Flames November Prospect NHLE 2013-14


Vancouver Giants - Brent Kulak

– pic via Jason Kurylo

Ah, November. The first month of regression. A lot of the Flames hopefuls got out to tremendous starts in October and although the numbers are still very healthy, many have come back down to earth a little. Except Johnny Gaudreau, of course.

Go here for a primer on NHLE. Otherwise, hit the jump.


Forwards GP Points Translation NHLE
John Gaudreau 14 25 0.41 60.0
Sean Monahan 24 16 1.00 51.3
Bill Arnold 14 18 0.41 43.2
Émile Poirier 28 44 0.30 38.7
Sven Baertschi 22 9 1.00 33.5
Coda Gordon 27 33 0.30 30.1
Markus Granlund 20 16 0.44 28.9
Morgan Klimchuk 26 29 0.30 27.4
Kenny Agostino 10 8 0.41 26.9
Corbin Knight 25 18 0.44 26.0
Ben Hanowski 24 17 0.44 25.6
Mike Ferland 21 14 0.44 24.1
Mark Jankowski 15 9 0.41 20.2
Max Reinhart 23 12 0.44/1 18.3
Josh Jooris 22 7 0.44 11.5
Matt DeBlouw 8 2 0.41 8.4
Turner Elson 13 2 0.44 5.6
Tim Harrison 12 2 0.41 5.6


– John Gaudreau takes over the top spot from Sean Monahan, continuing his sublime career at Boston College. My prediction of him increasing his NHLE was correct – over 6 points have been added to his total since last month, and Gaudreau was in on 45% (!) of his team’s offense during November (42% overall).

– Sean Monahan’s scoring pace has also dropped considerably, as predicted. The Flames have started to score less and Monahan’s overall totals have come down. Unfortunate that he’s going to have to sit at least the next couple of weeks out.

– Sven Baertschi, Émile Poirier and Coda Gordon are tracking well to fulfill their respective ceilings. They’re all scoring in and around where they should be, and that’s been constant month-to-month.

– Bill Arnold is still benefiting from playing with Johnny Gaudreau, but Arnold is generally Gaudreau’s primary assist man, which means he must be doing a lot of positive things.

– Markus Granlund has continued his out-shooting ways and will likely lead Abbotsford in points at some time before the end of the season. Tracking well in his +2 season to become an NHLer.

– Morgan Klimchuk still isn’t scoring at the pace I’d like him to be – putting together an equivalency around 35 in a player’s +1 year is generally my cut-off line for “top-six” potential. However, in saying that, he’s still in on 38% of the team’s offense, which is healthy.

– Kenny Agostino has gone PPG since being held pointless in his first two. Nothing to worry about here – he’ll be PPG for the rest of the season, likely.

– Mike Ferland has started to generate the type of offense he needs to – he just started racking shots up at a much higher rate than he did in October and the points came. 

– Corbin Knight and Ben Hanowski have basically maintained the same scoring pace the whole season, which makes sense since they’re linemates. Both are still tracking well, and their scoring normalized so don’t expect them to drop below this pace.

– Mark Jankowski hasn’t had a good month points-wise but he’s also not getting shots. That’s a major red-flag; hopefully he can correct his course by the new year.

– Max Reinhart’s numbers dipped a little due to his time at the NHL level, but he’s still generating shots at the developmental level. That’s a positive sign, even if the pro results haven’t been there.

– The last four guys (Jooris, DeBlouw, Elson and Harrison) aren’t really worth talking about right now.


Defensemen GP Points Translation NHLE
Brett Kulak 29 29 0.30 24.6
John Gilmour 15 10 0.41 22.4
Ryan Culkin 27 23 0.30 21.0
Eric Roy 27 18 0.30 16.4
Tyler Wotherspoon 18 6 0.44 12.0
James Martin 16 8 0.26/0.44 10.7
Mark Cundari 16 4 0.44 9.0
Rushan Rafikov 26 11 0.19 6.7
Keegan Kanzig 23 3 0.30 3.4
John Ramage 23 1 0.44 1.6
Patrick Sieloff 2 0 0.44 0.0


– John Gilmour had a blistering start to the season, but, like the Friars themselves, he’s cooled down a little – after going 5 in 5, he’s gone 5 in 10. The latter is likely closer to what his actual point production is than the former. Now that his PP time and the Friars’ scoring has gone down, like predicted, so has Gilmour.

– Brett Kulak’s legal problems have been more of the focus this month (and with good reason) – doing what he did (allegedly) is absurd and unacceptable, and it flies in the face of the whole Flames thing about good people or whatever. He is scoring at a good pace though.

– Ryan Culkin is continuing his good scoring pace, and he should be – he’s playing both PP1 and PK1 minutes this season. About 25% of Quebéc’s scoring comes off of Culkin’s stick.

– Eric Roy has continued the scoring pace he’s on. Expect him to stay about the same throughout the season. The Wheat Kings are still not very good and they will struggle to score at times, which might mean that Roy get in on a higher percentage of goals, but less points overall. 

– Tyler Wotherspoon has been out since taking a hit from Ben Eager in mid-November. I assume he has a concussion, since we haven’t heard anything about it. He did increase his scoring marginally month-over-month, but if he’s not on the ice that doesn’t matter as much. Get well soon. 

– Rushan Rafikov was part of the Russian squad that came through and played CHL teams last month. He played in 3 games, but didn’t record any points. His scoring in the KHL has remained consistent month-over-month, probably due to how early the MHL starts its schedule.

– Mark Cundari has also been dealing with nagging injuries, but he’s still not putting up anything offensively. His shot rates are poor, but I’ve heard he may be playing in more of a shutdown role, which would explain some of that. I don’t think that he’s demonstrating that he’s anything more than a tweener or replacement level player. Still better than O’Brien, though.

– James Martin is included this month because I just forgot about him last month. He is scoring at a good pace in the ECHL, but if you’re playing in the ECHL and you aren’t a goalie, that’s not a good sign. He was recently called up, but even considering that I doubt he gets another contract at the end of this year. 

– Keegan Kanzig is still under the .2PPG threshold and isn’t gaining much ground. He did score the first (and second!) goal of his junior career, however, so good for him. Less good for him that it took him till the age of 19 to get it. I’m still hesitant to make any definitive determinations but that’s not a good start to the season for the kid. Victoria is now up to 83 goals, meaning Kanzig has been in on just 0.8% of the offense.

– Pat Sieloff still isn’t playing due to a number of infections and his face still healing. John Ramage has still done basically nothing. 


Last month’s prediction was going to come true until Roman Horak was traded and screwed it all up. Regardless, in the time he did accrue in Abbotsford, the trio’s NHLE grew by about 7.5 points. Thus, I’ll reluctantly take the loss.

This month’s prediction will relate to Mark Jankowski: if he can average at least 2 SH/G, we’ll see him move to an equivalency of 25.

  • McRib

    “Morgan Klimchuk still isn’t scoring at the pace I’d like him to be – putting together an equivalency around 35 in a player’s +1 year is generally my cut-off line for “top-six” potential.”

    He also has battled nagging minor injuries all season, Hockey Canada might not think so, but compared to Hunter Shinkaruk’s performance this year Morgan Klimchuk looks like the better player between the two, IMO. It is no contest for Emile Poirier and Shinkaruk. Shinkaruk has become the player that NHL teams thought causing his drop at the draft, a self entitled rich kid unwilling to work on weaknesses. Can’t believe Hockey Canada rewarded him with an invite.

    As for Mark Jankowski I know everyone is worried about his shot totals, but he really isn’t getting any help playing on that third line for Providence. His wingers are not helping him at all in the games I have watched, hence the two assists. He still is creating numerous chances and always shows up all over the games highlights every night. Kind of wish Providence kept him on wing this year and moved him next year to centre as a junior as he would be getting first/second line ice time rather third this year. Still disagree with FN in comparables for young power forwards. Every comparable big blossoming power forward in the NCAA I have seen (Arnold, Knight, Kreider, Wheeler, etc) always have a slow first couple of years and really come one in the +3/4 seasons. Plus Providence really doesn’t score as often as the ND, BC powerhouses.

      • McRib is correct on his assessment. Shinkaruk is a self-entitled rich prat. He played for the Royals in Bantam and midget. My cousin is a ’95 birthday who played with the Buffaloes org and against Shinkaruk throughout Bantam and Midget. He’s also had the distinct pleasure of levelling him at the MH Tigers summer training camp. The self entitled rich prick label is something that has followed him around. There’s probably a good reason for it. His parents are wealthy and they were part of the reason behind the Royals changing their name to rid themselves of the “off-ice” politics and dishonesty that dominated the organization. Funny thing is a Zebra doesn’t change it’s stripes even if it changes it’s name. I hear the Mustangs are still having the same problems as before.

        Hockey Canada and the CHL are an utter and absolute disgrace. Shinkaruk is on that team because mommy and daddy have more than likely paid for his roster spot. Shinkaruk exemplifies the over-rated, over-hyped, meat market that is the WHL and all that is wrong with minor hockey.

        • CDB

          Lots of hate directed at Shinkaruk here. I just looked at the stats for this year and question why a player who is scoring at less than a point a game is selected over two guys scoring at over a point a game. My big question is how or why Poirier’s coach did not do a better job lobbying for him. Imagine the discussion after the fact!

          Poirier’s skill set seems perfect for the international game. He is fast and with the extra space on the ice will just be able to blow by defenders, On D his speed will allow him to recover quickly. Again he can play any role, the only draw back must be his penalty minutes which may translate well in the NHL but might be a concern at the WJ. I just hope he dominates against Hunter when they play in the NHL

        • CDB

          While I’ve heard the same things about Shinkaruk, the Calgary Royals Minor Hockey Association is still known as that (unless a change is coming next season). The former Calgary Royals Junior Hockey Club, which did not have ties to the Royals Minor Hockey, changed their name to the Mustangs. Shinkaruk played for the minor hockey association in Bantam and midget, not the junior team that changed their name.

    • Parallex

      See… for prospects I don’t rate “but he really isn’t getting any help playing on that third line for Providence” as a good explanation.

      Without any additional information when I see that the question is… why is he playing on the third line? As a first round pick I’d think the expectation would be that even as a 2nd year guy he’d be top six talent and if he is a top six talent forced lower in the line-up via a surplus of talent (which AFAIK isn’t the case with Providence) you’d think that he’d be feasting on other teams third line guys.

      Now maybe the coach at Providence comes from the Alain V. school of coaching and is using Jankowski ala Malholtra but I havn’t heard that and absent any evidence I’d presume that not to be the case (doubly so since we’ve heard anacdotally that this isn’t the case).

      Now having said all that 15 games is a tiny tiny sample size so let’s just hope he turns it around in that last 2/3 of his season.

      • McRib

        “As a first round pick I’d think the expectation would be that even as a 2nd year guy…you’d think that he’d be feasting on other teams third line guys.”

        Let’s not forget Mark Jankowski is still one of the youngest players in College Hockey, as most players these days play 2+ seasons in the USHL before College. He has 7 goals that’s not to shabby, unfortunately every game I have watched for Providence he sets up linemates with 2 or 3 very quality chances a game and they always seem to squander them. If we are looking at a stat line of 7G 12A everyone is singing a different tune right now.

        One only has to look at Corban Knight as an example he was a full year older than Mark Jankowski when he was drafted, so for all intensive purposes his Freshman season is Jankowski’s Sophomore year and Knight only had 6G 7A (Jankowski is on pace for 17G 5A).

        The main problem is that expectations are higher for first rounders if he was a second rounder everyone would think he was tracking nicely being so underdeveloped and all, but he would have been long gone by the second round his draft year. Because NHL Teams recognize the value of extreme late bloomers, unfortunately for Mark, pundits on sites like this only look at +1/+2 results, which doesn’t take into account that his coach is still easing him in and he will add 25+ Pounds next offseason. Anyways this is the last thing I will write on Mark Jankowski, but remember me when he comes back next season as an entirelly different player and becomes the talk of the NCAA. I was 5’3″ – 140 at the start of Grade 11, I am now 6’2″ – 225. Past experience as a late bloomer makes me certain that pundits are really incorrect to factor in a +1/+2 draft year point projecton with Jankowski for me a +3 is when you should see a huge jump in production because it takes a couple of years to add the weight after growing a foot, believe me I went from a medicore Bantam AA player to laughing about how many NCAA letters I was getting the next two seasons (They stopped coming after Grade III ACL Tear in final Midget AAA season). Regardless Jankowski is already a Medicore NCAA player, what happens once he fills out hits 220+ and fully starts to realize the kind of power he has just gained…. Honestly he is such a late bloomer he may not even hit full playing weight until pro.

    • mk

      Having a lot of good centres isn’t going to make the team good. All the best teams have a couple great centres.

      If one of our Cs turn out elite – then we’re laughing, but otherwise it doesn’t mean much. Someone will always have to play against the Crosbys/Thorntons/Toews/Kopitars of the league, and until we have someone who can match or beat them, we’ll still be chasing in the race.

      Edit: coachedpotatoe beat me to it.

      • piscera.infada

        If the team ends up with a wealth of 3/4 centres and they can finagle another solid 1/2 centre, then you’re laughing (assuming Monahan turns out to be a solid 1/2 centre).

        I’m not saying you’re wrong by any means, I just happen to think that the “elite” tag is too narrow and not really conducive to discussing a teams true prospect base, as people tend to get too hung-up on the need for an “elite” player. Obviously a generational player would help – there’s no disputing that – but I think we may have to change the rhetoric a little bit. The goal should be (at least in my mind) not to go whale hunting for the next Stamkos, Crosby, etc., but instead get a number of solid players who have the ability to be game-breakers. The former would obviously be nice, but you kind of have to hope one of those players falls in your lap.

        This team isn’t in a position where they should be whale hunting as that’s a tough position to be in (see, Jankowski). They do however, have the ability to acquire solid picks who can turn into solid players. Obviously work still needs to be done, but you still have as much chance picking a truly “elite” player picking from 3-10 in a given draft than first overall. Just my inane ramblings though.

        • mk

          Semantics aside, my point was that having good prospects does not mean they’ll turn out. And its not enough that they simply become NHL level players or adequate top-6 players.

          I wasn’t attempting to make a statement that we need to tank harder and become the Oilers.

          Back to semantics, I agree that elite is a narrow tag and that’s exactly why I used it. Toews/Kopitar/Bergeron/Crosby are the top centres for the last 5 cup winning teams, and Thornton’s team has been a top contender in that time span. Teams simply do not reach the top of the league without a game-breaking, elite centre (or 2). It doesn’t happen.

          • piscera.infada

            I completely agree with you. But, I mean, you have to start somewhere. The issue in the organization was that prior to Feaster, they placed little-to-no value on draft picks. It’s no surprise that our prospect depth has increased as a function of actually picking in the first and second round. Sure, Feaster has augmented that with prospects in the two “big trades” and a few others here and there.

            I was simply trying to state that it’s a matter of time, luck, scouting, and valuing draft picks, as opposed to simply picking “elite” players like they are cultivated from the nutrient-rich soil of remote mountain towns. While Monahan may not turn out to be “elite” in the eyes of outsiders, he has the skills and ability to become a game-breaking player be it on the first or second line – so I don’t believe we are as hurting in the top-six centre position as a lot of people do. However, I will agree that it is something that the team needs to continue to look for at the draft, one more Monahan-type centre (not necessarily that type of game, but of similar ilk ceiling-wise) and I think you’re looking a lot better.

            I also believe your definition of “elite” is broader than most and probably closer to mine, if you put Bergeron and Kopitar in there. The elite comment came about a couple threads back when people were arguing that Monahan isn’t elite (which I agree with), but that given regression he never will be, as his offensive numbers so far don’t support that. I wholly disagree with that. We don’t know what exactly he’ll turn in to, but I see his ceiling somewhere around Bergeron/Kopitar (who I agree, are elite).

          • mk

            I think I’ll stop talking now – we’re not disagreeing about anything! Haha.

            So about Johnny Hockey: where does he stack with other prospects that have come out of NCAA in recent years (last ~10)? Should I be Heatley/Toews/Kessel excited? Or more like he’ll-play-top-6 excited?

  • mk

    It’s nice to see we have legit prospects at every position, it’s been a long time since we have been there. As for our dearth of centers lets remind ourselves that even the best of them is probably high end and not elite. The majority of them are likely 2/3’s at best, but this is sure better than what we have had in the past.

  • mk

    Not sure how the Jankowski selection will work out but it’s gratifying that the second rounder we got in that transaction is Patrick Seiloff. Although he is toughing out a first year of pro hockey with injury and sickness make no mistake this kid will be a future NHL’er. He is talented, mobile, and tough. Exactly the type of young defensemen the Oilers and 25 other teams would want in there system at this time.

  • mk

    The Johnson article in the Herald on Gaudreau is very positive.


    I find it hard to believe that he will not be a Flame sooner rather than later. It seems like he really wanted to play with his brother. He worked at Hartley’s hockey camp and considers himself a a Flame to a certain degree. I am hopeful that the ongoing comments about how he will never sign because of Burke, Feaster and/or Hartley and is going to pull a Schultz will stop.

    • Byron Bader

      I don’t think there’s much to worry about with Gaudreau. From all accounts, he loves Calgary and the organization. He did absolutely want to play with his younger brother. He will likely never have the chance to play competitively with him again and has stated that he wanted to play with him for at least a year. Also, it’s a lot easier to finish up your degree when you have three years under your belt and can finish the last few semesters through a few summer classes over the course of 2-3 years. He’s an intelligent guy and knows that his career as a professional hockey player isn’t written in stone, especially given his size. He’s just getting his ducks in a row (education, more experience, etc.) before he gives pro hockey a go.

  • Byron Bader

    On an unrelated but sort of related note, did anybody catch Gilles’ interview on the Fan960 this morning?

    Couple of things:
    1) Really sounds like an intelligent guy (well spoken, great attitude). He knows he has natural talents and abilities but also knows that he’s going to have to work his butt off to make the show and is happy to do so. Really great interview,have a listen if you get the chance.

    2) There’s no confusion about when he’s going to turn pro. That will be as soon as the Flames consider him ready. When asked about when he wanted to turn pro he’s ready, willing and excited to join the Flames or one of their minor leagues at any time.

    I’m excited for that moment when it occurs.

  • piscera.infada

    Can you be competitive without a great center? The Flames proved you can from 2005-2008. Heck they were competitive for those years with rather average centers. They did it with great goaltending, a solid defensive core and limited offensive weapons outside of IGGY. When they won the Stanley Cup they had some very good centers and outside of Niewy I would not say they were elite. Niewy, Gilmour, Otto, Pepper and I can’t remember the others but they were deep. They also had depth throughout the forward ranks and two stud defensemen and a host of great role players.

    Now I look at this current group; NHLers, prospects in the AHL, and the not yet pros and I get a feeling we might be moving in the right direction. Let’s look at a possible post trade deadline line up. ( I am going to assume we move the three UFA forwards for draft picks, as well as Butler)Also remember I am all in favour of rolling 4 lines and playing 3 d pairings.

    Here is the line up I would ice:



    Ramo/Berra (although I would be tempted to bring Ortio up)

    Now look at the lineup you could ice on opening day next year. (I’m assuming and hoping Johny Hockey turns pro)

    TJG/Knight/DJones or Bouma

    (note I would prefer to be more physical in the back end but until sieloff is healthy for a full season and spoon has a full year in the AHL I am holding my breath that it occurs from within)

    Ortio/Ramo Ortio/Berra

    Sorry if I spelled any names wrong. The trade deadline team after that year would even look younger

  • McRib

    So let me get this straight. You use offensive statistics to determine a defensmen’s NHLE and his potential to become an NHLER?

    Do you not see a flaw in this system? As someone who “He has played hockey at high levels” and is persuing a Double Major I would think you are smarter then that.

    (Even plus/minus would be a better statistic, and we all know that does not always accurately depict potential.)

    It is laugable to read your article and put any value on your analysis whatsoever, particularly as it relates to defence.

    EXAMPLE: You harp on Kanzig for only being part of 0.8% of Victoria’s goals, yet he leads the team in plus/minus, is an anchor on the league best penalty kill and is paired against the other teams top offensive line on a nightly basis. (leading the team in +/- should indicate his involvement in the offence whether or not it appears on the scoresheet)

    Analyzing a defencemen’s potential based solely on point production is not only short sighted it also shows your complete inability to understand the game of hockey and furthermore discredits any of your flamesnation contributions in the future.

    While I applaud your commitment and dedication I would suggest, should you ever want to be taken seriously, that more effort be focused on thoughtful, insightful analysis rather then copying and pasting stats into a spreadsheet template and labeling it “Analysis”.

    • Craig

      Is this your first time on a Flamesnation? Welcome!

      The thing with Kanzig is that even defensive defence men in the NHL are able to score at a decent pace in junior. Kanzig for example can’t even get a decent amount of assists, what does that mean for his tools? One dimensional defensemen won’t last long in the NHl.

    • The Last Big Bear

      Azavedo claims that Defencemen who can’t produce in junior almost never make the NHL.

      You then try to counter with an example, by pointing out a player who has crappy production and… has not made the NHL.

      If you want to make a valid point that has some sort of logic to it, why don’t you point out a Defenceman who IS in the NHL and who put up production numbers like Kanzig.

      I can save you some work if you want.

      Full-time NHLers with more jr pts than Kanzig: EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

      Full-time NHLers with fewer jr pts than Kanzig: ZERO OF THEM.

  • beloch

    Gaudreau is doing awesome this year, but he’s still playing in a different league. There’s no guarantee his success will translate to the NHL. Still, he’s a prospect who is legitimately worth getting excited over!

    Monahan, if he can even manage just 40 points, is just amazing. Yes, the defensive side of his game needs work. Yes, he’s getting a lot of shelter. Still, this is his 18-year old season. Just being an undisputed NHL’er at that age is a sign of good things to come! That kid is going to be a quality top 3 center, if not an elite one!

    • RexLibris

      Just for interest’s sake, I looked up some other centers who went straight from draft to NHL for comparison. All were taken somewhere between 1st and 8th overall.

      Gagner 79gp 13-36-49 -21 .620ppg

      J. Thornton 55gp 3-4-7 -6 .127ppg

      Monahan 24gp 9-6-15 -7 .625ppg

      J. Staal 81gp 29-13-42 +16 .518ppg

      Duchene 81gp 24-31-55 +1 .697ppg

      P.M. Bouchard 50gp 7-13-20 +1 .400ppg


    Interesting conversation. Everybody knows that everybody who makes it to an elite level in any career has to follow a certain path and fit a specific mold and be a certain type of person. There are no exceptions. All NHL players are the same. And they have all taken the same path to the show. From St.Louis to Chara. Not!

    • The Last Big Bear

      Show us.

      There are literally hundreds of guys who have been full-time NHLers in the last, oh, say 10 years.

      How many of them had single-digit production in juniors?

      There are also countless huge-bodied guys who were drafted outside the first few rounds, who were solid players but had single-digit production.

      How many of them made the NHL?

      I’m no saying its impossible, and if anyone can do it, it’ll be Kanzig, the kid impressed the hell out of me this summer. I was amazed.

      But I AM saying that his chances are astronomically small. He’s not taking a path nobody has taken before. He’s taking a path that hundreds if not thousands of kids have taken, and essentially none of them have succeeded.