FlamesNation Prospect Profile Round-Up: #10-1

Well, the 2015 edition of the FlamesNation prospect rankings is in the books! Thanks to everyone that participated and everyone that read the series. It was fun to write about, which is good in the summer-time, as we quietly wait for hockey to return.

Of course, you’re all probably curious how contentious the process was. I’ll post the voting breakdown after the jump and you can check it out.


The panel was asked to rank the Flames prospects from 1 to 20. Points were assigned to each ranking in reverse order (20 points for 1st, 1 point for 20th, and so on.) Ballots were secret, so nobody knew who anyone else chose – and strangely, a lot of the players were ranked the same regardless.

Here’s how the rankings shook down.

Points Ryan Christian Mike Arii Byron Kent Neil Beloch Taylor
Sam Bennett 180 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Jon Gillies 160 2 3 5 3 3 2 4 4 3
Emile Poirier 156 7 4 2 2 2 4 5 5 2
Oliver Kylington 144 5 2 11 5 4 8 3 2 5
Morgan Klimchuk 140 3 5 8 4 6 6 6 7 4
Rasmus Andersson 122 8 8 10 9 9 7 2 3 11
Brandon Hickey 121 4 7 4 8 7 5 7 19 7
Tyler Wotherspoon 113 6 6 3 6 11 9 11 18 6
Bill Arnold 107 9 9 6 8 3 8 9 9
Mark Jankowski 82 11 11 7 11 12 12 13 13 17
Kenney Morrison 74 10 10 12 7 10 16 15 14
Andrew Mangiapane 73 19 17 17 10 5 15 9 6 18
Ryan Culkin 68 12 14 9 14 15 11 17 16 13
Kenny Agostino 66 18 12 15 13 13 10 11 10
Hunter Smith 56 14 16 18 17 17 17 12 8 14
Mason McDonald 54 13 13 19 12 14 14 19 10
Brett Kulak 48 15 15 16 18 16 13 18 15 15
Austin Carroll 39 17 13 20 18 18 10 12
Garnet Hathaway 23 16 14 15 16
Rushan Rafikov 11 20 20 17 16
Patrick Sieloff 8 20 18 19 19
Pavel Karnaukhov 6 16 20
Keegan Kanzig 4 19 19
Turner Elson 3 19 20
Adam Ollas Mattsson 3 20 20 20

Some Notes:

  • Everybody ranked Jon Gillies ahead of Mason McDonald, often by 10 spots or so.
  • Only a few panelists ranked Rasmus Andersson ahead of Oliver Kylington.
  • The panel was predictably split on Mark Jankowski; the 2012 first rounder was ranked as high as 7th and as low as 17th.
  • Outside of a few outliers – Mike loving Ryan Culkin, me loving Morgan Klimchuk, Beloch loving Hunter Smith – most of the rest of the rankings showed a fairly good amount of consensus.
  • 17 of the 20 top players ranked by our panel were Calgary Flames draft picks.


Click here for the prospects ranked 20th through 11th


Big thanks to the individuals that chatted with us about the Top 20 prospects so we could add their insights. So a big stick-tap to head coach Ryan Huska of the Stockton Heat (and to Stockton’s PR guru for setting it up), Brock Otten of the OHL Prospects Blog and Mike McMahon of College Hockey News.

  • MontanaMan

    Looking at the disparity in the scoring, one can conclude that: 1) It’s difficult to get an accurate gauge on young players; or 2) Some of these guys have no clue what they’re doing and have limited hockey knowledge.

      • MontanaMan

        I don’t disagree and if you check my point 1) that’s what I say. My contention is with a very limited number of prospects, we have members of the panel ranking one player #2 while others rank him #11. That smacks of someone not knowing the player or having limited hockey knowledge.

  • MontanaMan

    I think WW could have done a better job of selecting top prospects than our so called “experts”! I wonder how many of these experts have actually seen any of the top ten play?

  • Upon reflection, I regret a couple of my rankings. I probably wouldn’t have ranked Andersson and Agostino that low.

    Otherwise, I stand by my rankings. I have my reasons. I’m probably going to get ragged on for my Kylington ranking, but he has a lot to overcome to be an impactful pro IMO.

  • MontanaMan

    I don’t really have much difficulty with the list but I see prospects in a little different manner. I think of prospects as guys who are ready to step into a role with the big club not just what their high end ceiling might be. Bennett starts in the NHL, Poirier will be here full time before the season ends, Granlund will be somewhere in the NHL and a bunch of thse guys will get some serious cup of coffees in the NHl as well.

        • Train#97

          Actually just wanting to see if Jankowski is still on track. I find it hard to see that he has fallen that far considering his stats this year look pretty good.

          • piscera.infada

            Honestly, Jankowski never really “fell”. There are a lot Flames fans and a large majority on this website who have always, and will always see Jankowski as a horrible pick with no future. He also has many some supporters. To put it very, very mildly he’s an extremely contentious player that very few fans have seen play with any regularity.

  • Were it not for Stajan’s contract, and the need to keep veteran leadership throughout the lineup, I could see Arnold being in the NHL this year. I would have ranked him more highly.

    A lot of these guys can, in time and possibly quite soon, play a real role for the Flames. The issue, for a change, is how to find a place for them.

    Good series, FN, thanks.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I like seeing the breakdown. You really get to see the guys who voted against the grain in a couple of cases, and it’s cool seeing the pairings of prospects who scored closely (Poirier/Gillies, Klimchuk/Kylington, Andersson/Hickey). In my opinion those pairings are all guys who could be considered close to each other in value as prospects.

  • KiLLKiND

    Arii why no Arnold in your top 20? Other than that who I would just sneak in front of Morrison I agree with your top 20 the most. Which isn’t to say I completely agree but I can see the argument for why you would have your rankings as they are.

  • beloch

    Outside of a few outliers – Mike loving Ryan Culkin, me loving Morgan Klimchuk, Beloch loving Hunter Smith

    One tough thing about making this kind of list is that you have to rank goalies, forwards, and defenders on the same list. Another is choosing how to weight immediate impact vs long-term ceiling. For some players (e.g. Sam Bennett) it’s easy because both are sky high. For others, not so much. I rated T-Spoon far lower than average. He’s going to have more impact next season than, quite probably, any other defensive prospect on this list. His ceiling just isn’t very high though. Finally, like most, I haven’t seen all of these prospects play. I’m not a pro-scout who gets paid to go to barns all over the world. If it’s not reasonably local or on TV, I’m SOL.

    Regarding Hunter Smith though, he’s one player I did have the good fortune to watch because the Memorial cup tournament was televised. I rated him higher than his stat-line calls for because he played on a shut-down line against players like Draisaitl and McDavid and on a low-scoring defensive team, while still taking a fairly big step forwards in offensive production last season. He’s probably not top-six material, but he could be an impact shut-down forward for the Flames surprisingly soon. The Flames are still pretty thin at right-wing, so he scratches a serious organizational need. If he adjusts well to the AHL, he could easily leap-frog over several prospects on the depth chart. I’d wager we see Smith in the NHL long before Hickey.

  • beloch

    @ wot96

    Given the Flames depth at center, especially if Bennett sticks as a center, I suspect Stajan may be shipped out this season. Treliving needs to clear some salary out before next summer and Stajan is making too much to be playing on the fourth line.

      • beloch

        Stajan is still a good player who is playing a smaller role for the Flames than he’s really capable of. Once Bennett becomes an established NHL centre, Stajan’s only way off the fourth line is injuries or switching to the wing. The prospect of playing a bigger role might entice him into accepting a trade to some surprising places.

  • Christian Roatis

    I guess I’ll give my reasoning on rankings too: I value upside over NHL readiness more when ranking prospects, because I think projecting the type of player one could eventually be (ceiling) is far easier after seeing them play, then how close they are to the NHL. That can often be arbitrary and subject to coach/management favouritism.

    Also, I’ve seen every single prospect I ranked play either live or TV/Stream with the exception of Rafikov and Ollas Mattsson. I just liked that Rafikov is in the KHL and Ollas Mattsson is a mainstay in the SHL at their respective ages. That says something to me.

    There’ll always be discrepancies in rankings, but this was lots of fun to compile and write about 🙂

  • The Fall

    Coach Bob has always said, he’s not just calling up the best player when someone on the club gets injured. He calls up the best player to fit the role of the injured player.

  • RedMan

    Please people, for the love of , quit answering or responding or arguing with trolls. Our entire damn thread is talking about morons from Edmonton because you people keep responding to the trolls

  • McRib

    My Flames Prospect Rankings. 1) Sam Bennett 2) Emile Poirier 3) Brandon Hickey 4) Jon Gillies 5) Oliver Kylington 6) Andrew Mangiapane 7) Morgan Klimchuk 8) Rasmus Andersson 9) Mark Jankowski 10) Kenney Morrison HM) Kenny Agostino.

    Only real disagreements I have from the consensus is that FN isn’t high enough on Brandon Hickey & Andrew Mangiapane. I understand where they were drafted, but I don’t care looking past that those two look like major steals. Brandon Hickey has first pairing potential and fits the TJ Brodie mould to a T. If Andrew Mangiapane was three inches taller he would have been a second rounder in 2014 and had a fantastic +1 season (104 Points!!!), Gaudreau stepping in seamlessly may have just convinced the Flames brass on an undersized guy like Mangiapane (compared to Gaudreau he is huge). Even considering size getting him in the sixth is highway robbery!!! I also think Kenny Agostino is flying under the radar slightly he was easily the best forward down the stretch in Adirondack he would be ahead of Bill Arnold for me as a callup next year, as he plays with more grit for a bottom six role to get started (FN doesn’t like “grit” I know, NHL coaches do).

    Morgan Klimchuk is going to be a fine NHLer, but watching him the past two years his play has really stagnated and I have a hard time seeing top line potential he is going to be more of a reliable middle six upside guy at this point, but maybe he needed more of a challenge last year….. Don’t get me wrong he is still a great prospect, but I don’t see him in my Top. 5 anymore. I also think Tyler Wotherspoon is overrated because of what he did playing in Portland/World Juniors in a good situation, low ceiling 5-6 defenders don’t get me that excited they are also very easy to find (see David Schlemko) he is easily being passed by Kenney Morrison who is a much better passer.

    All-in-all solid rankings there are a few prospects outside of the Top. 15 that would have been in our Top. 5 a half decade ago, man things have changed quickly for the better.

  • Franko J

    I remember the days not so long ago where the list had at the most 2 maybe 3 legitimate prospects in the Flames system. I can only hope that the team will continue to develop and mold them into viable NHL players down the road. Very few fans probably thought a player like Jooris would make the team last year. In training camp I would like to see a couple of players on this list push and challenge for a position on the roster. Or at very least create competitive atmosphere.