Flames January Prospect NHLE 2013-14


Via the WHL

The health of Calgary’s prospect system is not to be questioned – with 12 prospects generating an NHLE of 25 or higher, things do look quite bright in terms of depth. Overall, the system still lacks an elite forward and an elite defensive prospect, but things are better than they have been in, well, decades.

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


Forwards GP Points Translation NHLE
John Gaudreau 25 50 0.41 67.2
Bill Arnold 25 36 0.41 48.4
Sean Monahan 47 22 1.00 38.4
Émile Poirier 47 66 0.30 34.5
Kenny Agostino 20 19 0.41 31.9
Coda Gordon 39 50 0.30 31.5
Morgan Klimchuk 38 47 0.30 30.4
Max Reinhart 42 34 0.44/1.00 29.1
Markus Granlund 40 32 0.44 28.9
Mike Ferland 25 18 0.44 26.0
Sven Baertschi 42 16 0.44/1.00 25.8
Corban Knight 44 31 0.44 25.4
Mark Jankowski 26 17 0.41 22.0
Ben Hanowski 44 25 0.44 20.5
Josh Jooris 42 15 0.44 12.9
Tim Harrison 22 4 0.41 6.1
Matt DeBlouw 14 2 0.41 4.8
Turner Elson 30 2 0.44 2.4

Man, how sublime is John Gaudreau?

Granlund is ripping it up right now, but I think people may be overrating him a little. A lot of people were angry that he didn’t play on his call up, but I don’t really understand why. He’s still replacement-level, so it’s doubtful that any look we get of him would be positive. Just puts a lot of pressure on the guy, in my opinion.

For the first time, Monahan is under .5PPG this season. That’s fine, because it’s hard for a 19-year-old to be .5PPG in the NHL. Just more of an observation.

Hanowski went 10 games in a row this month without a point. He’s generating less than 1.75 shots per game, which isn’t good. All that, and he’s still shooting 14% – 2%-4% higher than average. He is rapidly becoming a prospect of little importance.

On the other hand, the other Iginla prospect, Kenny Agostino, is lighting it up. His NHLE seems pretty pedestrian at first glance, but Agostino is producing in different ways: he is generating an insane amount of shots (10 in his last game, ~5 per game overall) and leading his team in scoring (Yale only has 59 goals as of writing). I’m much more bullish on his NHL chances than I am on Hanowski.

Baertschi’s had some damn bad luck since arriving in Abbotsford. From when he was sent down to January 31st, the Heat were averaging just over 2 goals per game. He’s generating shots – about three per game – and he has recently gone on a little bit of a run. I still think everything is fine, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t improve his scoring totals to get him to roughly the same pace he was scoring at in the NHL (i.e. he gains 5 points in the NHL and he increases his NHLE by 5 points, not PPG).

We’ve gone over why Klimchuk’s raw NHLE isn’t quite as high as we’d want, and we’ve also gone over why that doesn’t matter so much. Here’s another positive arrow for Klimchuk: his +1 scoring is almost 6 points better than his draft year scoring was – meaning that he’s right in the “NHLer” development bracket. He’s still in on a large portion of team scoring – about 40%.

Alas, Michael Ferland is done for year with his knee injury, which is too bad – he was just starting to get the bounces. He is still a very intriguing prospect but missing half of what is likely his biggest developmental year can’t be good.

Max Reinhart’s point total may seem lower than it should be, but there’s three specific reasons for that: he only has 1 PP point, he’s only shooting at 9.1%, and he’s playing a lot of time on the PK. The difference between this year and last year for Reinhart? He’s generating a crapload of shots. Last year, as a 20-year-old, it was pretty tough sledding for Reinhart – he was used in a defensive capability, but being where he was on his development curve meant he couldn’t generate points and play those defensive minutes. It’s a really positive development sign that this year he’s been able to play those defensive minutes and score. Reinhart has more EV points than anyone below him has total points, which is insane. 


Defensemen GP Points Translation NHLE
Brett Kulak 52 50 0.30 23.7
Ryan Culkin 48 42 0.30 21.5
John Gilmour 26 15 0.41 19.4
Eric Roy 45 31 0.30 16.9
Mark Cundari 36 13 0.44 13.0
Rushan Rafikov 37 17 0.25 9.4
Tyler Wotherspoon 34 8 0.44 8.5
James Martin 36 14 0.26/0.44 8.2
Keegan Kanzig 44 4 0.30 2.2
John Ramage 31 1 0.44 0.9
Patrick Sieloff 2 0 0.44 0.0

Cundari’s scored 5 in 6 since joining Chicago, which I think is hilarious. In case you missed it, he was loaned to the Blues’ affiliate mid-month as Abbotsford has had quite the logjam with everyone on the blue line healthy. His results prior to the loan were sub-par, so maybe he can bring it back a little.

Eric Roy’s scoring at about .7PPG, which is pretty damn good. Ryan Pulock is scoring at about .95PPG, so it might look like Roy is being carried a little – but when the scoring is adjusted to only include EV points, Roy is scoring about .55PPG and Pulock drops all the way down to .66PPG. He might be Calgary’s best defensive prospect at this point, to be honest. 

Kanzig’s scoring under the pace that he did last year – and last year’s pace was 2.5 points. That kills me. He’s going to have to score 2 points in his last 15 to get above 2.5. That doesn’t sound hard, right?

Ramage is having a really rough go in Abbotsford. I’m not sure what there is to say about him.

Sieloff still isn’t back. Hopefully that’ll change soon.

Fearless Prediction

Bah. These suck. Hopefully we see better results from a couple of guys soon.

    • Parallex

      By “the team” do you mean the Flames? Because I would expect neither Klimchuk nor Poirier would be there.

      If I had to pick names as most likely to start the year in the NHL I’d pick one of Baertschi, Knight, or Granlund.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Highly unlikely that Poirier makes it, and it’s almost a guarantee that Klimchuk is back in the CHL next season.

      Reinhart, Knight, Granlund, Baertschi are the most likely guys we might see on the Flames full time next season.

      Also, the Flames’ defensive crop looks pretty unappealing. I would guess that we see 1-2 NHLers out of it when all is said and done. And neither of their names will rhyme with Vegan Danzig.

      • Parallex

        I’d still have Gaudreau play a full season in the AHL first.

        Just to get used to something resembling an NHL Schedule… I imagine going from 44 games to 82 games will be somewhat of an adjustment that’s probably better to make away from the NHL.

  • jeremywilhelm

    can someone explain me what “translation” and “NHLE” means. Huge flames fan from austria, but i haven’t heard of these 2 statistical rates. thx

  • jeremywilhelm

    From what I have seen from Ramage, his point production is purely based off of poor luck.

    Max Reinhart is good. You don’t see it in his point production only, the guy is heads up in all three zones, he is calm, strong on the puck and on his skates and is a little bastard (sticks in groins, slashes on ankles) when he is away from the puck.

    Not sure why you think Roy is ahead of Kulak. Roy is a mess in his own zone, I haven’t watched him, but anyone that I have conversed with has said much the same. Kulak is dominating on an abysmal vancouver team. 2nd on his team in points as a D man and plays a tonne of minutes.

    • McRib

      the ramage thing would be more understandable if it wasn’t so weak. 1 point… I dunno man.

      the reason I favour roy is that kulak is a 4-year 20 year old with a ppp% of like 45. I doubt either really makes a huge impact but I dunno based on what I’ve seen and the splits I think roy has a better shot at being a top 4 guy. defensive positioning, I think, is among the easiest things to teach. also vancouver isn’t that bad they’re 11th outta 22 eh

      • SmellOfVictory

        I disagree with your Roy vs Kulak argument as well. Kulak is second in team scoring and near a point-per-game on a team with 189 goals for, while Roy is like 8th in scoring, 0.75 points/game on a team with 209 goals for (and as you mentioned, paired with Ryan Pulock).

        Kulak’s only 9 months older than Roy is, and substantially better at both ends of the ice right now. They’re also both on their 4th season in the WHL.

        • seve927

          Kulak at the camps I definitely thought looked best offensively of the D prospects. Culkin seemed a little better at both ends. Kulak was a bit of an adventure. I don’t think we’ll know too much until we get at least a year of pro out of these guys.

  • seve927

    I think Buffalo takes Ekblad. If we do get another elite forward prospect in this draft (and the McDavid draft) we could have the makings of a first line to challenge elite teams in a few years. Monahan, Gaudreau, Poirier or one of the 2 Sams, Bennett or Reinhart.

    Backlund to center the second line with 2 others from the prospect pack like Max Reinhart, Baertschi, Granlund, Agostino, Klimchuk.

    Bill Arnold and Matt Stajan to center the 3rd 4th lines. Round out the rest of the foward ranks with energy players like Bouma, Byron, , Knight. We could even have some good 3rd and 4th line scoring for balance.

    Find a top 6 forward and 1/2 defenseman via UFA or trade a few other prospects to get there.

    This could get fun!

    • piscera.infada

      Neither of “the Sams” really stand out to me as true “elite” players-to-be – they’ll be good no doubt, but I’m not sure they’re the game-breaking type of player that we’re accustomed to at the top end of most drafts. From what I’ve seen/heard Draisaitl has the makings of a great player – amazing vision, playmaking ability, speed, and some dangles. I’m seeing him live tomorrow against the Hitmen, so I’ll have a much better assessment then.

      • SmellOfVictory

        From the little I’ve seen of both (top prospects game and some highlights), Ho-Sang is way more impressive from a pure skill/speed standpoint than Draisaitl is, if that’s your thing. I’d still rather have either Sam than either of those guys, though.

        • McRib

          Character wise Josh Ho-Sang is an absolute disaster off the ice no way the Flames take him doubt he lands in the first teams are really scared of attitude, exact same thing can be said for Anthony DeAngelo. Leon Draisaitl is easily Top. 3 smartest players in the draft (outside of Reinhart) with a huge frame he is still growing into. Josh Ho-Sang has junior skills that doesn’t mean he can play that flashy game at the next level he has bust written all over him, IMO. Rico Fata scored the same kind of flashy goals in the OHL back in the day, guess where that got us.

    • T&A4Flames

      Tell that to a Sabres fan. They have one of the best collections of defense prospects in the league (they used both first rounders on dmen last year). Do you think they’ll make it three straight firsts on defenders?

      I suppose it depends entirely on how they see the draft. But I think they take Reinhart.

      Though I’d love it if they did take Ekblad–imagine how annoyed Oilers fans would be.

  • seve927

    Reinhart does seem to be playing pretty well. He’s actually got 3 power play goals, so obviously the 1 PP point is not accurate. I have him at 15 power play points, but since they’re not listed anywhere that I know of, I can’t be sure. I’ve noticed him in highlights I’ve seen making nice plays on both sides of the puck.

    Anytime I’ve looked at Roy’s plus minus, he’s playing with Rene Hunter, so I don’t think Pulock’s stats have much to do with anything. Roy had a great start, but after 8 points in his first 4, he’s settled in to less than .3 ppg. Drew Doughty had 13 ES points in his draft year, so I don’t know how much PP points should count against defensemen.

    Wotherspoon still seems like the best D prospect to me. Hopefully Sieloff can get some games in this year.

  • Scary Gary

    I know it’s the Q but Emile poirier has 40 goals, 34 assists in 50 games this season (109 PIMS if you’re keen on that).

    =((74/50)*82)*0.3 = NHLE 36.4 isn’t bad

  • T&A4Flames

    “Overall, the system still lacks an elite forward and an elite defensive prospect, but things are better than they have been in, well, decades.”

    I’m curious as to your definition of “elite” forward. What kind of point production would we be talking about?

  • Agree you need to be careful when playing call ups as it could destroy confidence if they are not ready!

    Next year the only players out of Abby getting a serious look I believe will be Reinhart, Granlund and Ortio. Players like Hanowski and Knight despite there good size and production really need to get stronger.

    Billy Arnold intrigues me and with a strong training camp he may be a pleasant surprise. Johnny G just needs to prove he can overcome his size as he obviously has NHL talent. That will be a huge challenge that he can overcome. Hopefully signing him and Arnold will not become a greater challenge!

    Time to say good bye and make room for the Burke philosophy…Cammy (trade), D. Jones (Buy-out), Stempniak (trade), Butler (trade), Players that will not be resigned…B. Jones, Street, Billins, Breen, O’Brien, Macdonald, Roy, Cundari.

    Prospects like Sven, Poirier, Klimchuk need to be patient 1-2 years as there time will come.

    Burke will be active with trades and free agents. I also see him being creative in regards to securing draft positioning both this year and 2015.

    • T&A4Flames

      Are you talking about Olivier Roy? Why would you walk away from a young goaltender who is showing improvement?

      Also, I believe SOB is signed for another year.

  • SmellOfVictory

    generally I like keeping guys in junior as long as possible. you can slide a contract in the ahl but fun fact the players chl team actually has first right of refusal on that.

    I’d put poirier in the ahl for the whole season and leave klimchuk in the dub for the whole season.

    • T&A4Flames

      Can you explaun this “slide a contract” thing. Ive heard Burke refer to this as well in reference to # of contracts, and I don’t understand what it is?

      • Scary Gary

        basically most elcs are 3 year contracts. sliding allows the player to play in the chl or ahl without the term on his contract starting while remaining under contract. so, theoretically, a player can have his contract slide twice – meaning his elc lasted five total years, even if he was technically only signed for three.

        hopefully that wasn’t too confusing

        • T&A4Flames

          Thanks. But how does this relate to the # of contracts and what is the downside of doing this?

          For example, if say, Poirier hits the AHL next season and we are already at 50 contracts(not that we will be), we can “slide” his contract to fit him in? Can this be done at any point in the season?

          Sorry for all the questions, I just want to get a handle on this.

  • Byron Bader

    Gaudreau is a very elite prospect … size be damned. Only four players in the past 15 years had an NHLE of 60+ the year before turning pro(Kovalchuk, Malkin, Crosby and P. Kane). Gaudreau will be the 5th (assuming he turns pro) and is probably getting only about 70% of the ice-time those gentleman got.

    • Byron Bader

      I think the elite prospects are gaudreau, poirier, monahan, sven and maybe klimchuk. I’d like a bennett or reinhart plus a couple more d prospects out of this draft.

      • jeremywilhelm

        JULIUS HONKA!!

        Also, Alexis Vanier might be a guy to look at in the second round. He’s gigantic and can score. Skating issues aside, I’m not sure why this guy hasn’t been compared to Chara and vastly overrated yet.

        • Parallex

          He probably hasn’t been compared to Chara because no one should be compared to Chara.

          Just my opinion but one should never say “skating issues aside”… skating issues are hugely important. Anytime I see skating listed as a weakness I consider it a major redflag.

          • the forgotten man

            I didn’t say he should be I said I’m surprised he hasn’t been. Have you not noticed that gigantic defensemen are ALWAYS “the next Chara”? That was true of Jamie Oleksiak, and that guy last year Sam Morin. As soon as huge dmen show any upside at all, they’re instantly compared to Chara. Instantly. I’m just amazed that hasn’t happened to Vanier yet, who is freaking massive and ACTUALLY SCORES.

          • thymebalm

            Reading comprehension, people. Honestly.

            I have NOT ONCE compared Vanier to Chara, nor have I said he should be.

            I’m just bemused at the lack of hype surrounding yet another massive defenseman. Why him? Why now?

        • McRib

          I liked Alexis Vanier on paper then after watching him at the Top Prospects game completely changed my mind, easily one of the worst defense in the game other than Jacob Middleton.

          He is playing on the deepest team in the QMJHL any other team and he wouldn not be putting up anywhere near that many points. I would take Aaron Irving (Oil Kings) or Travis Sanheim (Hitmen) anyday and they might still be around in the third over Vanier.

      • Byron Bader

        Oh yeah! They need a couple more. I just believe Gaudreau is right up there as a very elite one. Based on what we have right now, would you want Reinhart or Bennett?

  • jeremywilhelm

    ELC’s slide until the player is considered 20 years old. My understanding is Poirier’s contract won’t slide next season unless he plays in the QMJHL.

    Sliding contracts don’t count against the 50 limit.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Justin, its not that easy with the slide. The Player needs to be turning 20 before Dec 30th of that year and also must sign his contract before the 30th of the preceding year. Which is why is was important Burke signed him before new years.

    But yes, it wouldnt count as a year off his ELC. Which is why Sieloff does not lose a year from his ELC this season.

    • SmellOfVictory

      I agree. He’s probably got a ceiling of Matt Lombardi or someone along those lines. Not terrible, but not what you want to shoot for in the early/mid first round.

      • McRib

        Whhhhhaaaattt disagree completely you guys clearly don’t watch the Hitmen often. Jake Virtanen is the most explosive skater in the entire draft this season, an unbelievable physical presence and has the best shot of anyone to come through the WHL in oh a half decade or more!!! Last night he took over the game and made Leon Draisaitl look average as he did with Morgan Klimchuk earlier this month. I don’t care about his Hockey IQ or on ice vision this kid is a HOCKEY PLAYER that is going to show up every night and score 30-40+ goal seasons for whatever club is lucky enough to draft him he is the best pure goal scorer that I have ever seen play in the WHL. He is a more physical much better skating with the same shot as a Bobby Ryan or a Dany Heatley in his prime before his former agent stole a good chunk of his money and he quit caring about Hockey.

        You guys might want to look at the fact that Jake Virtanen has 35 GOALS playing on the Hitmen’s second line… (Ignore assists as he played with two sporadic Russian with no chemistry most of the season).

        Guess how many CHL draft eligible’s projected as first rounders this season have more goals this year than Jake Virtanen??

        NO ONE!!! Not Sam Reinhart, not Sam Bennett, not Michael DalColle, not Leon Draisaitl…. Not (fancy dancy extremely overrated due to OHL Media, future bust) Josh Ho-Sang!!! NOBODY!!!

  • The slide rule is dependent on age a contract is signed and games played. If you signed during the calendar year you turned 18, your deal can slide up to twice. If you signed the year you turned 19, it can slide once. If you signed the year you turned 20, it can’t slide at all.

    • SmellOfVictory

      I think it’s partially “guys aren’t as good” and partially that most prospects’ NHLEs seem to drop when they transition to pro, at least initially. And outside of Baertschi and Granlund, they’re almost all mid-low tier prospects (projected bottom 6 type forwards, bottom 3 defencemen). The only guys in the AHL who might surprise us are Reinhart and Ferland. But we won’t know that for a couple of years.

  • thymebalm

    The problem with NHLE is if you don’t actually watch the guys play, you can draw some pretty wild conclusions, as Justin did in the article.

    To say Sven has had some bad luck is false. He simply wasn’t playing well. He was uninterested after the send-down, and was fortunate to find himself playing with AHL-all-star Corey Locke on the second line, somewhat undeservedly. If it were not for Corey driving play, Baertschi may still not have any points in the AHL.

    To say Granlund is still “replacement” level is also false. If you watched him play, listened to what the coaches have to say about him, consider that his first in rookie goal scoring, that he’s been dubbed a “star in the waiting” by TGW. He also said the reason Granlund doesn’t have more points is that Ward failed to get him more ice time early in the season. Last night he managed to be +2 in a 7-2 loss. 🙂

    To say Hanowski is “rapidly becoming a prospect of little importance” is something someone who doesn’t watch the Heat, or understand their depth would say. Hanowski is learning other parts of the pro game, and there is no top-6 position for him because of the massive depth.

    He was picking up points when he was given more ice time, but Street, Jones, and Locke (guys who have played many full pro seasons) have picked up the slack as the college kids obviously started to burn out, they are dealing with more hockey and travel than ever before.

    This is why Cundari, Nemisz and Horak have such great numbers since they were moved to other AHL teams. They have bigger roles on those squads. If Hanowski was on squad with less depth he would have better numbers. The kid can shoot the puck.

    Be careful making assumptions about players type of ice time in regards to Reinhart. AHL doesn’t publish TOI so you can’t back that assertion up. Yea, he plays PK with Granlund, but he gets a ton of EV time and also 2PP minutes. The goal he scored last night was as the powerplay expired. Being on the PK has given him more ice time, not less.

    I appreciate the digging and the converting and the stat-mining… but I watch the Heat play every game. Having NHLE is certainly superior to not having a way to compare their NHL progress. But there are soo many caveats.

    My suggestion, especially this season, would be to buy AHL live, and watch the future Flames. You’ll be able to put these numbers into a context that will help temper the conclusions you draw from the above chart.

    • the forgotten man

      Per you Baertschi comments, my concern with him going forward is between the ears. My hope is that with age/experience he will become more humble, introspective and adept at “rolling with the punches”. We all have to learn this lesson in life irregardless of our professional address – some pickup the message in their late teens/early 20s; others in their late 30s/early 40s. Lets hope Sven falls in the first group.

      • thymebalm

        It’s not really a cause of concern for me just yet. Troy G. Ward is an excellent teacher and mentor for transitioning boys to men. He prides himself in it.

        Sven will get his head on his shoulders. We’ve seen enough to believe that he’s got all the tools. It’s just putting it all together now.

        It’s just evident watching the game he’s not driving the play out there yet and has been the recipient of an awesome line mate and the suddenly hot Josh Jooris as well.

        His complete game’ll come around, I’m sure. But he’s in the right place for now. Reinhart and Granlund have the compete problem down and are more NHL ready than Sven considering their body of work at the AHL level.

  • The Last Big Bear

    NHLE is the average *subsequent year* production for players who make the jump from a given league into the NHL.

    In this piece, you’re doing a head-to-head comparison of what a player is expected to produce if he played in the NHL *next year*. A year of development is built into the NHLE calculation.

    As a result, giving Monahan an NHLE based on *this* year’s production is not comparing apples with apples. If you’re going to assign him an NHLE for a head- to-head comparison, it would have to be based on the *2nd year* NHL production of players who produce at a 38 point pace in their rookie NHL season.

    If there was a 1 year younger clone of Monahan playing in the CHL right now, he should theoretically have an NHLE of 38 (assuming the real Monahan finishes his season with 38 pts). Which means that in a head-to-head comparison like this, you would conclude that the 1 year younger juniors verion of Monahan is just as good as the 1 year older and clearly much better NHL version.

    • Byron Bader

      Monahan’s already in the NHL and is still a top prospect because he’s a rookie so Justin is just including him to show how all the prospects are doing. If you reference this earlier article…


      then it puts Monahan’s current numbers into perspective. Based on his NHLE this summer, he’s right on track of where he was projected to be before the season started.

      • The Last Big Bear

        Yes. Monahan’s production is close to his NHLE from this summer. That’s the problem, NHLE is for predicting the following year’s NHL production.

        Comparing his current production totals to the NHLE os the other prospects suggests he is a year behind in his development from where he actually is.

  • McRib

    Interesting discussion regarding the Flames youth. The challenge is separating those who peaked at 18 and others who are late bloomers. One item of interest to me is with all of great things you hear about Troy Ward, why not move a pile of veterans this trade deadline in exchange for draft picks or young talent, then bring in a “teacher” like Ward who can relate to youth and can take the three years to mold his team.

  • I didn’t have time to read all the comments so if this is a repeat. I apologize.

    In regards to Hanowski to be fair he has suffered a couple of injuries this season and he is currently out with a concussion. The concussion I think is going on 3 weeks I believe. He was starting to heat up just before that. Bad timing for an injury unfortunately that may be something to do with his drop off.

    As for Baertschi what comments I did manage to catch glimpses of in skimming I agree with the majority of sentiments here. I think it was bad management on Feaster and Hartley’s part to have him in Calgary. Perhaps that’s pressure from the marketing department to sell tickets. My opinion Baertschi should have started his season in the AHL and he should have not been brought up until he was 100% ready. I hope that they maybe don’t make that mistake again the constant up and down is only going to play with his head. this is an example of bad man management.
    So I agree it is indeed a mental issue and hopefully with the tutelage of Troy Ward he’ll rebound and get his confidence back!