Flames December Prospect NHLE 2013-14

A couple of standout performances have vaulted two players up the charts this month. We’ll review those players and more in our December NHLE update – hit the jump.

For October’s update and an NHLE primer, click here. For November’s update, click here.


Forwards GP Points Translation NHLE
John Gaudreau 18 32 0.41 61.6
Bill Arnold 18 23 0.41 43.0
Sean Monahan 32 16 1.00 41.0
Émile Poirier 36 53 0.30 36.2
Sven Baertschi 31 12 0.44/1.00 30.3
Coda Gordon 27 33 0.30 30.1
Markus Granlund 29 24 0.44 29.9
Kenny Agostino 13 11 0.41 28.4
Corban Knight 34 26 0.44 27.6
Morgan Klimchuk 26 29 0.30 27.4
Ben Hanowski 33 25 0.44 27.3
Mike Ferland 25 18 0.44 26.0
Max Reinhart 31 22 0.44/1.00 25.5
Mark Jankowski 18 13 0.41 22.4
Josh Jooris 31 12 0.44 14.0
Tim Harrison 15 3 0.41 6.7
Matt DeBlouw 13 2 0.41 5.2
Turner Elson 22 2 0.44 3.3

Johnny Gaudreau’s monster of a season continues. This past weekend, he had 5 points in just over 25 minutes of ice time. There aren’t enough plaudits to describe the amount of damage he’s doing to the NCAA.

Sean Monahan’s production has fallen off of a cliff when compared to the first month of the season. A little bit of that dip can be attributed to his foot injury – he just took his walking boot off yesterday – but most of it is directly resulting in his play being, for lack of a better word, awful. By most of the advanced metrics he’s had his head bashed a little more than usual in the past few weeks, and it’s shown on the eye test as well. His recent demotion to the fourth line is deserved. I think he’ll improve marginally but this is the type of play that comes from 19 year-olds: it’s not just Monahan specifically. Expect the rest of the year to look like this.

Emilé Poirier netted a hat trick last week to bring his totals back into elite territory. If the Flames expect him to be a top-line winger, they’ll be happy to know he’s tracking that way.

Sven Baertschi hasn’t had the luck go his way since being sent down to Abbotsford. He has just one goal in 5 games – but he’s also produced 15 shots in that time. If we get into February and he still isn’t scoring, that is when we can start to freak out, but for right now he’s fine and he’s where he should have spent all of last year. I don’t understand the want to rush skill players.

Morgan Klimchuk has spent most of his time since the last NHLE update with the World Junior camps but he’s also had a couple of nagging injuries preventing him from getting into the line-up. Same deal with Coda Gordon, without the World Junior aspect.

Markus Granlund has been deadly in Abbotsford thus far. His shooting percentage is likely unsustainable but I don’t expect his eventual regression to have a huge impact on his NHLE.

Mike Ferland and Max Reinhart are both hitting their stride. Ferland’s SH% is still a wee bit high, while Reinhart’s SH% is a still a wee bit low. Reinhart is producing an insane amount of shots – almost three per game.

Mark Jankowski increased his shots marginally month-over-month to about 1.9 per game. That’s still not good enough and he’s still shooting at 21%. However, he still isn’t getting assists, so I’m going to chalk up about 30% of his low point total to luck.


Defensemen GP Points Translation NHLE
Brett Kulak 39 37 0.30 23.3
Ryan Culkin 36 32 0.30 21.9
John Gilmour 18 10 0.41 18.7
Eric Roy 32 23 0.30 17.7
Mark Cundari 25 7 0.44 10.1
Rushan Rafikov 26 11 0.25 9.5
Tyler Wotherspoon 25 6 0.44 8.7
James Martin 26 10 0.26/0.44 8.2
Keegan Kanzig 32 4 0.30 3.1
John Ramage 31 1 0.44 1.2
Patrick Sieloff 2 0 0.44 0.0

Keegan Kanzig scored 2 points in one game this month. Yeah, I know. His overall total is still, uh, disappointing.

Tyler Wotherspoon’s numerous nagging injuries have prevented him from really picking up any steam the last month or so. He’s only played 5 games since the end of November.

John Gilmour’s season has hit the regression line after his nice start. Providence as a whole were due for some regression (not scoring much + superb goaltending = temporary results). He’s still doing well for a 7th rounder, even considering his over-age status in this year’s draft.

Brett Kulak has been keeping up his PPG pace. The Giants’ leading scorer is 20, so his offensive dominance is probably helped along a little by the people he’s playing against. Regardless, the Flames might have found another NHL defenseman in the draft’s later rounds.

Eric Roy is still scoring at a good pace. I didn’t know Roy was 6’3 – his skating ability is even more impressive now. Keep a watch for this guy. You’ll also notice that Rushan Rafikov has gotten a bit of a bump – I went back and tried to make a better translation factor for the MHL and got .249.

Fearless Prediction

Last month’s prediction is a push since Janko didn’t get to the shot total I had hoped for. Thus, I’m 0-1-1 on the season. This month’s prediction is relating to Sven Baertschi – he’ll get back to the 35 point mark by this time next month.

  • beloch

    It’s good to hear Baertschi is at least getting shots. I was worried that his lack of scoring so far in Abby was due to being in a funk over his demotion. The second time is probably rougher than the first!

    I’m also looking forward to seeing Arnold in a Flames sweater later this year. He really is an exciting prospect and everyone would probably be “svenning” about him were it not for Gaudreau, who we might have to wait another year to see. It’s frustrating for fans to wait, but you have to respect a kid who is willing to put off big money and fame for a year to finish his degree.

    • The London Knights were also a gross outlier in terms of production for awhile there – they pumped up their top players numbers quite drastically. Sam Gagner’s NHLE that season with the same team was 55.

      • Byron Bader

        That’s pretty interesting. Funny, Gagner scored pretty close to that 55 when he hit the show too. Never really improved after that though. Last year, I guess.

      • McRib

        Sergei Kostitsyn had 131 points that year playing with Kane & Gagner that line was insane they would literally play all 2 minutes of every power play until they scored, 30 + minutes a night. Gagner’s Dad was assistant coach and wanted him to go as high as possible, Patrick Kane was a no brainer at number one, but Gagner would not have gone nearly as high if it were not for that situation.

        Which is interesting because he has turned out to be one of the better players in that draft. Remember watching him at the U18 summer camp and believe he was cut from that team because he just coasted around all camp and had spent the previous year in USHL and back then it was considered a step down. Then Gagner went to London and lit the OHL on fire in turn everyone forgot about the previous summers performance. Basically if not for Patrick Kane, Sam Gagner would have likely been a second or third round steal for someone or depending on how you look situationally the confidence / experience he gained from that year playing with Patrick Kane made Sam Gagner….

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Would have been nice if Monahan had stayed in junior so for at least the start of next season we could have seen a line of Baertschi, Monahan, Gaudreau in the AHL, just to see what they can do together at that level. Then transition them in as the 3rd line in Calgary at some point individually as they are ready.

    With Monahan playing a full year in Calgary, I doubt he sees any AHL time now?

    • EugeneV

      He will be eligible to go to the AHL on March 17th if the 67’s don’t make the OHL playoffs, which it looks like they won’t.

      I would like to see this happen as he could get 15 or so AHL games in before the AHL playoffs start and hopefully a long run to the Calder Cup finals for the Heat.

  • seve927

    Throw the Nov 30th game in and Jankowski was .8 points and 4 shots/game for the last month. I don’t know how you could expect much more of an improvement. The best sign since he’s been drafted is a few games in a row generating lots of shots. Not much to go on as far as his linemates go, but assists were on goals by Army (who had 7 shots that game), Mingoia (6 shots), and Rooney (3 shots), and they were all primary assists.

    Now, can he keep it up?

  • Byron Bader

    In fairness to Monahan, he’s been MUCH better the last three games. He’s still getting the soft minutes, but he’s actually started pushing possession in the right direction.

  • Byron Bader

    The stats on Ferland are nice but no discussion on his injury. Does anyone know anything about it?

    Also on a different topic; nice to hear the Wides is ready to come back.

  • jeremywilhelm

    So my question is “with 17 forwards and 11 defence men on this list: how many of these skaters will make up the core of this team in 3 seasons?” If you think more than 10 give this props, if these than 10 trashes.

    I have my own opinion but I just want get an idea of what flames nations thinks of our current list of prospects.

    • Willi P

      So the response was overwhelming. of those who responded 20 do not feel that 10 or more of the current list of prospects will be a core piece of this team in 3 years and only one did. Again if you would bare with me those who feel that 5-9 will be here and playing a key role press prop and those under 5 press trash.

      I for one think we are closer to the 10 mark and I will let people trash me later with my list. i hope people will play along one more time.

      • The Last Big Bear

        I see two guys who will most likely be top-6 players in a few years (Monahan and Baertschi).

        Plus two guys who could possibly be 2nd or 3rd line players (Poirier and Gaudreau).

        After that, a whole lot of guys who are probably replacement-level at best.

        I think Wotherspoon has the best chance of being an impact player among the defencemen, but hand-on-my-heart, I don’t think any of those defencemen end up as top-4 guys in the NHL.

        • SmellOfVictory

          Wow, you come off as quite the pessimist. Poirier has the numbers of a potential top 6 player already (as well as being big and fast), as does Gaudreau (a high end one, for the latter). With Gaudreau it’s not a question of ceiling, but of floor.

          And beyond that, I would bet money that at least one other forward from the group, if not multiple, ends up as a top 9 player in the NHL. It’s not that any of them are mind-blowing, but Granlund shows excellent offensive skills for a fairly young guy in his first NA season, and then you have Arnold/Knight/Reinhart who are so redundant (and successful in their current roles) that I imagine one of them ends up as a 3rd liner simply as a result of numbers if nothing else.

          The other forwards I wouldn’t venture a guess on (although I have hopes for one or two) and I can’t say I disagree too strongly with your opinion of the defencemen, but I still think your glass is very much on the half empty side of the equation.

      • The Last Big Bear

        Not so fast couchpotatoe….

        I trashed your post 19 times because I thought your question was a douche question………not because “less than 10 players blah blah blah…”

        Please adjust your calculations.


      • loudogYYC

        5 votes for more than 5 and 14 for less than 5. I’m glad it led to some discussion on the talent level of the Flames prospects.

        Here’s my list and trash or prop it as you like or participate in a conversation on it,

        First I think we have more talent in the forward ranks:
        Monahan, Poirier, Johny G,Granlund, and Ferland will all be around and form the core of this team.
        I also see the potential of Sven, Knight, Arnold, and Klimchuk playing key roles. That puts me at 9 forwards who I think will be better than replacement level forwards. I am being quite optimistic I know.

        I’m not sure about our defensive prospects, Sieloff’s health concerns me as does Spoons. Culkin,Kulak and Roy intrigue me as does Kanzig but I doubt any of them will be ready in the next two years.

        WW you don’t need to participate if you don’t want to.

        • piscera.infada

          I’m right around 5, so I thought I would err on the side of caution, and just trash it. The issue I see is that I’m not sure many of those guys will be core pieces in the next “two (or three) years”, as I think guys like Poirier, Klimchuk, Seiloff, ‘Spoon, etc. won’t actually see a first full season of NHL hockey for another couple of years (optimistically). I also don’t see Gaudreau pushing for the NHL for some time – not a knock on the kid, I just see the jump to “professional-man league” being quite the adjustment for him. As such, I think it will be a couple years before we see him playing regular NHL games, and that’s probably for the best – the organization needs to give him time, he probably has the most potential out of any of our current prospects, but he has hurdles to overcome. The closest is Sven, but I’ve also been of the mind that he’s been pushed a little to quickly – I think the AHL is the correct place for him, and he’ll get his career back on track.

          I think it’s far too early to be assuming anything. For me, it’s more about getting the right guys in to ease the transition for all these young players. I know, people are worried about Burke’s penchant for bringing in a bunch of UFAs, but I see it as being necessary (within reason). None of these kids are sure things (outside of Monahan), although I firmly believe we have a pretty good crop there. Coupled with one more solid draft this year (at least), I think we’re actually a lot closer to being in that “transitional stage” then many people seem to think.

          But, I’ve always been extremely anti-“the perpetually stock-pile high draft picks and assume they all pan-out” crowd (a la the Oilers). I understand this team needs to value draft picks in the future (meaning, don’t trade firsts for Jokinen), but I’m not (personally) hung up on the “need to acquire elite talent only through the draft”. I think if you’re horrible and it happens, you nail those draft picks, but don’t (under any circumstances) make that priority number one. The priority should be improvement in all aspects of the organization. Burke certainly isn’t the silver bullet (or cure-all, if you’d rather), but I’m not sure any GM is – there’s too much luck involved in the draft-pick game.

          • Brent G.

            I agree with a lot of what you are saying except the part where you say, don’t trade 1st rounders for Jokinen. People love to bash this trade when realistically it was the best thing they could have done at the time; it was there best opportunity to win the cup. Now cap issues and injuries really hurt those odds but when you were as good as they were that year that’s when you have to pull the trigger and give the guys the best chance to win. All of the nhl leaders are doing this right now (I.e. Pittsburgh).

            If you recall this was a team comprised of Iggy and kipper in their prime. Langkow, Jokinen, cammalleri, Phaneuf, Regher, Conroy, Bertuzzi, Glencross, Bourque.

            I know this is completely off topic but at times you have to go for it because that team should have gone on a good playoff run if injuries didn’t stop them.

          • piscera.infada

            Oh, I know all about the trade, and I agree with you in principle – I just don’t agree with the principle. It’s fine if a team wants to chase the cup by giving up late first-round picks, I just don’t subscribe to the philosophy. I will agree with you that the year immediately following that trade was probably the best (and deepest) team we had during the “Sutter era”, but the “going for it” mandate cost this team greatly, as we never recouped enough prospects anywhere in the draft to augment trading those picks.

            All I’m saying is that if you’re going to trade 1st and 2nd round picks, you need to be able to make up for it. With regard to drafting in general, I don’t really care where this team drafts from in the future – and that’s what I mean by valuing draft picks in the future. You have to make prudent picks whether you’re picking 1st overall, or 30th overall. There should never be throw-aways. That’s where the Sutter-regime failed. If you’re going to trade a first round pick, then you better nail your second round pick, if you’re going to trade your second, then you better nail your first and third, and so on…

            If I had my way, my team wouldn’t sacrifice a first round draft pick for a playoff rental-type. I understand that might not be pragmatic, so I’m not going to whine as a function of it happening. I just happen to believe it shouldn’t become the norm for some perpetual state of “going for it”. That rarely works, and moreover puts you behind the eight-ball for the foreseeable future – often beyond.

          • Brent G.

            Trading for Jokinen was the second nail in the coffin of the 2008/09 Flames (the first was Kiprusoff deciding to have a career-worst season). Everything was clicking, with Jarome and Cammalleri forming one of the most potent scoring duos in the league (with, often, Matt Lombardi as their defensive conscience and faceoff ace), Langkow as one of the top (and most underrated) two-way forwards in the game. Then the trade happened. It ruined everything.

            I mean the injuries, particularly those to Regehr and Phaneuf, played a significant role as well. But the Flames paid out the nose for Jokinen (Lombardi, Prust, 1st rounder for Jokinen and a 3rd (later traded for Jay Bouwmeester)) and it did not make them a better team. Jokinen was the only player on the team who scored for the rest of the season. Iginla and Cammalleri immediately went ice-cold (coinciding immediately with the trade, which prompted their separation for some reason).

            It wasn’t a bad thing to do in theory, but it completely ruined the makeup of the team. The cost was too high, to no return whatsoever.

          • Brent G.

            Thanks for the response; I think the kids will get a chance sooner than you do and I think they will respond well when given the opportunity. So far this year we have give only two of the prospects a good opportunity those being Monahan(who is a sure thing) and Sven(who I am not prepared to give up on yet. Others like Bouma, Colborne and Byron are young but AHL vets and have taken away some of the opportunity for the first year pros; Granlund, Knight and Ferland who have all performed quite well for professional rookies. I will include Hankowski in this list as a first year pro who has exceeded my expectations but whom I doubt will be a big impact player. I believe that that both Granlund and Knight will both be given an opportunity once the UFA trades take place.(Ferland if he is healthy) as well as Sven.

            Next year we will see the big shift in team culture because of the rebuild. Burke will probably add 1/2 freeagent forwards that meet his criteria and we will carry 6+ veteran forwards, plus 3/4 of this years group and 3/4 of the prospects.

            Building this team will take time and patience which according to Burke he does not have and this will likely derail the development of the core young guys. I hope Burke does not trade the UFA’s for to many vets but rather draft picks and good prospects but I believe he has sold King an Edwards on a quick fix(he told them what they wanted to hear)

            On D I like our top 4 when healthy; Gio, TJB, Wides and Russell and would like to see us upgrade the 5-7 if possible via free agency. I think the development here will take longer. Interesting to me that Billinns was excluded from the list as he is not much older than Cundari and he has the best stats of the group. THe other guys will take a couple of pro years to be ready although TJB has developed rather quickly.

    • SmellOfVictory

      I think it’s pretty much a guarantee that it’ll be less than 10. That said, it could be surprisingly close to 10 who are on the team (not necessarily as core players, though; I don’t think most of the guys have high enough ceilings for that).

  • jeremywilhelm

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have a feeling Arnold is going to be as good if not better than Corbin Knight. Who is actually exceeding my expectations.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Sort of unrelated, but if the Flames don’t take a defenseman with their first pick in this draft (which is very likely) does anyone think they should try to pry Scott Harrington out of Pittsburgh?

      • Willi P

        I don’t know that that would be better. A defenseman drafted this year likely won’t be ready for a while (witness the fact that Tyler Wotherspoon and Pat Sieloff look like they’ll be in the AHL for another year or two after this one).

        People always talk about drafting the best prospect available regardless of position, then trading surplus for need down the line. I really think this might be the time to do that. This is the trade the Oilers never made (and still haven’t). They have many great defense prospects, but none of them are ready for the show, and most of their star forwards are moving into their second contracts already.

        Size is practically irrelevant where good players are concerned. Harrington is effective physically in spite of his size (and it isn’t like he’s small anyway; he’s built like a truck).

        At any rate, the Flames have a bevy of forward prospects (wingers in particular), and a dearth of defense prospects (all of whom are years away). It’s time to start correcting that.

      • Willi P

        Possibly, though the reason I said Harrington is because I really like his hard-minute potential, whereas the other two have some rather significant issues defensively–particularly Murphy, though he does seem to have turned a bit of a corner (finally).

        Probably Ellis would be the least expensive and Murphy the most.

  • the forgotten man

    Sorry for hijacking this thread, but I thought this was funny on TSN in light of some recent articles on FN:

    “They were direct quotes,” said Ryan. “It’s unfortunate they feel that way. They’ve got to form a team. I guess to a certain degree you have to respect it. You don’t have to agree with it, right? I certainly don’t. They could have just cut me.”

    He added that Burke tried contact him on Wednesday, but Ryan hasn’t called back. The 26-year-old has 18 goals and 36 points in 42 games with the Senators this season.

    Good on Ryan for ignoring Burke’s mea culpa…I’d tell him to go pound sand too…maybe BB should have just kept his trap shut, especially when part of your job is negotiating with varied agents and players throughout the League – back in the good ol days it was called professionalism.

  • Willi P

    “The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated forward Nathan Horton, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and defenceman Dalton Prout off the injured list.

    To make room, the club reassigned defenceman Tim Erixon to its’ American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Mass.”

    Haha Timmy E. Have fun in Springfield, AGAIN

  • Willi P

    good thing the Flames have some help coming. They are having trouble scoring with only one legit scorer, Cammie, and a second line player in Hudler. The rest is whole lot of third line fodder. Hopefully Gaudreau and Arnold can help the team next year, otherwise its going to be a long season.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I’m going to pick a nit with your methodology. It’s minor, but as somebody who does stats for a living, its been like a tiny little rock in my shoe at every (otherwise thoroughly appreciated) prospect update.

    NHLE, as I understand it, is a metric based on players’ subsequent-year NHL production. Not a measure of how well a given player would do in the NHL if dropped into the big show immediately, but rather an estimate of how well a player with a given level of production in a lesser league can be expected to produce were they to come to the NHL the following year.

    As such, to compare like-with-like, if you’re giving Monahan’s an “NHLE”, it should be the expected *sophomore* scoring of a player who produced at a 41-point pace their rookie year.

    All the other players are given a number based on where he’d be expected to be at the end of NEXT season if he were to get called up, while Monahan is being ranked based on where he is right now. For example, a hypothetical prospect who is a clone of where Monahan was in the CHL last year would now theoretically have an NHLE of 41 (which is what players like him produce in the following year in the NHL), This would tie the real-deal Monahan on this list, despite being by definition a much less developed player.

    Were this a like-with-like comparison, Monahan would probably be firmly at the top.

    Furthermore, a one-year-younger clone of Monahan would be AWESOME. If we had two of them we could even put the NCAA vs CHL debate to bed once and for all. And score ALL the garbage goals. *This* is why we need stem cell research.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Aw, dangit, I just lost a big long post about why the methodology for these updates is flawed, but inlost it, and damned if I’m going to write it all again.

    The bottom line is that If Monahan is given an NHLE, it should be based on the expected production of *sophomore* skaters who produced at a 41 point pace as rookies.

    NHLE is based on a player’s statistically expected production level at the end of the FOLLOWING season. A year’s worth of development is built into NHLE, but Monahan is being judged on THIS season, which is not a like-with-like conparison. For example, a one-year-younger clone of Monahan still in the CHL should theoretically have an NHLE of 41, and would thus tie the real Monahan on this list, despite being by definition a much less developed player.

    If compared like-with-like, Monahan would probably be at the top of the list. Also, we should totally clone Monahan.

  • The Last Big Bear

    NHLE is based on subsequent-season NHL production of players who transition from a given league. This means a year of development is built into NHLE.

    As such, if you’re giving Monahan an NHLE, it should be the average *sophomore* production of players who score at a 41 point pace their rookie years.

    Otherwise it’s not like-with-like. A one year younger clone of Sean Monahan playing in the CHL should theoretically be expected to have an NHLE of 41. This would tie him with the real Monahan on this list, despite being by definition a much less developed prospect.

    The obvious resolution to this is to calculate Monahan’s statistically expected production in the NHL *next* season, which is how the other players are being rated.

    Also, to clone Sean Monahan.

  • loudogYYC

    Far from being a Burke apologist, mostly ’cause I think he talks too much, but the statement he made was basically a soft version of what good ol’ Kelly Hrudey said about Rene Bourque on the CBC Hotstove a few years ago. It’s no big deal!

    If anything, Paul Maclean is probably pleased that his player was called out.

  • Rubberbadger

    I went and watched Eric Roy play the hitmen last night… not much to report, even thought I watched him closely, he really didn’t standout at all. He skates ok, had one chance on the powerplay. I was hoping for more.

    • McRib

      I was also at the game and it seemed like the entire Brandon Team had an off night, which was kind of disappointing to say the least as they only come once a year. Even NYI first rounder Ryan Pulock hardly looked noticeable, but man can that kid shoot the puck. He almost scored a couple dump ins from the redline.

      If anything it looks like Eric Roy looks better defensively which was a major reason he fell in the draft. Prior to the season last year he was supposed to be a second rounder, but ended up being -32 and dropped like a rock. Worse case with his size and tools he will be a serviceable AHL defender which is the best you can ask for a fifth rounder most of the time, but still might advance enough to get to the NHL someday as a regular has impressive size/offensive tools.

      That one kid playing for the Hitmen Ben Thomas is sure coming around he scored a nice PP goal, maybe he is someone the Flames will look at in the 2/3 rounds. Also if we could ever get another late first for Micheal Cammalleri would love for the Flames to take Jake Virtanen he has unreal tools always stands out for me and just okay offensive production so far this year that might drop him down the first a little so we could snag him with a late pick in the first.