site, here’s the prospective line-up (presented in no particular order):
- Andy Taranto – Max Reinhart – Josh Jooris
- Michael Ferland – Markus Granlund – Ben Hanowski
- Turner Elson – Sean Monahan – Emile Poirier
- Sven Baertschi – Corban Knight – Coda Gordon
- Keegan Kanzig – Tyler Wotherspoon
- Ryan Culkin – John Ramage
- Patrick Sieloff – Brett Kulak
Laurent Brossoit gets the start in net, with Joni Ortio backing him up. On the roster but scratched are blueliners Eric Roy and Zach Davies and forwards Dylan Smoskowitz and Linden Penner. Ryan Howse (suspended) and Morgan Klimchuk (injury) obviously aren’t gonna play.
The Elson-Monahan-Poirier line should be fun to watch, as should the Sven-Knight-Gordon line. And I have to admit, that defensive group seems pretty solid. But the Reinhart and Granlund lines seem a bit odd. That said, it’s impossible to know just how long these combos will stick together.
The prospective Baby Oilers are fielding these lines, as per the Flames site.
- Kale Kessy – Andrew Miller – Marco Roy
- Austin Fyten – Jujhar Khaira – Greg Chase
- Jackson Houck – Travis Ewanyk – Cameron Abney
- Brandon Baddock – Chase Schaber – Ty Bilke
- Oscar Klefbom – Darnell Nurse
- Ben Betker – Martin Marincin
- Martin Gernat – David Musil
- Tyler Bunz
Lots of connections with Flames kids here. Jackson Houck and David Musil are current and former teammates of Brett Kulak on the Vancouver Giants. Several of the Oilers here (Travis Ewanyk, Mitch Moroz, Martin Gernat, David Musil, and Brandon Baddock) also played with Laurent Brossoit on the Oil Kings.
That top D pairing is very good, while the forwards are a bit of a dog’s breakfast. That said, Tyler Bunz was an excellent WHL goaltender who had a disappointing first pro year, spending the majority of it with ECHL Stockton and generally not doing great. He’ll be hard-pressed to have a strong showing here to create some momentum for himself in his sophomore pro campaign.
SUM IT UP
The world may seem all topsy-turvy with Brian Burke being part of the Flames organization, but like a cozy blanket, hockey is back to snuggle us all back to sanity. And better yet, it’s the Battle of Alberta – albeit with the Oilers depth players against the not-quite-Flames.
You have to start somewhere, I guess.