A Tale of Two Cities: Flames/Canucks Scoring Chances

Last week’s pair of games between Vancouver and Calgary were good times, as they provided a chance to see Sam Bennett against (mostly) NHL rosters and test his mettle. Additionally, the nice folks at Sportsnet televised the games, which also provided a nice chance to get a training camp edition of Scoring Chances going. (The Hockeyviille game was also televised, but there weren’t any NHL reports – “real” stats reporting takes five guys and three computers, so I’m not shocked that the 900-seat arena in Sylvan Lake couldn’t support it.)

Beware: Calgary iced a good roster against Vancouver’s B-team at home, while Vancouver’s A-listers faced Calgary’s Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time-Players at Rogers Arena.

CANUCKS @ FLAMES

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 3.34.53 PM

(Note: pretend everything is shifted to the right slightly…)

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 16:06 Bennett 1 5 7 19 63 79 14 15 27 31 58 70 5v5
Away 1 14:21 Jensen 1 22 23 27 36 67 29 31 46 58 63 70 5v5
Home 1 12:29 Stajan 1 5 7 17 18 51 20 31 36 53 58 70 5v5
Away 1 12:19 Higgins 1 18 36 51 64 67 20 31 36 53 58 70 5v5
Away 1 11:31 Kassian 1 17 18 36 67 5 9 13 14 20 31 4v5
Away 1 10:50 Richardson 1 5 6 22 63 15 26 27 31 70 4v4
Away 1 7:30 Higgins 1 6 22 23 27 42 5 20 26 31 36 53 5v5
Home 1 6:58 Baertschi 1 6 22 23 27 42 5 26 29 31 36 53 5v5
Home 1 6:12 Bennett 1 5 7 19 63 79 18 31 46 48 60 63 5v5
Home 1 5:51 Bouma (PS drawn) 1 5 7 17 46 51 15 18 27 31 48 60 5v5
Home 1 2:45 Hathaway 1 5 7 18 25 64 9 13 14 18 31 60 5v5
Home 1 2:26 Setoguchi tip 1 5 7 22 23 27 5 20 26 31 36 53 5v5
Home 1 0:08 Baertschi 1 6 22 23 27 36 5 26 31 36 53 5v4
Home 2 19:06 Bennett 1 6 7 63 79 9 18 31 63 70 4v4
Away 2 17:22 Burrows 1 19 23 36 67 5 13 14 20 31 48 4v5
Away 2 17:17 Higgins goal 1 19 22 23 36 67 5 13 14 20 31 48 5v5
Home 2 15:47 Bennett tip 1 6 7 19 27 63 15 18 27 31 70 5v4
Home 2 15:25 Bennett 1 5 17 36 63 79 13 14 31 58 70 5v4
Home 2 14:50 Agostino 1 5 17 36 46 51 5 20 31 53 58 60 5v5
Home 2 11:11 Agostino 1 6 17 42 46 51 18 20 31 36 53 60 5v5
Home 2 10:11 Brodie 1 7 23 36 46 5 9 13 14 20 32 4v5
Home 2 8:22 Agostino 1 7 18 51 67 79 18 26 27 32 48 63 5v5
Home 2 7:20 Ferland 1 36 51 63 67 79 5 9 26 29 32 63 5v5
Away 2 6:52 Jensen 1 22 23 27 36 42 13 14 18 32 46 60 5v5
Away 2 6:40 Bonino 1 22 23 27 36 42 13 14 18 32 46 60 5v5
Away 2 6:34 Jensen 1 6 17 18 42 64 20 32 36 53 58 70 5v5
Away 2 4:42 Higgins 1 19 25 36 46 67 5 20 26 32 36 53 5v5
Home 2 3:31 Monahan 1 5 7 23 51 79 9 13 18 29 32 60 5v5
Home 2 2:56 Bennett 1 5 22 23 36 63 5 20 26 32 53 5v4
Home 2 2:53 Monahan goal 1 22 23 27 36 67 15 32 46 48 58 70 5v5
Home 2 2:39 Monahan 1 22 23 27 36 67 15 32 46 48 58 70 5v5
Home 2 0:17 Monahan 1 5 6 22 23 63 18 20 26 32 53 5v4
Home 3 19:08 Bennett 5 22 23 35 36 63 18 20 26 32 53 5v4
Away 3 16:17 Hansen 6 22 23 27 35 42 5 20 26 32 36 53 5v5
Home 3 15:03 Giordano 5 7 18 19 25 35 13 14 32 46 58 70 5v5
Away 3 13:35 Richardson 6 35 42 51 63 79 5 15 26 27 32 48 5v5
Home 3 12:33 Giordano 5 7 22 23 27 35 20 32 36 53 58 70 5v5
Away 3 11:19 Sbisa 6 17 18 35 42 64 5 9 26 29 32 63 5v5
Away 3 10:13 Shinkaruk goal 35 36 51 63 67 79 15 27 32 48 58 70 5v5
Away 3 6:57 Burrows tip 6 35 42 46 63 5 9 13 14 20 32 4v5
Home 3 6:43 Bennett 6 35 42 46 63 5 9 13 14 20 32 4v5
Away 3 6:03 Horvat 5 7 25 35 46 5 32 36 46 53 60 4v5
Home 3 3:43 Setoguchi 6 22 27 35 42 63 9 29 32 58 63 70 5v5
Away 3 2:17 Higgins 6 18 19 25 35 42 15 20 32 36 58 70 5v5
Home 3 2:01 Deflection 22 23 27 36 46 67 5 15 26 27 32 48 5v5
Home 3 0:45 Diaz 6 19 23 36 46 79 5 14 15 18 27 32 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
1 HILLER, JONAS   15 9   5 0   1 2
5 GIORDANO, MARK 17:38 10 1 03:31 4 0 02:01 0 1
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 17:50 5 7 03:34 3 0 02:54 1 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 17:26 11 0 01:25 1 0 02:27 1 1
17 BOUMA, LANCE 09:50 4 2 00:47 1 0 01:56 0 1
18 STAJAN, MATT 12:17 4 4 00:16 0 0 01:46 0 1
19 JONES, DAVID 10:46 4 3 00:40 1 0 01:38 0 1
22 SETOGUCHI, DEVIN 12:40 7 7 04:10 4 0 00:46 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 14:57 8 6 04:35 4 0 01:59 1 1
25 BOLLIG, BRANDON 10:39 2 2 00:00 0 0 01:28 0 1
27 BAERTSCHI, SVEN 15:07 7 5 03:01 2 0 00:00 0 0
35 THIESSEN, BRAD   3 5   1 0   1 2
36 DIAZ, RAPHAEL 13:22 6 7 03:47 4 0 02:57 1 2
42 CUNDARI, MARK 14:18 3 8 00:19 0 0 00:41 1 1
46 ARNOLD, BILL 10:49 5 1 00:35 0 0 01:54 2 2
51 AGOSTINO, KENNY 11:50 7 3 00:49 0 0 00:00 0 0
63 BENNETT, SAM 12:27 5 3 02:50 5 0 00:41 1 1
64 HATHAWAY, GARNET 08:24 1 3 00:11 0 0 00:00 0 0
67 CULKIN, RYAN 14:53 5 5 00:00 0 0 01:08 0 2
79 FERLAND, MICHAEL 13:07 7 2 01:00 1 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 8 5 7 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2 13 6 8 5 4 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
3 7 7 5 5 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 0

“Shockingly,” Giordano and Brodie were chance-generating beasts. Also in the black: Bennett, Arnold, Ferland, Agostino, Baertschi, Monahan and Bouma. Basically everyone else was even or worse, including Diaz, Cundari, Wideman and Culkin. If this sounds similar to, well, the entirety of last season, you’ve obviously been paying attention.

This gap between Agostino and many others in terms of chance generation is why I was surprised he got sent down. That said, he didn’t score and he’s played maybe three weeks of pro hockey, so the AHL is where he belongs.

FLAMES @ CANUCKS

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 3.35.24 PM

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Away 1 18:41 Bennett 2 3 17 22 30 33 4 24 31 32 55 63 5v5
Away 1 16:01 Sieloff 2 3 17 22 30 33 24 31 32 50 63 67 5v5
Home 1 12:02 D.Sedin 8 17 22 30 33 44 4 31 55 59 60 5v4
Home 1 11:40 Vrbata 2 3 15 30 36 51 10 31 32 50 67 5v4
Home 1 10:50 Dorsett 2 3 15 30 36 51 4 22 25 31 50 5v4
Home 1 1:13 Tanev 5 8 29 30 46 53 22 31 50 51 59 67 5v5
Away 1 0:36 Bennett 5 8 30 36 44 50 4 24 31 32 55 63 5v5
Home 2 17:59 Stanton 6 18 30 36 44 50 22 25 40 54 60 73 5v5
Away 2 15:32 Bollig 2 3 15 29 30 51 22 25 40 55 60 73 5v5
Away 2 13:29 Bennett 6 18 22 30 33 51 4 16 25 40 55 63 5v5
Home 2 12:34 Vey goal 8 17 22 30 33 44 4 32 40 55 63 5v4
Home 2 10:00 Deflection 3 17 22 30 33 44 4 10 40 55 58 5v4
Home 2 9:45 H.Sedin 3 17 22 30 33 44 4 10 40 55 58 5v4
Home 2 9:30 Hansen goal 3 17 22 30 33 36 4 10 40 55 58 5v4
Home 2 8:08 Hansen 5 18 32 36 42 51 16 25 40 54 59 73 5v5
Away 2 6:52 Byron 2 3 17 29 32 53 24 32 40 50 63 67 5v5
Home 2 4:40 Deflection 2 6 32 42 46 51 4 16 40 51 59 73 5v5
Home 2 3:52 Vrbata 2 3 17 32 44 50 10 40 48 50 58 67 5v5
Away 2 2:48 Setoguchi 5 18 32 42 50 4 22 24 40 60 63 4v5
Away 2 1:20 Setoguchi 3 5 17 22 32 33 22 25 40 50 60 67 5v5
Away 2 1:09 Setoguchi 3 5 17 22 32 33 22 25 40 50 60 67 5v5
Home 2 0:03 Horvat 2 8 29 32 46 53 4 16 32 40 51 55 5v5
Home 3 17:55 Vrbata goal 3 17 22 32 33 44 10 40 50 55 63 5v4
Away 3 11:56 Bennett 5 8 32 44 50 4 22 24 32 40 63 4v5
Away 3 10:00 Setoguchi 5 8 32 50 53 4 22 24 32 40 63 4v5
Home 3 6:33 Vrbata 5 8 17 22 32 33 4 10 22 25 40 55 5v5
Away 3 2:37 Bollig 2 3 32 46 50 53 10 25 40 55 73 5v4
# Player EV PP SH
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 15:38 3 3 05:26 3 0 06:01 0 6
10 KNIGHT, CORBAN 09:58 0 2 02:33 0 0 03:19 1 5
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 12:39 1 3 00:29 0 0 00:00 0 0
22 SETOGUCHI, DEVIN 09:03 3 3 04:19 3 0 03:17 0 1
24 HUDLER, JIRI 12:39 4 0 03:48 3 0 00:00 0 0
25 BOLLIG, BRANDON 13:02 4 3 00:59 0 0 02:28 1 1
31 RAMO, KARRI   3 1   0 0   0 3
32 BYRON, PAUL 12:57 4 1 01:57 2 0 03:16 0 2
40 CARR, DOUGLAS   5 6   3 0   1 5
48 VAN BRABANT, BRYCE 07:06 0 1 00:29 0 0 00:00 0 0
50 SIELOFF, PATRICK 14:08 4 2 00:00 0 0 02:55 0 3
51 AGOSTINO, KENNY 12:02 0 3 00:11 0 0 00:00 0 0
54 ACOLATSE, SENA 09:50 0 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
55 RAMAGE, JOHN 17:33 4 2 00:29 0 0 08:09 1 6
58 HANOWSKI, BEN 08:52 0 1 00:00 0 0 01:47 0 3
59 REINHART, MAX 10:52 0 3 02:39 0 0 04:40 0 1
60 GRANLUND, MARKUS 06:33 3 1 01:16 1 0 00:53 0 1
63 BENNETT, SAM 13:41 5 0 03:23 3 0 01:54 0 2
67 CULKIN, RYAN 16:56 4 2 02:02 0 0 02:22 0 1
73 KANZIG, KEEGAN 12:36 1 3 00:00 0 0 02:07 1 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 3 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0
2 6 9 5 5 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 0
3 3 2 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0

Given the opposition, expectations were lower in Vancouver on Friday, especially as the Flames were finishing off a rough three-in-thre strech. Wanna know why Culkin was still in town? This may be an indicator. It’s also an indicator why some bodies did get sent down immediately after that game.

But hey, Sam Bennett? Monster. Second straight night he was one of Calgary’s better chance-generating players. And Calgary’s PK was pretty bad at supressing shots from the scoring chance area. No shocker that all three Canucks goals came with the extra man.

SUM IT UP

The young AHL defenders may be (slightly) better than we think, and Sam Bennett is (based on two games) about as good as we’ve been led to believe by the proverbial “eye test.” But remember – sample sizes are key and this is just two games in the pre-season, so don’t take any of this without a hefty amount of salt.

We should have a quick look at zone entry data from these two games later in the week.

    • everton fc

      No…. The fact that you are first to comment ought to let you know that you were one of the first to read the article. Smh.

      Good write up Ryan. Good to see that Sam was impressive based on the eye test and numbers. Will be good to see how he fairs in the next couple games.

  • beloch

    It’s great to see some stats from the hockeyville game! The graphic for canucks@flames looks like all the chances are shifted to the left of the scoring chance area for some reason… I’d assume that’s just an offset error.

    Bennett is certainly making the decision to send him back to junior as difficult as possible. He looks more ready than Monahan did this time last year! If he does stick, I don’t know how Hartley is going to find him enough minutes and shelter though. After years of searching for a center to play with Iggy the Flames have picked up two great prospects in two years!

  • beloch

    It’s probably just an effect of playing with and against AHL’ers, but Kris Russel has looked good so far this pre-season. I hope he steps up his defensive game a little bit this year and looks more confident in a second pairing role. If Smid and Wideman don’t rebound in a big way, he’s #3 in terms of Calgary’s blueline depth.

  • jeremywilhelm

    I wonder what the next three games bring for Bennett.

    He could be an O’reilly level guy who just dominates out of the CHL. He had the best even strength possession stats of any of the drafted players and he is one of, if not, the youngest guys picked in the top 60.

  • beloch

    One other thing that stands out to me is that, in the @VAN game, Calgary’s B-team outchanced Vancouver’s A-team 8 to 7 at even strength. The total chances were 12 to 15, but 8 (just over half) of Vancouver’s chances were on the powerplay. Calgary also got half (6) of their chances on the powerplay. A key difference maker was discipline. The Flames racked up 16 minutes of minors to Vancouver’s 8.

    Nothing went in the net for the B-Flames, but it’s very encouraging that they were able to do so well against a lineup that’s close to what Vancouver will ice in the regular season. Of course, it’s also possible that Vancouver is going to stink this season. Either way, this is hopefully a sign of things to come!

  • Byron Bader

    I’m very excited to see how Sam progresses as a Flame. It’s going to be an exciting couple of years. Not to mention whoever the Flames pick out of this up coming draft.

    • Byron Bader

      According to Roger Millions and a few other sources Poirier will be meeting with his surgeon in MTL tomorrow and is hoping to get the all clear.

      It’s really too bad that Emile missed camp due to injury. I had high hopes based on last camp and was fully expecting a big push from him to make the big club.

  • Byron Bader

    somehow I’ve forgotten about poirier this pre season. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs in the AHL. Lots of guys to be very excited about.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Don’t look now but Sam Bennett could be really, really, really good! And for all the reasons others have mentioned; one of the youngest in the draft, rated #1 by central scouting, has the perfect combo of speed, grit and skill. His NHLE in his draft year is on par with the Nuge who was a #1 overall pick, yet Bennett is more feisty.

    I think, like Monahan, he has the work ethic to put the muscle on that frame and we will have a formidable 1, 2 punch at center for years to come. Add Backlund in the mix and with all the center prospects in the pipe below and we are set in that position.

    Would love to snag Hannifin this next draft (chances are we won’t get one of the top two). Centermen, Dmen & goal are the most crucial positions to the rebuild. With Brodie already in the mix, Hannifin would go along way to just fine tuning the rebuild (in terms of talent acquisition) if he turns out to be what everyone projects.

    Sam’s performance these past couple games have me super stoked!! Despite all this, I still think it would be best for him to go back to junior (after 9 games of course!). WJC, size & the fact he is younger than Monahan and has only played 2 years of junior being the reasons.

  • I have been really impressed with Bennett. He is far more skilled than I gave him credit for. I know that there have been some like Lambert who have been very clear that he needs to go back to junior. I believe the argument is that this is a better place for his development and that it saves contract years. ( I think that BT agrees with this vision). My question for the nation is if there is anything that a young prospect could do to change their mind? By that I mean is there anything in camp that he could do that would indicate that keeping him is the right thing to do or is his play irrelevant to the conversation?

    To be honest I am just glad that his early play has given some pause. I for one am not sure. I hope to see him against some more NHL lineups to get a read.

    I’m glad that his stats backup the eye test.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      With all the injuries they might have to keep Bennett up for a while. If Jones and Raymond are both out they may have no choice but to use Colborne as a RW. If Backlund isn’t back for the season opener that leaves a center spot for Bennett (with Granlund indisposed). And perhaps Bennett will prove himself a better C than Colborne anyway.

      I still think he should go back to Kingston, but I’m not as sure as I was.

  • MWflames

    Especially with backlund out, I think its pretty clear Bennett is getting a few NHL games in this year… What I’m really looking forward to is the endless debate of whether or not he should stay. I don’t think we got enough of that last year! #bottomfeederproblems.

    • everton fc

      I think he should stay. Regardless. Bennett’s most likely better than Colborne now. Colborne’s, at best, a career third-liner, which isn’t a bad thing.

      The drawback for Bennett is the physical side. He’s mature enough, emotionally. But Gaudreau’s size issue is much more obvious.

      “5 assigned to the AHL; Elson, Poirier( I wonder if this means he is close to being ready), Culkan, Ramage and Cundari.”

      Elson will be back. Culkin has a long way to go. If Poirier scores like Grandlund did last season, he’ll get a look, as his game fits Burke’s mandate. Ramage and Cundari may very well be career minor leaguers.

      I would have loved to see Bennett centre Poirier and Ferland. Size, speed, skill. A potentially potent line, sometime soon.

      • MWflames

        Whether or not it turns out to be true, I’m impressed that you’re such an amazing judge of talent that you can definitively say that a former first round pick, after his first season of play in which he grew immensely from start to finish, is at best a third-liner. We obviously have much to learn from you.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Here’s the problem, if Bennett stays up.

    Yes, he may be good. And he may be better than someone else on the roster. But…. Who cares? In no way is playing in the CHL another year going to hurt his development. And will him being marginally better get the Flames in the playoffs? No.

    So why waste a year of his ELC on what is essentially a losing season. The kid is really really young. And keeping him under team control for as long as possible benefits everyone involved.

    Keeping him up would simply be a fanservice for the inevitable craptacular season ahead.

    • Avalain

      Honestly, I agree with you. With Monahan I think we made the right choice, simply because he was bigger and older at the time. Bennett absolutely needs his 9 games to give him a taste of the NHL, but after that I think some more time in junior would be better for him.

      Keeping him up for the fans isn’t even necessary this year; we have Gaudreau to keep us occupied.

    • BurningSensation

      The answer to your question is;

      – If he’s good enough to make the team, he’ll know it. Sending him back will just tell him that the team cares more about burning a year on his ELC than him playing at the level he deserves

      – Playing against men at full speed in the NHL will give him more and better experience than playing against the has-beens, projects, and never-were’s of the AHL.

      – He’ll begin to develop real chemistry with his team mates at the NHL level

      – ‘Keeping him under team control’ might benefit the team, but it isn’t clear that it necessarily benefits him.

      – So far, I’d argue that Bennett has shown he’s even better than Monahan was last year, and given that Monahan made the team and had no ill effects from doing so, there is a strong precedent not to send him back.

      – A player should be at the highest level of competition he can excel against. In the case of Bennett, that is likely at the NHL level given what we have seen so far.

      • Here’s my take on keeping Bennett around this year: there’s far more chance of it doing more harm than good.

        He’s looked great in a couple of pre-seaon games, but we have no idea how a full 82 game schedule is going to effect him. It could help him get up to NHL speed a bit faster, but it could also overwhelm him or lead to injury (particularly given the kind of game he plays).

        Pragmatically, the Flames have to consider a lot of other things too.

        First, the wisdom of starting the clock early on his ELC on a throw-away season is highly questionable. An 18-year old on a cheap deal doesn’t benefit this probable 25th placed team right now. A 21-year old Sam Bennett on an ELC on what should be a more competitive club in 3 years will be worth a lot more.

        Second managing the roster with an 18-year old rookie C who can’t be sent down to the minors poses all sorts of challenges. Calgary has a long queue of guys they need to evaluate to determine if they are legit players or not this year – Baertschi, Gaudreau, Reinhart, Arnold, Knight, Granlund to name a few. If Bennett makes the Flames, he has to more or less play at least top-9 minutes in the show for it to make sense. That will make evaluating a few of the other, older kids a lot harder to manage (unless he gets injured, but that’s also a bad thing).

        • beloch

          In this sense, the fact that Monahan made the team last year is actually a reason for Bennett to be sent down. Monahan will likely still require lots of sheltered minutes to continue developing this season, but how would Hartley find enough to go around if Bennett needs them too?

  • JMK

    A couple of things I noticed when comparing Bennett to McDavid. 2011/12 playing Minor Midget (on same team) Bennett 37 games 69 points, McDavid 33 games 71 points. 2012/13 both first year in OHL Bennett 60 games 40 points -2 plus/minus, McDavid 63 games 66 points -24 plus/minus. 2013/14 2nd OHL season Bennett 57 games 91 points +34, McDavid 56 games 99 points +47. World U18 Junior championships in 7 games Bennett 7 points +8 and McDavid 14 points +8 (was on line with Reinhart and Klimchuk). And even though Bennett was draft eligible a year earlier he’s still just 6 months older than McDavid. I know McDavid is a “better” player but says a lot for Bennett too to have similar stats to a so called generational talent. Also interesting is Bennett, Klimchuk and McDavid have played together loads for Canada. And Bennett & McDavid played together Minor Midget age group, for a couple of years.

    I love what I see so far with Bennett, but I think the flames should send him back to CHL even just to maintain a winning mentality. I’d also keep a lot of the good prospects in the AHL and try and win the Calder. Graduate them next year or year after when fully ready! And very excited to see Poirier’s development!

  • Avalain

    Skill wise he might be ready for the NHL, but by going back to juniors he’ll have the chance to be a leader on his team, participate in the world juniors and hopefully play meaningful hockey in the playoffs. Non of which will happen if he stays on the Flames.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    BT. Phone home. Elliot? Just need a shot.

    Goals! Built up in a sequence of plays from the back end. Snapped home with sublime hands. Only with good tempo, good rhythm. Bouncing the ball before striking a tennis serve …

    Imagine a quarter bounced off a table wobbling to a rest. That’s what the puck that Sven fired home in one, quick motion, looked like in the Sylvan game. Bad ice. Part of the pro game on many nights in many arenas. Sven has learned to produce when conditions are less than ideal. Learned how.

    JG would benefit from a Cammy type. The guy who can read and execute the late developing play:

    JG attacks down left side, puck on stick, holds, looking shot and pass. Line mates drive their lanes and defenders into crease. No pass. No shot. Non optimized foray.

    Nobody is sliding open late, the way Cammy was so good at. Just watching instead. Movement! ‘Fall away’ or step back into quiet ice the last second so JG can find the stick and give a pass to a high % spot.

    Possession guy + shooter/finisher + Swiss Army knife type guy
    Nice line.

    Just sayin’.

  • Burnward

    Central Scouting Overall 1’s.

    I like the odds.

    2014 – Sam Bennett

    2013 – Seth Jones

    2012 – Nail Yakupov

    2011 – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

    2010 – Tyler Seguin

    2009 – John Tavares

    2008 – Steven Stamkos

    2007 – Kyle Turris (Patrick Kane)

    2006 – Erik Johnson (Jonathon Toews)

      • McRib

        Sam Bennett has 1 Assist is -1 with 9 SOG in two games. Leon Driasiatl has 1 Assist is +2 with 3 SOG in two games. Sam Reinhart has 0 Points is -1 with 2 SOG in three games. Aaron Ekblad is injured I believe.

        I actually think Edmonton made a solid choice drafting Driasiatl as he fits there needs (playmaking forward with size) and I think he ends up as one of the Top. 3 players from this draft, but lets put it this way I am really happy Buffalo took Sam Reinhart over Bennett. Sam Reinhart seemed to fit what Buffalo needed, which is a playing making centre that can also be a cornerstone leader for all their young players in the future, but Sam Bennett has a much more explosive game than anyone of these players in last years draft.

        I actually think Aaron Ekblad should have gone fourth in my opinion, as I don’t see him as being a good enough puck mover to be a number one defender. Best case scenario is he ends up as a second defender that can score 15-20+ Goals a season because he has a cannon of a shot and there is a good chance that he only ever turns into a number three defender (especially in Florida). I can understand why those three players went ahead of Sam Bennett as they all fit the teams needs ahead of us more than Sam Bennett did, but Sam Bennett has the most upside I think. NHL Central Scouting, The Hockey News and Red Line Report all had Sam Bennett ranked No. 1 for a reason. ESPN & McKeen’s had him ranked No. 2. IMO from following the draft closely for a decade or so Red Line Report and McKeen’s are the two top private publications out their for predicting talent (for an example they both had Emile Poirier as a first rounder when most didn’t). If they think he is a Top. 2 player so do I.

  • McRib

    Wow, the lineup’s were just released for tonight’s game if Calgary doesn’t win we are in trouble. All of Colorado’s top players are sitting except Tanguay, Briere, Hejda and Talbot…. Brodie, Giordano, Wideman, Nouma, GlenX, Hudler, Colborne and Monahan are all playing for Calgary. Excited to watch young players Gaudreau, Ferland, Baertschi, Kulak and Arnold as well. No Sam Bennett which seems like a sign that the Flames are fairly confident he is going to get some regular season games in, as he deserves.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      I think Avs’ fans might have been saying the same thing before the Flames whooped their sorry arses with an AHL defense and a forward group comprised of a bunch of kids.

      The pre-season is riddled with all kinds of teams over the years that performed well when it didn’t matter.

      Tonight only matters from an evaluation perspective (though it would be great if the Flames won).