Weekend Open Thread: Build Your AHL Adirondack Depth Chart

atf72

The Calgary Flames has a lot of kids battling for jobs at both levels of the organization this upcoming season. While more than a few are going to get a cup of coffee with the big team at some point due to injury and such, the truth there is probably only one or two FT jobs available for the hopefuls. That means an interest roster for the Adirondack Flames.

Calgary’s AHL club has lost a few veterans but is also getting an infusion of youngsters, including Bill Arnold, Ryan Culkin, Brett Kulak, Emile Poirier and (maybe) a full season of Patrick Sieloff to boot. Add in sophomores like Corban Knight, Ben Hanowski and John Ramage and you have a pretty decent (but pretty young) roster to work with.

For now, here’s how I picture the depth chart shaping up to start the season:

  • Granlund – Reinhart – Wolf
  • Baertschi – Knight – Poirier
  • Agostino – Arnold – Van Babrant
  • Ferland- Jooris – Hanowski
  • Elson
  • Wotherspoon – Acolatse
  • Sieloff – Cundari
  • Ramage – Kulak
  • Culkin
  • Ortio
  • Thiessen

You can probably swap Baertschi and Granlund without much issue and the entire right side is more or less fungible. The top-3 centers are also all pretty good, so I’d hope at least one guy pokes his head above the crowd and makes it almost impossible for the Flames to keep him on the farm forever. If the Flames end up signing Kevin Hayes, you can put him in place of Wolf or Poirier in the top-6. 

Tyler Wotherspoon might make the show as a 7th d-man, but I think the org would rather he play every night rather than sit in the press-box. Sena Acolatse is a 24-year old AHL veteran who played in the Sharks system previously. I don’t think he has NHL upside, but he will probably start ahead of the younger guys in the rotation by virtue of his age and experience.  

Notable absent: John Gaudreau, whom I assume will make the team out of camp. If he doesn’t, I expect either one of Granlund or Baertschi to be on the big team instead.

What does your Adirondack Flames depth chart look like? Share in the comments.

  • Bright side of the relocation: “Adirondack Flames” is a much better brand than “Abbotsford Heat”. I never liked the nickname or the logo.

    1. Baertschi – Granlund – Wolf
    2. Agostino – Knight – Poirier
    3. Tousignant – Arnold – Ferland
    4. Van Brabant – Jooris – Hanowski
    1. Wotherspoon – Acolatse
    2. Cundari – Kulak
    3. Sieloff – Ramage
    4. Culkin

    1. Ortio
    2. Thiessen

    Reinhart is centering Calgary’s 4th line. I put Granlund at center because the Flames seem firmly content to play him there for now, in spite of my belief that he’ll end up being a winger. I really hope Baertschi “figures it out,” but I wouldn’t mind seeing him starting in the AHL and putting up points. It seems weird that Wolf is a first line winger, but I didn’t feel right putting a first year pro (Poirier) on the first line. That second line is really young, and I actually think there’s a decent chance Arnold pushes Knight for that spot.

    Sieloff and Cundari might switch depending on how Patrick looks coming back from his injury. I doubt Culkin stays in the #7 spot indefinitely, but I put Ramage ahead of him because it seems like this is basically his last chance to show he belongs. Kulak is too good to play below the 2nd pair on this blueline IMO.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    AHL.

    1. Baertschi – Knight – Hanowski

    2. Reinhart – Granlund – Wolf

    3. Ferland – Arnold – Poirier

    4. Agostino – Jooris – Van BamBam

    1. Kulak – Wotherspoon

    2. Culkin – Ramage

    3. Seiloff – Acolaste

    1.Ortio

    2.Theissen

    NHL.

    1. Raymond – Backlund – Hudler

    2. Glencross – Stajan – Jones

    3. Gaudreau – Monahan – Bollig

    4. Bouma – Colborne – McGratton/Byron

    1. Gio – Brodie

    2. Russell – Wideman

    3. Smid – Engellend

    1. Ramo

    2. Hiller (I think 41 games each)

    I think the biggest ‘surprise’ will be the eventual emergence of Ferland. From the standpoint of becoming a leader AND good player.

    I think the adversity he’s faced makes him ‘pop’ and he shows the way – relates – and the kids just follow him. What he can be ultimately, I don’t know… but he has as many gifts as any. When you watch him he moves with the agility on the ice of a much smaller, much more reliant on skills, skilled guy. But he’s big and tough. The overall game he has is just…wow. If he can skate and score at NHL level…

    Ferland and Seiloff will be the guys all the young guys get drawn to and follow. Oh and Ramage. Born leaders. They fit a Rhett Warrener type leader: work hard/play hard, fun-loving, no drama (Tim Harrison??). Just a hunch.

  • beloch

    Wolf has a good shot at making the NHL team out of camp. As an enforcer-type, he only has to be good enough to displace McGrattan or Westgarth (if he’s even retained). Granlund or Reinhart might impress enough to make the team out of camp too, although it’s more likely they’ll be up and down next season.

    Baertschi is probably ready for the NHL in terms of size and skill, but he really didn’t handle being sent down well last season. He eventually rebounded, but management may now be leary of promoting him unless they’re completely sure he’s going to stick for good. He might wind up as a mid-season call-up even if he appears ready at the camp.

    A face we might see in the AHL that isn’t listed here is Paul Byron. If he doesn’t consistently put up points his small size may cause him to be relegated to Adirondack. I’ll be annoyed if it happens, but it’s a real possibility. If Byron is sent down he will almost certainly be a big impact player for the mini-Flames.

  • Byron Bader

    Well we need some AHL vets because our lineup is too inexperienced.

    FORWARDS

    Johnny Gaudreau ($0.925m) / Bill Arnold ($0.888m) / Kevin Hayes ($0.925m)
    Sven Baertschi ($0.894m) / Markus Granlund ($0.768m) / Emile Poirier ($0.894m)
    Michael Ferland ($0.612m) / Corban Knight ($0.900m) / Kenneth Agostino ($0.845m)
    David Wolf ($0.868m) / Josh Jooris ($0.925m) / Ben Hanowski ($0.851m)
    Turner Elson ($0.565m) / Corey Locke ($0.600m) / Austin Carrol ($0.600m)
    Garnett Hathaway ($0.600m) / Grayson Downing ($0.600m)

    DEFENSEMEN

    Tyler Wotherspoon ($0.925m) / Sena Acolatse ($0.700m)
    Patrick Sieloff ($0.894m) / Danny Syvret ($0.600m)
    Mark Cundari ($0.660m) / John Ramage ($0.690m)
    Brett Kulak ($0.657m) / Ryan Culkin ($0.657m)

    GOALTENDERS

    Joni Ortio ($0.605m)
    Brad Thiessen ($0.550m)

    NHL: Max Reinhart and Bryce van Brabant

    AHL FA’s: Corey Locke, Grayson Downing, Garnett Hathaway, Danny Syvret

    Adirondack will be in the top 5 in scorers. I think we should build a winning culture starting with the AHL. Reinhart now deserves his NHL spot. We need to see if he can make the jump. And Gaudreau at 5’7, 155 lbs shouldn’t go to the NHL. If we lose out on Hayes an alternative is Aaron Palushaj. we do need some depth AHLers/ECHLers so Corey Locke played very well last year. Grayson Downing who was at development camp had a huge shot and some truculence. Danny Syvret helps a lot on a weak D corps. And he spent most of his time with the Flyers organization so he knows Adirondack. Hathaway played with Abby last year and is a good depth guy

    • Jeff Lebowski

      No doubt. They need vets. There is also the issue of finding the right kind of ice time for a bunch of similar guys.–>Alaska (seems unlikely this will last after Abbotsford).

      But that’s a good thing! Two development teams with skill mixed in with grit.

  • MonsterPod

    You have all obviously left Klimchuk off for a reason. I suppose this means he will be going back to the Pats for a 5th season. I would think he would rather play pro at this point. He did play 4 games for the Heat last year at the end so it appears he’s eligible.

  • MonsterPod

    My feelings of what AHL forward will make the team out of camp likely lies between Baertschi, Granlund, Reinhart, and in leaning more so towards Granlund/Sven. For D, it’s Wotherspoon but I agree he’d be a better #1 AHL guy than #7 NHL guy. I also see Kulak/Culkin getting more time than Cundari. My prediction is that Poirier starts on the 2nd or 3rd line, but finishes on the first line. I have a feeling he’s in for a great year.

    I’d like to see the top two lines look something like this :
    Baertschi-Knight-Ferland and Reinhart-Poirier-Wolf. Also another interesting point is how much playing time Arnold gets.

  • cunning_linguist

    Granlund – Reinhart – Wolf

    Baertschi – Knight – Poirier

    Agostino – Arnold – Hayes

    Ferland- Jooris – Van Brabant

    Hanowski

    Wotherspoon – Sieloff

    Kulak – Cundari

    Culkin – Acolatse

    Ramage

    Ortio

    Thiessen

  • KH44

    Most excited to see how players like Granny, Rhino, Poiboy, and Sailor come out of the gate next year. Baerteroni should be playing in the NHL come the start of season time imho.

  • KH44

    Your depth chart seems right, though new coach might change how things line up. This exercise will of course be blown up the second the first Flame goes down, and everything after the All-Star break and trade deadline will be try-out time, but I think finding out how Ryan Huska will deploy his team, (winning vs develop, not that the two have to be very different) will be one of the more interesting things in Adirondack the first few months of the season.

  • KH44

    Granlund spent the season at center last year and was the most effective center they had and will likely push for a center position on the big club, Rhino flourished with Granlund as his center so I think this is more likely. Poirier when healthy may play on that right side. I could also see ferland moved to the right side and see him with Sven and Knight. The key will be how the Flames decide to do development with 12 NHL forwards and Johnny the assumption is that is what they keep, I hope they decide to keep 14 forwards with 2 of them being someone from these ranks; Johnny, Granlund, Sven,Knight and Rhino depending who earns it.and play them and sit two of the NHL vets.

    • redricardo

      This.

      The biggest thing I’m curious about seeing this year, is if the kids out-perform the vets, do we see them given the shot, or do they get sent down and the vets get the spot by default?

      If Baertschi/Gaudreau/Reinhart come in and set the world on fire in pre-season, does management keep them up? Or do we go back to the Sutter era where a kid has to be named Crosby to push an aging Amonte out of the lineup?

  • McRib

    Emile Poirier is the biggest question mark for me this season as to where he ends up, especially considering he misses the first month or two with his shoulder surgery rehabilitation. Friends out east who watched him regularly said there is no way he goes back to the QMJHL he was just too impressive last season, but if he is not going to play a Top. 6 role in the AHL then maybe it makes sense. If he was healthy I think he would challenge for an NHL job especially considering his skating and physicality could be used in a checking role, but he likely ends up on that top AHL line and gets some NHL minutes if he comes back ready to play.

    “He played with a bad wing all year,” said Calgary President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke.

    The scary thing about Emile Poirier is apparently he played injured much of the second half of last season. Considering he had 87 points even though numbers tapered off in second half you gotta think he would have hit 50+ Goals, 100+ Points if he was healthy all year. This guy doesn’t last long in the AHL he had 2.0 PPG in two games last year there battling a nagging shoulder injury in the dog days of the season when teams were pushing towards the playoffs! Honestly if he was healthy Emile Poirier would be ahead of absolutely everyone on this AHL depth chart for me (even Reinhart & Granlund).

  • Byron Bader

    Looking at this roster and realizing how much younger and talented it will be from last year was rather eye opening. Last year they were mostly older guys riding out the string and 23-25 year olds who didn’t have much of a shot. This year … lots and lots of guys that look like they have a real shot of playing in the NHL and they’re real young. I’m forever an optimist but I can see the baby flames being pretty darn good this year.

  • How I see the NHL roster: http://gyazo.com/31a7921a50e28a51ba752d77ef60baeb

    with Granlund, Ferlund, Reinhart and possible late in the season Baertschi all making appearances.

    I’d rather they use Agostino as a stop gap. Let him play in the NHL this year being 2 years older and more physically mature than Gaudreau i think that’s the better option despite him not being as skilled. Give Gaudreau a season of AHL pro see how he does. They can sit Agostino or send him down if they want to give someone else like Reinhart or Granlund a run easily enough.

    AHL:
    Baertschi – Knight – Reinhart
    Gaudreau – Granlund – Poirier
    Ferlund – Arnold – Hanowski
    Elson – Jooris – Van Babrant

    Wotherspoon – Acolatse
    Sieloff – Cundari
    Ramage – Kulak
    Culkin

    insert whatever PTO’s they want into the 4th line. Not sure that Elson plays with the AHL squad next year or if he gets demoted to the EC again.