FGD: The (Prospect) Battle of Alberta

 

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.

THE LINE-UP

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 OPPOSITION

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.

    • schevvy

      I had the same reaction watching that first dev camp scrimage. Of course, I always liked Ramage, but he showed some real jump. He’s showing the same today. Fitting, for the oldest defenseman out there (I think).

      It’s weird, though, because he always looks so tiny.

      Oo, Poirier scored. Back to the game!

  • BurningSensation

    Observations so far:

    Keegan Kanzig looks like he might be a real player, and not just a nuclear deterrent. If he can actually play a meaningful role in our top 6 D, you have to look at his going in the 3rd rnd as a pure home-run.

    Markus Granlund is likely to make the Flames based on what I’ve seen so far. The kid has skills. He also looks to me like a guy who maxes out as a 2nd liner.

    Poirier and Monahan could be assisting on each others scores for a long, long
    time.

    I thought Tyler Bunz was a legit goaltending prospect for the Oilers. I was wrong.

    Neither Gernat nor Marincin look ready to step up, but both have flashes of talent that make you think they could develop into something interesting.

    Nurse. Wow. I thought he might have growing pains, but did anyone predict he would be noticeably worse than Kanzig? I wouldn’t have believed you until I saw it myself.

    • Marincin has always reminded me of Babchuk. I remember a young stars game from a few years ago where I didn’t notice him at all until the third period when he made a series of tremendously terrible decisions with the puck (and blasted a few howitzers eight feet wide of the net). Then he was named second star. I was baffled until I looked at the game sheet and saw that he had somehow managed to score three points.

  • beloch

    Ah… That’s the stuff.

    Good game. Granlund obviously looks great. Reinhart was good. Monahan made some smart plays. Poirier looked better than I was expecting, given that he’s 18 and wasn’t picked in the top ten. A few more performances like that and maybe people will like that pick better!

    • beloch

      Sven had a couple of decent chances, but he didn’t exactly dazzle. Still, he doesn’t really have anything to prove by beating up on the other prospects. Besides, even good NHL’ers don’t show up to every game. Sven would have to sleep with Burke’s daughter to not make the team this year, and it’s what he can do with a full season of ice-time that will be interesting to see.

      • Also, Sven will (hopefully) have better teammates this season. He might play with Corban Knight, who wasn’t too shabby tonight (def. pass first mentality), but his other linemate won’t be Coda Gordon. And his D-men will be players like TJ Brodie and Mark Giordano.

        Don’t get hurt in this tournament, and then he can shine once he’s in the big show.

        I’m pretty sure Sven’s point streak continues from last season as well.

  • BurningSensation

    Witnessed the game between the Flames and Oilers kids this afternoon.

    The three Flames youngsters that, to me, stood out were Granlund and Elson up front and John Ramage on the blueline. Brossoit was rarely tested, but did stop one breakaway by one of the three best Oiler youngsters, Marco Roy (he`s fast). The others that stood out were Jujhar Khaira (not afraid of traffic) and Martin Gernat (the best D).

    I indicated in the post I made before the game that I thought the calm demeanor of Ramage put him in good stead. He demonstrated that in this game, in my opinion, along with being solid and determined in his own end. A couple of other, non-performance related items spoke to me for his leadership qualities. He was always speaking (not yelling) to the officials, picked the puck up and passed it to them more than once. And when Ryan Culkin swooped the puck into his own net, it was Ramage that went to him to provide encouragement.

    Granlund was excellent in the faceoff circle and showed solid awareness in the offensive end. The goal that he scored off the great effort by Michael Ferland showed excellent finish.

    Turner Elson finished checks, was the buzz saw kind of player every time he was on the ice. And he saw every type of situation. Hes not big, nor is he the best skater, but he is definitely someone you want on your team. Figure that he will be a valuable member of the Heat for at least this season, perhaps earning a look see if the Flames in the final few games of the season.

    Honorable mention has to be given to Max Reinhart. He was playing with Jooris and Taranto, won a lot of face offs and was in great position in both ends of the ice. Sven did okay, was in good position but appeared rusty finish wise. Corban Knight and Sean Monahan were good in a game where the team dominated the opposition. Knights wingers, Coda Gordon and Sven, need to learn quickly that they best go to the front of the net as #10 got the puck there frequently. Monahan was teamed with Poirier and Elson and showed flashes of smooth skating and solid decision making in both ends.

    As for the Oilers, its been said that their up and comers are best on the back end. In this game and acknowledging its the first competition of the fall, it certainly did not show. Darnell Nurse played quite a bit. I would suggest he needs to bulk up strength-wise as he was outmuscled both along the wall and in front.

    In summary, I thought that the Flames kids were full measure for the win. As well, if they perform like this in their next games here, the organization will have served notice and there is solid inventory in the proverbial prospect cupboard.

    I am disappointed that I have to leave this beautiful part of the world without witnessing the balance of the tournament, but am headed back from vacation looking forward to main camp, the pre-season and the competition for jobs there.

  • I’m at the tournament in Penticton…tonight most outstanding player involving both games was no question Bo Horvat. This kid really stood out with size, speed, quickness and soft hands. He is the real deal!

    Although I was on board initially with the Poirier selection, tonight he was rather invisible. Hunter Shinkaruk really stood out for the Canucks with speed and assertiveness. He was all over the ice and played the tough areas effectively. His presense was obvious.
    This was the first time I observed both players and Shinkaruk won this battle hands down.

    • beloch

      So, Poirier was invisible, except when he was scoring, and you came to a thread about a Flames-Oilers prospect game to say that your two favorite prospects of the night were both Canucks who played in a completely different game? All-righty then.

      • I think Primo’s point was that Shinkaruk (who the Flames passed up in favour of Poirier) was the better player tonight.

        Poirier either scored twice, or scored once and assisted on a Monahan goal. Either way, if you watched the feed, Poirier’s name came up a bunch for his play. In a positive light. So, Primo, I don’t agree with you at all.

        Didn’t bother to watch the Canucks game. I would hope Bo Horvat stands out as one of the best players, considering the Canucks traded their (arguably) #1 goalie for him. Good for them. Shinkaruk got passed on for reasons other than his goal scoring (that’s not in doubt) – maybe he’s a coke-addicted d-bag?

  • jeremywilhelm

    I think Knight will be the third line center this season. Kid was very impressive tonight.

    Monahan looks like he needs another year of junior.

    Of course. It’s only one game.

  • Hopefully Flames fans enjoyed this meaningless prospect exhibition game, cause it might be the highlight of their entire season.

    I’m not going to shed one tear this year after the ridicule they’ve hurled our way for 4 years and I truly hope Burke runs your team into the sewer you belong in (but hopefully stay good enough to continue to miss out on drafting true impact players). Enjoy the rebuild Flamers.

    • YES. Welcome back Todd. Your trolling has been sorely missed. Some may try, but they fail miserably.

      Now, what ridicule has been hurled over the last 4 years? I’ve hurled all sorts of ridicule at the Canucks for WAY longer than 4 years. Ditto for the Oilers and Leafs. What changed in the last 4 years? We’ve always hated your team. Get over it.

      In regards to Flames fan getting all uppity because of one game, let’s not forget the snobbery of Canucks and Oilers fans regarding their prospects.

      *Ahem*

      “OMG, HODGSON AND SHIROKOV! FL4MERS FANS SUXX0RS!! HAHA!”

      or

      “HAI GUYZ, WE GOT TAYLOR HALL AND RNH, WE’LL BE AWESOME ONE OF THEEZ DAYS”

      Troll on, you crazy diamond.

    • Captain Ron

      Oh we are enjoying it don’t you worry about us now.

      Next team up for rebuilding: the Canucks! Hope you enjoy that while Torts is behind the bench!

      Oh and prepare to watch the Sedins blocking shots on the penalty kill!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

      Have fun with that. You know we will.

      • everton fc

        Agree with your comments….the important thing about Ferland this year is that he has finally reported in great shape. He also appears to have an attitude adjustment for the better. Last night he worked hard, looked quick and used his large frame effectively. His skill and raw talent really showed.

      • everton fc

        Roy wasn’t in the lineup, regrettably.

        Ferland was fine. Made some nice dangles coming out of corners and off the rush. Nice set up on Granlund’s second goal. Generally I noticed Hanowski more, but Ferland did fewer bad things (I don’t really recall any). I think Granlund’s line was mostly helped by… Granlund. But Ferland did some good things.

        I’m honestly surprised he didn’t try to do any facepunching, though.

        Speaking of facepunching, the interesting thing about Kanzig was whenever he took a penalty, so did one of the Oilers. He wasn’t sitting for slashing or cross-checking minors, he was off for fighting and offsetting roughing penalties.

    • The Real Slim Brodie

      lets hope we get even better for the canucks game tonight. My wife and two girls were all wearing our flames jersey which sparked some gentle teasing from a boston scout during dinner because i was wearing iggys. Most of all we were stopped by alot of fans of other teams talking about how good the flames prospects looked this year.. It gives hope for the future.