2014-15 By The Numbers: #60 Markus Granlund

We’re now firmly in the NASCAR numbers in our annual review, as Markus Granlund is next up.

Did you know that Markus Granlund played 48 games in the regular season with Calgary? He even suited up for the playoffs. For a second-year pro of just 22 years of age, that’s a pretty big year for his development. He was originally chosen by the Flames in the second round of the 2011 Draft.

The challenge for his third pro year? Getting good at the NHL level, because he was a bit limited in his effectiveness in the big league.

As seemingly happened with a lot of the team’s younger players, Hartley kept Markus Granlund’s deployments concentrated with a handful of players. Here’s the gang that played 100 or more minutes at 5-on-5 with him.

Player Together Apart Diff.
Wideman 37.4% 43.8% -6.4%
Russell 36.3% 44.1% -7.8%
Hudler 41.3% 47.5% -6.2%
Brodie 46.2% 45.2% +1.0%
Gaudreau 43.7% 47.0% -3.3%
Engelland 35.9% 41.3% -5.4%
Byron 44.0% 47.4% -3.4%
Giordano 46.2% 48.6% -2.4%
Raymond 38.5% 44.3% -5.8%

Generally, Markus Granlund is a significant downward drag on just about everybody that he plays with. T.J. Brodie, noted good possession player, is an outlier here.

Offensively? Granlund is pretty good. Defensively? Not terrible. The worst thing about him is his face-off numbers, which at 36.8% were just awful. Only four Flames took more draws than Granlund:

  • Monahan: 1,830 draws (49.3%)
  • Backlund: 875 draws (48.3%)
  • Stajan: 602 draws (50.3%)
  • Jooris: 567 draws (48.7%)
  • Granlund: 524 draws (36.8%)

The bad face-off numbers don’t entirely muddle Granlund’s effectiveness; he out-scored the very useful Matt Stajan on the season, despite playing less. That said, Stajan was given defensive responsibilities that Granlund wasn’t, and Hartley seemed to give #60 a bit of reign on the third line to create some offense. But it was likely Granlund’s face-off struggles that saw him get sent back to Adirondack mid-way through the season.

And it was his effectiveness on the farm – and the fact that the coaching staff seemed to like him (and his knowledge of their systems) – that got him called up repeatedly.

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As you can see, Granlund was primarily used as a bottom-six fixture, occasionally getting bumped up when players got injured or slumped. His possession numbers and face-off stats aren’t great, which suggests that at 22 years old, he’s not a great NHL player.

But let’s face it, few are.

Granlund may be facing a cross-roads. He’s a left-handed center. He’s creative offensively and responsible defensively. But he’s stuck in Calgary’s deepest position and he’s arguably one of their worst at it. So either he’ll be moved to the wing, or moved to another team. 2015-16 will be the final year of his entry-level deal. He’ll either figure out the NHL game at center, or some changes will probably be made. I like a lot of aspects of his game, and I figure they at least try him out on the wing just out of asset management considerations.


#1 Jonas Hiller #19 David Jones
#3 David Schlemko #21 Mason Raymond
#4 Kris Russell #23 Sean Monahan
#5 Mark Giordano #24 Jiri Hudler
#6 Dennis Wideman #25 Brandon Bollig
#7 T.J. Brodie #29 Deryk Engelland
#8 Joe Colborne #31 Karri Ramo
#11 Mikael Backlund #32 Paul Byron
#13 Johnny Gaudreau #33 Raphael Diaz
#15 Ladislav Smid #60 Markus Granlund
#17 Lance Bouma #79 Micheal Ferland
#18 Matt Stajan #86 Josh Jooris
Everybody Else
  • RKD

    Unfortunately for Granlund, I think he will have to work much harder to keep a roster spot in management’s eye’s. If he can improve in a few areas of his game and be more consistent then I think he will get to keep a roster spot.

  • RKD

    Good kid…has been surpassed by the Flames talent level at Centre….valuable trade bait at the draft table…Wild could chase him to help ensure his brother signs on long term with them…

      • TheoForever

        Crap..provide your sources and exact quotes…this is not Peyton Place. The Sedins have proven brothers playing on the same team can be beneficial…its leverage that any team would use. And now that our Granlund is in fact POTENTIAL NHL material let’s use that to our advantage rather than him becoming a UFA next year and we get nothing in return!

        He will be in tough to make the Flames at Centre, his natural position! And our wing spots will be reserved for bigger and heavier players…that’s where management wants and will take this team…

        • supra steve

          “And now that our Granlund is in fact POTENTIAL NHL material let’s use that to our advantage rather than him becoming a UFA next year and we get nothing in return!”

          Our Granlund is an RFA after next season.

        • TheoForever

          use google or pay attention, instead of getting all emotional. Everyone here makes statements and there is no need to run to sources every time someone has a problem with what is said.
          When doing research brush up on status UFA vs RFA of Granlund.

  • KiLLKiND

    He is going to be far more valuable than Colborne unless something amazing happens I’m thinking either way management should probably sign him to a cheap bridge contract. If he plays poorly then it’s giving him one last chance and help redeem his value, if he plays well he should be moved to wing as he will never be as good as any of our top 3 centres (Backlund, Bennett, and Monahan). His offense is great already and if he plays wing Jooris, Arnold, or Stajan could centre the 4th line.

    Depth at centre is never a bad problem and we are deep with centremen! I didn’t even include Shore as he will likely have to play right wing.

  • OKG

    You can never have too many forwards with offensive instincts and a coach who trusts him. Unless someone offers us something we really need in a package I don’t see him going anywhere soon.

  • RealMcHockeyReturns

    Hard to figure out the guy! Scored alot at beginning with Flames but does not play top 2 lines so unsure if he could be consistent LW scorer (likely not). Is he a good third liner or lower? Depends what you want I guess…skill (with defensive talent) at bottom to provide scoring support is good and maybe he covers injuries in top two lines well. I think his competition including guys lije Janko, Arnold and a number of young LWs, Left-shooting status, lack of size, and questionable talent sees him leave or get traded. With Minny getting near salary cap I would like to see him and a 2nd rounder plus maybe a 3rd traded for Chris Stewart as I know Hartley can make Stewart better and gives us a 2nd line RW with size and grit. Or even trade him plus more to Minny to pry out Spurgeon as they may not be able to keep him, Dumba, and the Suter/Brodin/Scandella trio as they cost alot! Flames NEED to use their temporary salary lowness to load up on a few proven guys under 28 years old. Even the risk of these players is lower if they are under 30. Of course losing or burying or LTIR-ing a couple contracts like Smid or Bollig will help.

  • TheoForever

    Can people please stop suggesting acquiring Chris Stewart? Makes me want to puke every time.

    It would be even worse than drafting Paul Bittner in the first round.

  • TheoForever

    Granlund’s value as an NHLer will likely be as a winger. Unless he makes some massive strides in the faceoff circle, he will always be a less than 45% faceoff guy. Give him a couple years in the gym and experience on the ice, and he will be a great middle 9 winger. I’d love to see him on a line with Backlund and Ferland/Jones.

  • TheoForever

    I hope this guy has a future as a winger in the middle six. I would leave him in Stockton all next hear to learn his craft, put on weight and so forth. He seems to be willing to put in the effort to improve his game and I say..let him.