Recent Drafts At A Glance

The Calgary Flames get a day off in sunny Florida today after a pretty solid 4-3 overtime win over the Washington Capitals. They are now inexplicably four games over .500 with an 8-4-2 record, and points-wise they’re eight games ahead of where they were this time last year.

Granted, the team’s performance is still driven by hot goaltending and timely goals – not possession play – so it’s almost definitely not sustainable.

But, the team’s performances of late have highlighted how much the team’s drafting has turned around lately, with three of the four goals scored against Washington being scored by players that the Flames have drafted and developed – and six different draftees in the line-up against the Capitals last night.

Here’s a quick off-day glance at how many NHL games the Flames have wrung out of the NHL Draft, even including games played with other teams.

  • 2005 Draft: 68 games [Matt Pelech, Matt Keetley, Brett Sutter]
  • 2006 Draft: 13 games [Leland Irving]
  • 2007 Draft: 396 games [Mikael Backlund, John Negrin, Keith Aulie]
  • 2008 Draft: 346 games [Greg Nemisz, Lance Bouma, T.J. Brodie]
  • 2009 Draft: 70 games [Tim Erixon, Joni Ortio]
  • 2010 Draft: 26 games [Max Reinhart, Bill Arnold, Michael Ferland, Patrick Holland]
  • 2011 Draft: 88 games [Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund, Tyler Wotherspoon, Johnny Gaudreau]
  • 2012 Draft: 0 games
  • 2013 Draft: 88 games [Sean Monahan]

So many bad, bad, bad drafts here.

Which draft do you feel is the best? The worst? And which guys do you think will play the most games in the near-future from recent drafts?

  • Derzie

    Sven needs tough love.

    He has not proven a dam thing and the way other prospects have passed him on depth chart, he needs to suck it up and accept what the coaches are telling him.

    I don’t think there are a bunch of teams beating the door down to get a hold Sven Baertchi.

    Put him in the minors and forget about him for a couple of years.

    He is not the only Flames prospect in the organization anymore.

    Sorry Sven but you are the only one who can help yourself.

  • BurningSensation

    I’m not really digging this whole Sven debate. I think all of us are too far removed from the situation to know if he has a real attitude problem for one thing. Not to mention we’re also unaware of conversations that happen behind closed doors between coaching staff and players.

    There is a lot of accusing going on with very little real evidence.

  • Graham

    The Flames drafting record was terrible from pretty much the early 90’s through roughly 2009/2010. Its a record that covers multiple GM’s, multiple scouting staffs, multiple draft selection processes, so the problem has to be something buried deep within the organization.
    Whether that was ownerships insistence on being competitive year in year out (trading away picks), a lack of resources within the scouting staff, incompetence, or pure bad luck (and that is pure bad luck for an awful long time)only history will tell. The drafts appear to be getting better, but I suspect that is likely from having high draft picks in each round. I wouldn’t put it past them, but even the Flames would have to work hard at screwing up a top five pick.

  • JMK

    Again, I don’t absolve Sven of all blame, he has to get his act together, but a few things:

    1) Sven never went public, his Dad did, without Sven’s knowledge, and Sven then went public and did his best to correct the situation and explain it.

    2) There’s no evidence that the kid is a whiner or has a poor work ethic. Is he the best ever at dealing with adversity? Obviously not, but that doesn’t make him a selfish cry-baby either.

    As for work ethic, it was something he was continually lauded for coming up through junior. Things like hitting the bike hard after 20+ minutes of ice time.

    Sven came over from Switzerland early, to a different culture and worked his butt off. That was a huge challenge and he excelled.

    His defensive game? Not at all unusual for a junior star to have to learn the 2-way game. He’s made huge strides in that respect and he also trained super-hard in the off-season and came in to camp in fantastic shape.

    So enough of labeling the kid as a quitter and whiner. Loss of confidence is not the same as being lazy or whiner.

    3) The team not being assigned any responsibility for his reversal in development is assinine. I mean, way to wash your hands of the whole thing. Flames fans are a lot like Leafs fans when it comes to prospects. Kadri was the savior and then almost mercilessly criticized with a vast majority of Leafs fans wanting him shipped out and now he’s a Hall-of-Famer. It’s ludicrous to me.

    When Sven scored 3 in 5, where were his detractors then? Now that he’s struggling, it’s all his fault and lets can him.

    4) I’m not comparing Sven to JG or anyone else. I’m comparing their opportunities. When Sven scored his 3 in 5, who was he playing with? They put him with top players and gave him top minutes and showcased him.

    When he made the team out of camp last year his numbers were solid. Solid possession and a point every second game. Why was he sent back vs Monahan? Based on stats, advanced or otherwise, he was every bit as good as Monahan, but BB didn’t like him so he was made an example of.

    Backlund didn’t “need a message sent.” He went from the 4th line to the 1st line. What, that’s a coincidence that he was better? Nope. Ice time. Line mates.

    Gaudreau going from the 3rd line to the 1st line is coincidence? I seriously cannot believe that people think Gaudreau is playing better because he was benched. Ice time. Line mates.

    How has Jooris done when he’s been on the 1st line vs the 3rd and 4th lines?

    5) I’ll say it again. Sven’s development was backwards. From star call-up to demotion part way through the season (under new management – I mean, who wouldn’t read into that?), to cut out of camp, it’s the reversal of how he should’ve been groomed. But surely, that can’t be the team’s fault.

    Let me put it this way:

    Sven’s been labeled and can’t seem to find a way out from that label; he’s like a type-cast actor. Regardless of acting ability, he can never play a more prominent role.

    Is it really that hard to understand? Has no one here ever been on a team or in a school or had a job where you’ve been labeled as something and it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re stuck with that label? Try as you might, your label is all your boss or classmates will ever see you as. You’re stuck.

    However, lo and behold, you quit and find a new job or enroll in a new school and suddenly you’re appreciated. Opportunities are presented because you have a fresh start. Pretty sure everyone has experienced something like that in their life. Being a pro athlete is no different.

    Look, this isn’t some new theory. Literally hundreds of prospects have had to change addresses in order to revive their careers. Players with exceptional pedigrees that were subsequently labeled busts.

    There are so many examples and to so many different degrees that I’m not going to throw out tons of examples, but a recent one would be Nino Neiderrieter.

    If NN was still with the NYI, how much success would he be having there right now? Exactly my point. The equivalent argument to many on here would be, “but look, Tavares is doing it!” Whatever. NN got stuck with the bust label and proved the turncoats wrong.

    So, Sven can be either Kadri or NN. Trade (for logistical reasons) or no trade, I’d prefer his success comes in Calgary first.

    It just disgusts me that people can go from such fan boys to a bunch of blades so quickly.

    • piscera.infada

      Couldn’t agree more. But let’s not also forget that a large portion of the “backwards development” (and likewise the label) stems from Feaster. It was he who held Sven up as the standard bearer, the solution, the quick-fix. People by and large rag on current management for all the ills far too easily – like clock work. A year and a half ago, people were clamouring for Feaster and Weisbrod to be tarred, feathered, and sacrificed to appeased the Aztec gods. Now, they’re saints, with the majority of sins absolved – time to move on to Burke and Treliving.

      In addition, I don’t think we should conflate the fact that “label” is a narrative created by the media, not the team. Burke was asked the question, all he said was “Sven shows flashes, but needs to work on a 200 foot game” – the media, being the media, ran with that. As such, it’s up to both the team and Sven to combat that.

      All of this argument is largely moot however. I haven’t heard anything negative regarding Sven from the mouth of Treliving. In addition, this team has now shown a willingness to play the young players in all situations if they deserve it. Whether his development was handled improperly or not (and I agree, it was), Sven still has the opportunity to take the ball and run with it. He needs to do that.

  • BurningSensation

    Thinking Sven is a wasted pick and we should trade him is the exact thinking that has led to the demise of franchises like the NYI (and, in some cases in the past,Calgary); pulling the plug too early on a prospect, and then watching them thrive for years on another team. he’s only 10 games into his 3rd pro season. Some players just take longer to get it. He has a new coach in the AHL, and a new system. I haven’t heard Sven come out publically and criticize the franchise, only his father. I’m not saying that this kid is eventually going to be a first liner for Calgary for years to come, but there’s definitely talent there. I believe that’s why he’s up in Calgary, when there are guys who were playing better in the AHL. I hope Calgary will exhaust all options with this kid prior to bailing on him.

  • piscera.infada

    Gotta think last year’s draft was the best. I haven’t seen Poirier play but have heard nothing but good. A bull in a china shop. And watching Klimchuk in the WHL, you know he’s going to be a solid complementary scorer on the 2nd or 3rd line.