Flames Prospect Camp Wrap up


Well, 2013’s prospect camp is now in the rear-view mirror for the Calgary Flames as players regroup and prepare for the grind that is main camp.
But as we look forward to main camp opening on Wednesday, let’s look back at the overall performance of the fledgling Flames over the past week.


The Flames won three of four games, meaning the goalies got in the way of most of the pucks they faced. The club was also out-shot in half their games (against the Canucks and Sharks), so considering they won three games handily and lost once by a goal, you could make the case that their goaltenders did rather well.
Laurent Brossoit played twice, going 1-1 with a respectable 2.51 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. Granted, the games he started featured the Flames playing their best and arguably worst efforts of the tourney, so his numbers may be skewed.
Ortio did great in his first game, allowing a single goal and stopping 39 of 40 shots. After the San Jose game, Jay Feaster mused that Ortio worked his way into the “who’s starting in Calgary this year” conversation with his efforts. He looked similarly poised against the Dinos, particularly given the traffic they put in front of his net.


Calgary’s blueliners generally did pretty well. John Ramage arguably did the most to raise his stock, putting up four points and earning praise from Troy Ward for his smart play and leadership. Others earning some positive feedback – based on media reports and post-game video – were Patrick Sieloff and Tyler Wotherspoon.
So basically the guys you’d expect.
Ryan Culkin played pretty well in his three games – aside from scoring on his own net – and I’d wager the Flames have probably figured out where he’ll be this season by now. 2013 picks Keegan Kanzig and Eric Roy both asserted themselves rather well, with Roy putting up two points against Vancouver and Kanzig punching dudes and generally deterring anybody from messing with his teammates.

In general? The D-men didn’t embarrass themselves and most raised their stock.


Well, here’s the group with the biggest variation in performance.
The good: Markus Granlund was excellent and scored goals. Turner Elson motored around a lot. He didn’t get any points, but he was almost always noticable. Michael Ferland appeared to be in great shape – he’s reportedly 20 pounds lighter than last year – and had a key fight that sparked a rally in the Vancouver game. The Granlund/Elson/Ferland line was very good against the Dinos. Sean Monahan scored twice and created chances. Max Reinhart, Emile Poirier, Ben Hanowski and Josh Jooris all played rather well, also.
The rest: I’ll ignore the three try-out kids, as they didn’t play a whole heck of a lot. To be fair, Taranto and Smoskowitz found the scoresheet and Penner was by all accounts perfectly adequate. The three remaining forwards – 2011 first rounder Sven Baertschi, former Hobey Baker contender Corban Knight and late round draft pick Coda Gordon – combined for one point in Penticton and another two against the Dinos. Gordon was largely invisible, which merely means he didn’t do anything to make anyone full of glee or terror on the ice. He’s 19 and that’s perfectly fine. The other two – Knight and Baertschi – disappointed a bit with some inconsistency. Knight was probably the better of the do, but neither showed off their pedigree or their talent as much as you’d hope they would in such a situation.
I mean, lets be blunt here – we’re all pleasantly surprised that Markus Granlund did as well as he did. But nobody expected him to out-shine Knight or Baertschi. I’m not sure if that’s due to Granlund “getting it” earlier than many expected him to, but it may also be due to some under-performance by the aforementioned players.


Veterans report on Wednesday for physicals and hit the ice on Thursday, as the competition for actual NHL jobs kicks off. In short: the real camp chaos begins in a few short days

  • The Last Big Bear

    FIRST off, I would say that Kanzig did the most to raise his stock among defenders, certainly in my eyes. He was consistently one of the best defencemen on the ice, and despite his horrifically bad junior production, he was reasonably good at moving the puck and generating offence in this tourney.

    For the forward ranks, Ferland went from a “former prospect” to a “promising prospect” in my eyes. That’s quite a jump, and I’m now leaning towards saying that he has a good chance of making the NHL.

    Also, Ortio. Wow.

    • seve927

      Ferland. Looks like he wants to be a player again. I had given up on him, because it looked like he had given up. I won’t be convinced until he does it for a full season, but he could be a top 5 prospect if he decides he wants to. Amazing range of tools. I’ll stop gushing before it gets sickening, but he was really fun to watch last night.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I need to gush about Granlund some more. But I’ve already said everything that needs to be said, so rather than sound inane, I’ll be inane on purpose. GRANLUND!!!!

    • Burke mentioned on the Fan this morning that Kanzig impresed him.

      Flames should put him in figure skating so he can learn how to turn around though. Seriously, the guy needs to make a huge amount of prgress in the mobility dept., but if he does, the Flames might just have something there.

  • I am wondering what Flamesnation thinks of Emile Poirier in relation to Hunter Shinkaruk?

    Although it’s early days, I don’t feel too upset with the Poirier pick despite the fact that Shinkaruk had the potential to be a top 10-15 pick.

    • Parallex

      I’m fine with it, I was always fine with it actually. There are enough redflags with Shinkaruk and enough things to like about Poirier for me to have no objection taking Poirier over Shinkaruk.

  • everton fc

    I’d say Granlund’s stock rose. As did Roy’s. Maybe Roy’s more than most. Kanzig’s rose, but some feel he needs work skating. Roy certainly doesn’t. Funny Wotherspoon gets a good report. Seemed he didn’t do much eitehr way. Jooris is another that surprised. And obviously, Elson, to some extent. Smoskowitz might be good in Abby. I thought he looked good, all things considered.

    I always had faith Ferland would find himself. He has a real shot at a call up this year. I watched a bunch of his bouts on Youtube last evening (yep – wasting time after the wife/4 kids went to bed!) He lost none, took on all comers, fought fair, with maximum agression, dropping (KOs) two pretty well known, bigger scrappers, and basically showing no fear of anyone. We need a player like this. He’ll absolutely stick up for his teammates. He almost reminds me of Tocchet a bit, though I’m not saying he’ll score like Tocchet. Simply the same on-ice attitude. Not a bad thing. What I also liked about Ferland is he was skating hard, going after pucks and guys at both ends of the ice. He is not a lazy player. And I think the times he may have been “floating” might have been him trying to find position, to get open. He certainly created opportunities for his linemates.

    Baertschi and Knight did not impress. That’s pretty clear, and shows neither may be ready either from a maturity, or professional perspective. Time will tell. Would lvoe to see Ferland w/Granlund at the NHL level. Perhaps Ferland can light a flame under Sven, as he clearly had a better camp than the Swiss #1 pick.

  • In a general sense, I’d say be very careful about projecting a players future based on a 3 game rookie tourney. It’s a tiny fraction of games played against only moderate competition at the tail end of summer vacation. This sort of action only kind of, maybe hints at what kind of player a guy will be.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      There you go Kent, be the voice of moderation and you’ll get trashed 5 – 0.

      It’s tough not getting excited about the Flames prospects, and tougher to concede that 1/2 of these player won’t have a meaningful impact at the NHL level. Still, there is reason for optmism in the long run.

      • I was speaking from both sides of the equation. I’ve seen a lot of folks doubting Sven’s future and character in certain quarters because of a few bad games in a rookie tournament. Given his resume up until now, that strikes me as incredibly shortsighted.

        On the other hand, we’ve all seen guys look advanced for a few days in September only to never hear from them again. Dan Ryder, John Armstrong come to mind. Hell, Dustin Boyd looked like a superstar at these type of things and he couldn’t even get past the 4th line.

  • RedMan

    Burke has been here what, a couple days, and already there are trade rumors that tie Tim Thomas AND DION ENOUGH to the flames??? is this some kinda sick joke on T.O.’s part??????
    and Thomas???? yes lets bring in enough veterens to push for the last playoff spot… cause we dont need ANY top 5 picks period!!!
    if Burke is here to get us back “in the hunt” with no serious attempts at rebuilding through the draft… then I will seriously be done with this team.

    • Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea

      Anyone else heard about this? I hope it’s just the usual rumour mill in action but this sort of thing makes me nervous given this team’s management history.

      • piscera.infada

        How many times this summer have you heard Feaster say something along the lines of “we are confident in goal-tending heading into they year, we need to see what these guys have”. With the ship having officially sailed on Kipper, there is no way they clog the depth chart by signing Thomas.

        It would also be organizational suicide to attempt to bring Phaneuf back. The way he left, with all the rumors swirling around as to why, they’d have to be brain-dead to even attempt a trade like that.

        • Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea

          They have always been coy about their actual long term plans – “rebuild” has not been clearly articulated. I agree it would be suicidal but I don’t completely trust this management group. The blessing is that this new division we find ourselves in makes it nearly impossible for the rational mind to entertain thoughts of playoffs.

          • piscera.infada

            I don’t believe they are being coy about their long term plan to rebuild. While I agree they have been resistant to it for years, and perhaps even when the trade deadline came and went. Since that point the rhetoric from the team has been about rebuilding – even Feaster has used “the ‘R’ word” (and no, not “retooling”).

            I understand the “mandate to make the playoffs” quotable was in there somewhere, but I remain firm in my conviction that it was more of a “we don’t expect to tank for the sake of tanking” statement. However, I understand people disagree on this and that’s fine. I just haven’t seen/heard anything since the end of the season (draft, free agency, even the hiring of Brian Burke) that signals to me that there is anything but a rebuild going on.

            And if I’m wrong, I’ll eat my… No, no, I won’t…

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Ortio really excites me, he was great against Vancouver.

    Who knows with goalies and whether they can make something of themselves, but it’s nice to see progress.

  • everton fc

    Whatever you might think of him, it was good to hear Feaster commenting on the ‘organizational disease’ of Calgary team letdowns after the San Jose game. Aside from the dark young guns days, this is a team that has some unfortunate ability to find a way to lose when they often should win and that needs to be acknowledged for it to change. This goes back well beyond Sutter’s term.

  • McRib

    Michael Ferland absolutely blew me away after a mediocre season last year, I Liked his game two years ago when he was with Brandon. As he always had the tools and grit, but improved conditioning has taken game to another level!!! Ditto for Markus Granlund who also seems to have improved game in the gym with increased strength, he is also much more aware of opposing danger. When I watched him at the World Juniors two years ago, I thought he would be unable to play in NA. Skill level was always better than average like Ferland, but improvements in other areas will allow both of them to compete for NHL jobs.

    Still don’t understand how Eric Roy fell so low in the draft?!?! Typical case of scouts just over-critiquing his game. Playing on a bad team most people had him as an early third round projection because of questionable Hockey IQ and Sloppy Defensive Zone Positioning, but all of his other offensive/physical tools made him worthy of that placement. If he had a more rounded game, he would have been an early second rounder (maybe even low first rounder). Then he slips to the fifth?!?!

    Great value pick by the Flames. Considering a guy I didn’t like nearly as much as him, Dillon Heatherington went 50th it goes to show how the draft is such a crap shoot and all hype. Eric Roy is a case where a late birthday actually hurt his draft stock, scouts just had too much time watching him.

  • McRib

    Why the heck was Sven Baertschi at this tournament?!?!? How many times does he need to get run in these prospect developmental camps/games before they realize he is getting zero value out of it!! All we need is a U of C kid trying to make a name for himself and put him out for the season. Almost happened here as well as with Tim Harrison earlier this summer. He was double teamed the entire time by teams best opposing defenders… Which to be honest makes it easier on all the other Flames forwards making them look superior because they played against second/third pairing defenseman. Honestly Ferland/Grandlund looked good, but they should thank Sven for playing the hard minutes that allowed them to do so.

    I don’t care if he looked medicore he didn’t need to be there and played like it!! Which doesn’t bother me personally, he is above this!! Anyone who scores nine points in seven games to finish the season is no longer a rookie in my books!

  • It’s good to see Ferland come out and make a statement right away. He’s a guy I really liked at training camp a couple years ago – made smart, heads up plays and was clearly more than just a tough guy. Here’s hoping he’s back on track.

  • Skuehler

    Thought the flames drafting was vindicated last week. Poirier pick does not seem to have any down side at all so it’s a bit pointless to compare. He looks like a great hockey player and a good potential return on J-BO.

    Knight was the most disappointing player from my seat last week. Makes me wonder if he’s playing hurt (which would make no sense at all, especially for all the games). As one of the few guys with an NHL spot all but guaranteed this season he should’ve been dominant. Not even close.

    I couldn’t disagree more with the idea Sven should’ve been given a pass on the tournament. Everything needs to be earned on this team. This was an opportunity for him and had he played two really good games I’m sure the coaching staff would have sat him and had a closer look at other players. They sat Rhino instead. I would argue these past games were some of the most important games for the organization this year, based on how much is riding on our prospects (we’ve given up on post-apex players (PAPs) and have not pursued free agents). All these prospects have been evaluated in different contexts. This camp puts them all together so we can see how they compare to and compliment each other. For that reason alone Sven should’ve been there as a measuring stick, representing our best idea of what an nhl ready prospect looks like. the camp also allows to see how our prospects stack up externally against some of biggest rivals. This is what the futures holds and there was a lot of questions/expectations to be sorted out. Some helped themselves a lot (Granlund, Ortio, Ferland, Reinhart, Kanzig, etc), others not so much. As opposed to Knight, Sven did look like he was competing and showed skill, but in this sample of games couldn’t get it going.


    . Not to mention the fact that if any bonehead took a run at Baertschi at a camp like this, the only way off the ice would be through both Ferland and Kanzig, at which point dude’s hockey would be over.

  • Skuehler

    Ferland, Granlund and Ramage were definitly the stand-outs for me.. honorable mention to Kanzing, Brassoit and Ortio.

    A little disapointed in Knight and Baertchi, but I’m hoping its a temporary blip..

  • Slowmo

    I wasn’t to happy with the sven outcome but as I had said on a few flames blogs don’t look for sven to do much if he stays healthy throughout the yr which I highly doubt. He will be playing against the opposing top lines and with little to no help I can’t see him producing much in terms of goals perhaps more in assists

  • jeremywilhelm

    Poor rookie tournie? Bust

    Good rookie tournie? Star

    I’m seriously surprised at many commentators on here. There have been so many articles on this site telling you to not be fooled by small sample sizes, and yet again, people are losing it over Sven.

    It’s hilarious and annoying at the same time.

  • Oilerz4life

    The Flames have one decent prospect, Monahan, no goaltending, and Burke. Mini-build. Ya right. Sorry to be honest about your little rookie camp there, but welcome to the rebuild Flames fans. Haha. lol 🙂

  • Skuehler

    Personally I was impressed with Sven’s skill, speed and effort. My observations were that he wasn’t dominant or particularly effective in the tournament. Whether he’s feeling the pressure, drawing tough coverage or just hasn’t found his juju yet – I can’t say. I just see a large leap in expecting a fifty point season this year in the nhl, based on this small sample. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Skuehler

    Sven looked pretty dominant in the later stages of the last game against the sharks. (I missed the UofC game).

    I think the Flames played Sven with lesser offensive players in the tourney and did so on purpose.

    They probably did so to see how he would respond, not only on the ice, to test his character.

    Part of being a top player is to overcome struggles and maintain consistency.

    Although Sven struggled I also think “injury” was looming in his head.

    We all know he is above this level of competition, he knows it especially, but it had value in bringing him there and I think he understands that. But he also didnt have to prove himself at the expense of a possible injury. Which is why you didnt really see his top gear until the end of the last game, when the 3-0 record was on the line and he was with some offenisve linemates.

    He’s gonna be good, we just need to trust that he and the organization will put forth the best effort to make sure it happens..

    I still have faith.