Sunday Open Thread: Prospect Camp Roster Preview!

Friends, as the calendar pages fly away and the summer creeps towards its inevitable conclusion, thoughts turn to the fall. And with the fall, the opening of Calgary Flames prospect camp and the return of the Penticton YoungStars Tournament in mid-September.

Looking at the Calgary Flames’ potential roster one thought comes to mind: daaaaaaamn.

This could be a really fun tournament to watch from a Flames perspective, even ignoring the possiblity of someone like Kevin Hayes perhaps joining the organization maybe.

Who’s able to suit up? Tell’em, CBA!

15.3 (a) The duration of Training Camp for all Players who have qualified during the
preceding Regular Season for at least 50 games credit for Pension Plan purposes shall not be
more than 20 days, and shall not be more than 27 days for all other Players.

In other words, don’t expect anybody who’s not on an entry-level deal or anybody who is that played a lot in the NHL last year (Sean Monahan). Everyone else in the entry-level system (or unsigned Canadian junior players) are likely fair game. College players are gonna be in class by then (and therefore ineligible) and European players will already have begun their seasons.

A GUESSWORK ROSTER

Forwards:

  • Kenny Agostino – acquired from Pittsburgh for Jarome Iginla
  • Bill Arnold – 2010 4th round pick
  • Sven Baertschi – 2011 1st round pick
  • Sam Bennett – 2014 1st round pick
  • Austin Carroll – 2014 7th round pick
  • Turner Elson – free agent signing
  • Michael Ferland – 2010 5th round pick
  • Johnny Gaudreau – 2011 4th round pick; 2014 Hobey Baker winner
  • Markus Granlund – 2011 2nd round pick
  • Ben Hanowski – acquired from Pittsburgh for Jarome Iginla
  • Josh Jooris – free agent signing
  • Morgan Klimchuk – 2013 1st round pick
  • Corban Knight – acquired from Florida for a pick
  • Emile Poirier – 2013 1st round pick (if he’s healthy)
  • Max Reinhart – 2010 3rd round pick
  • Hunter Smith – 2014 2nd round pick
  • Bryce van Brabant – free agent signing
  • David Wolf – free agent signing

Defensemen:

  • Ryan Culkin – 2012 5th round pick
  • Keegan Kanzig – 2013 3rd round pick
  • Brett Kulak – 2012 4th round pick
  • John Ramage – 2010 4th round pick
  • Eric Roy – 2013 5th round pick
  • Patrick Sieloff – 2012 2nd round pick
  • Tyler Wotherspoon – 2011 2nd round pick (if he’s healthy)

Goaltenders:

  • Mason McDonald – 2014 2nd round pick

THOUGHTS

Well, wanna get a sense of how the Flames’ drafting has replenished the prospect cupboards? Here’s three or four years of drafting on display and outside of only having one goaltender on their reserve list suiting up (somebody will probably get a try-out to fill out the team), you have 18 forwards and 7 defensemen. I can see the Flames perhaps exempting some older guys like David Wolf, Turner Elson or John Ramage in the interest of getting some newer faces some reps – Reto Berra didn’t suit up last year and he was on an ELC – but beyond that, it’s a pretty strong group here.

  • Guys Who’ve Played European Pro: Markus Granlund, David Wolf
  • Guys Who’ve Played In World Juniors: Bill Arnold, Johnny Gaudreau, Markus Granlund, David Wolf, John Ramage, Tyler Wotherspoon
  • Guys Who’ve Won NCAA Championships: Bill Arnold, Johnny Gaudreau, Kenny Agostino
  • Guys Who’ve Played In Memorial Cups: Michael Ferland, Max Reinhart, Tyler Wotherspoon

A GOOD START?

I’m the resident optimist around these parts, but even the most hardened cynic will have to admit that this group looks wildly, wildly improved from the Young Guns-esque groupings the Flames have trotted out at these events in the past. At worst, they’ve amassed a lot more depth than in recent years.

And depth sometimes leads to internal competition and the movement to the NHL of honest-to-goodness useful professional hockey players.

Who are you most excited to see don skates and represent the Flaming C in September? Do you think the Flames will add to this group in the form of Kevin Hayes? Or will they acquire another player from a different organization?

Sound off in the comments, and we’ll be back on Monday to continue our look at what you can (reasonably) expect from the 2014-15 Calgary Flames.

    • RexLibris

      I wish you had listed the forwards by position and size as well; but here is my best guess by position:
      Centers: Arnold, Bennett, Granlund, Jooris, Knight
      LW: Agostino, Klimchuk, Sven, Johnny, Rhino
      RW: Hanowski, Poirier, Smith

      The rest of the forwards will likely be playing both wings.Carroll, Ferland(a lw who I think will play rw)Ellson, van B and the Wolf.

      I am optimistic about this group as I believe there are some top 6 forwards in this group although I’m not sure elite, (I count 6 or 7 who fit this profile)some really solid 7-9 depth players. As well as some depth big bodies.

    • supra steve

      I thought Hayes would have picked a team a long time ago, and the signing would have already been announced. Apparently not!

      Our chances don’t look good, and maybe that’s a good thing.

      • supra steve

        The kid was not able to have any kind of negotiations with any club (other than Chicago) until yesterday. Yesterday his agent was getting calls from multiple NHL clubs and sorting through offers. These things take time. Could be days before there is an announcement, even if he has narrowed the field down to one or two teams.

            • supra steve

              Every college kid who’s ever been drafted has also earned the interest. Only a few have gone this route.

              If it was my kid he would have signed with Chicago and rolled with it.Regardless he still has to prove his worth.

            • supra steve

              Boston is just about as stacked with talent as Chicago. Remember he refused Chicago because he didn’t feel he,d get a chance to play in the NHL anytime soon. Why would he feel Boston could find him a spot?

              If he does sign in Boston his reason for dumping Chicago would become insincere.

            • Burnward

              Hayes is not going to step into the NHL and score 30 goals. Solid prospect, but not someone that can just be plugged into the 2nd line on a contending team.

            • Burnward

              They also lost Shawn Thornton, though. All I’m saying is they’re even more hurting for “R”Ws than the Flames are.

              BTW, I’m not one of the folks who’s clamouring for Hayes to sign here because I think he’ll be great. I’m actually one of the people least interested in him. If they can bring him in, fine, it’s a free asset that might be something. All in all, I don’t see anything to be exited about though.

            • Skuehler

              I think many people who seem excited by the prospect is as much about the story of the 3 BC guys being united as it is about Hayes the player. If he signs he adds depth on the RW and will need to earn a spot,once he does that then we could be excited.

            • piscera.infada

              I’m right there with you actually, I have my doubts about him, but free assets are free assets.

              All that said, everything I’ve read about “Hayes-gate” shows him wanting to play in the US above all else (read: Boston). If Boston can’t make it work, then maybe I see him considering (“considering” being the operative word) Calgary, but as long your home-town team is making you an offer, you’re considering that above all else.

              I’ve said it from the beginning; hockey market or not, I don’t see any draw for an American kid to sign in a Canadian city (especially one not named Toronto or Vancouver – God, I feel dirty typing that). If he’s really “amazing friends” with Arnold and Gaudreau (as his twitter feed indicates), he’ll be “amazing friends” with them regardless of where he ends up.

            • Parallex

              Really? If it was my kid I would have sat down with him and gone through his options and told him he was old enough to make his own life decision and that I’d support him in whatever he wanted to do (while secretly hoping he’d elect sign in Calgary because then I’d get to see him more).

    • Koolmoedee

      I am excited to see Ortio’s progress this year as he looks to establish himself as the heir to the Kipper throne. Was fortunate to watch a large group
      of prospects play last year in Abbotsford and love what I saw. The mix of skill and grit (Granlund/Reinhart or Knight/Jooris) is encouraging. I am also looking forward to catching up with Ferland, who started to catch fire last season before falling to a knee injury too early. His combination of size grit and skill make him a great fit in Calgary probably ahead of Hanowski .

      • Burnward

        Okay Kent, do tell. . . Do you think the Flames are on that list?

        I do. And I think a lot of other Flame faithful do as well.

        But I also believe that Florida and Boston are on that list as well for somewhat obvious reasons. Florida would have the draw of playing with his older brother. Boston would be his “home” team, although they have cap issues limiting their ability to add someone elses first rounder.

        I think young Mr. Hayes will be looking to find an organization where he can see himself having a solid shot at playing in the Show in the near term. Florida and Calgary offer that shot with both being young and developing, not established with few opportunities.

        Yes, there is the Gaudreau/Arnold connection and it may play into the Hayes’ camp thinking, given that the Flames brought those two in for a look see immediately after their NCAA season finished.

        So, Kent, over to you. . .

    • supra steve

      I too really like the prospects on the forward group & I think the Flames have got some nice shiny Centre prospects coming down the pipe. But I also noticed we have really invested a lot of high end(1st & 2nd’s) draft picks restocking the forward cupboard. What is painfully obvious is the lack of investment on the blueline. Zero 1st round picks have been invested in that blueline & we are hanging our hopes on later round picks praying they will become diamonds. I realize that 1st round picks don’t equate to top line players but lack of them is even more alarming. Problem is our forward prospects are starting to catch some attention but the covet values aren’t there yet for other clubs. To me BT needs to add some significant young D talent in the system & that should be the focus in trade discussions. To me, Buffalo & Phoenix have an abundance of high end blueline talent that will be getting NHL ready in the next year. Perhaps a nice trade scenario is possible. & no, no one is going to give us one of these kids for Hudler, Wideman, Smid or Glencross.

    • Koolmoedee

      Sven Baertschi has played a total of 51 NHL games. Assuming all those games qualify for pension plan purposes, that would mean he’s out of prospect camp eligibility.

      • Burnward

        If the quote about the bargaining agree is accurate then “the preceding season” then Sven is eligible and if I was his agent and him I would want to be at this camp to prove to the organization that I am better than the other prospects and ready for the NHL.Note if he is then it changes my lines in my earlier statement.

    • supra steve

      Just curious…. concerning some of our guys who have a knock against their skating; Hanowski…smith

      What do you guys think of the Troy Crowder hiring… None of you ever mention it but if you look at a guy like Hanowskis points…. a couple years ago he is our top point producer in the A.

      Just seems like an interesting hire…. we have quitea few hockey sense guys who are knocked for skating… getting a developmental guy whos spe ialty is improving skating seesms intersting. Id like to know what you guys think.

    • supra steve

      And now a guy like Hanowski is almost considered a fringe guy.

      I have read some Glen Falls roster proposals that have him 3rd 4 th line…. actually a lot of blogger depth charts have him there.

      • supra steve

        Reality is that Hanowski will never become an NHL regular because his style of play is too “soft”for NHL standards. That is the main reason the Penguins made him available in the Iggy trade. I’m not sure at the age of 24 he can drastically change his style as this would have become apparent years ago.

        It’s unfortunate because he has great size, is a great kid with some excellent leadership qualities and would have fit nicely into the Flames rebuild strategy.

        • Burnward

          Right… Im just kind of stoked because a few years ago players of his calibre would have been considered our top prospects… not trying to knock Hanowski but in our current system there a ton of guys ahead of him. Just speaks to the depth that Feaster created is all…

    • Burnward

      So just playing with this squad what would be the lines. First I am going to assume that everyone is healthy and has the green light to play, I am going to also assume that Sven is ineligible. So here is what I think I would ice as my lineup:

      Rhino/Granlund/Poirier: this line played together last year in the playoffs and has a little bit of everything.

      Johnny/Knight/Ferland: Johnny playing with some size and abrasiveness in Ferland.

      Klimchuk/Bennett/Smith: my chl line and there is a chance that Bennett and Klimchuk could be on the WJC team together.

      Agostino/Arnold/Hanowski: My NCAA line.

      Ellson/Jooris/van B: my AHL line.

      I’m not really sure where to put Wolf or Carroll. But if Poirier is not cleared to go, maybe one of them fills his position.

      The back end is a bit of a crap shoot for me; while I would be tempted to play Spoon and Sieloff together I think for this tourney I would go:

      Spoon/Kanzig

      Ramage/Culkin

      Sieloff/Kulkin

      With Roy as the exttra.

      • Skuehler

        Wow, what a first line! Would be very interesting! Granlund was the star of the whole tournament last year.

        What do you think of Arnold with Johnny? Let them play together so we can see what they can do together. Love Ferland on that line.

        Also really like your idea of Klimchuk with Bennet.

        Your AHL line would likely be a good energy line – they’ll hustle and make things happen

        I’d love to see what Seiloff and Spoon could do together. I’d put Kanzig with Kulak. That D line up doesn’t look too bad – they’re all a year older. If Seiloff is healthy, he has to be one of the biggest question marks for the org – this would be a great opp to see just what we have on D. We’re starting to get that with Spoon. Spoonoff (or Wotherseil) could be the next Brodano.

        • Burnward

          If Sven is eligible to play then I would have no problem with him in Johnny’s place and Johnny with Arnold. I want to see where Seiloff is and I think him not playing with Spoon would show us sooner. If I’m putting the AHL team together and Spoon is down then I would have them together. I was trying to go a bit with physical and more puck moving tandems except Spoon and Kanzig of course, The big thing is that up front there are a lot of talented young guys that should make the AHL team exciting, The back end is rather raw but there is so potential there.

          • Skuehler

            Yah besides Johnny and Seiloff, I think Sven will be very interesting to watch. He didn’t make a big impression last year at the tournament. He was out shone by Granlund, Monohan, Poirier, etc.

            If he is there again, you have to think that he has to bring his A game. Which would be awesome to see. If he’s not there…what does it say? Does it mean he’s already getting a roster spot on the big club to start the year, or does it mean he’s going to be moved and management doesn’t want him getting injured in a low significance tournament?

      • McRib

        “Spoon/Kanzig, Ramage/Culkin, Sieloff/Kulkin”

        Who is Kulkin… Hahaha. Kulak would be on my first pairing with Wotherspoon. My second pairing would be Culkin and Roy.

        Really not as big of a fan of Sieloff as everyone else and would have him on my third pairing. I just don’t understand what game he plays at the next level? As smaller defenders with no potential for offense really don’t get me fired up. Especially considering he has shown he can’t be a tough guy at the next level (see fight with Darren Karmer in Preseason). I understand he is a “nice guy”, but I don’t see much there. I also don’t see much for Keegan Kanzig more than a poor mans Hal Gill / Fighter. I know people are going to get fired up because I don’t love Sieloff or Kanzig, but I kind of think some Flames fans have drank the “kool-aid” so to speak on them. Lets face it all the best shutdown defenders in history were offensive producers in Junior before focusing on defensive game (you have to be able to understand both ends of the ice at NHL level), other than a very rare few and these two just don’t scream elite shutdown defenders to me.

        That said having watched both Brett Kulak and Ryan Culkin last year I think they both have great potential to be NHLers (Kulak reminds me a lot of TJ Brodie at the same age to be honest). I think those two defenders are the most underrated players in our system right now and the two players I am most excited to watch in the AHL and frankily I just don’t get why more people are excited to see Sieloff play in this camp over a Kulak, who looked fantastic with Vancouver this season.

        • McRib

          I think the hype on Seiloff & Tspoon for that matter are because they are the most the Flames have invested on the blue line in our pipeline. I think Tspoon is going to make it but his ceiling may only be #4 Dman. Seiloff just has everyone hoping & if he does well enough, it pacifies the anxiety over that Jankowski pick. TJ Brodie has really spoiled some of us into thinking we can get potentially elite dman after the 1st/2nd round regularly. The sooner we address the defensive pipeline with higher end talent the better.

    • Parallex

      Reinhart-Granlund-Poirier

      Gaudreau-Bennett-Ferland

      Baertschi-Knight-Klimchuk

      Agostino-Arnold-Smith

      Wotherspoon-Sieloff

      Kanzig-Kulak

      Culkin-Roy

      McDonalad

      Alot of skill in that top 9! Our defense leaves alot to be desired however..