Flames Prospect Rundown – October 21 2015

Another week has flown by and we’ve seen a lot of hockey. Admittedly, some of it has been bad – much of the bad being played by the National Hockey League team in the Calgary Flames organization.

But there are some players in the Flames organization playing quite well right now. So let’s talk about them for a bit to brighten this place up amidst all the doom and gloom of a 1-5-0 Flames start.

JON GILLIES

Ranked 2nd amongst Flames prospects this summer, Gillies has played twice – Stockton is quite idle much of the time. He got a shutout and then gave up a bunch of goals, but he’s still got a .909 save percentage in a small sample size. Keep an eye on him, he’s pretty good, and I’m interested in seeing how he settles out once his “I’m a pro now!” jitters settle out.

MARK JANKOWSKI

Ranked 10th in the summer, Jankowski has been the subject of much consternation since being drafted in the first round back in 2012 – rather than the Flames picking Olli Maatta or any other number of available players. But he’s a college senior now, and quietly he’s leapt out of the gate with seven points in three games. Granted, one of those games was against Holy Cross – the Washington Generals of the NCAA. But hey, if the hope was he’d take a step forward as a senior, so far he has.

RUSHAN RAFIKOV

Since my tirade about his usage in the KHL, Rafikov has been reassigned by Lokomotiv to the team he spent last season with, HK Ryazan in the VHL – the Supreme Hockey League, the KHL’s minor league affiliate. It’s not amazing hockey – maybe ECHL level – but at least he’s playing pro. And just playing games, period.

PAVEL KARNAUKHOV

This Calgary Hitmen forward drafted by the Flames this summer has five points in nine games. He’s not knocking the cover off the ball, and he’s missed a game here or there with injuries, but he’s shown some grit here and there and some poise with the puck. He scored a gorgeous goal last week against Moose Jaw, then tried to spark his team in the third of a one-sided Moose Jaw win with a fight.

NICK SCHNEIDER

Good and bad for Calgary’s most recent signing this week. The Medicine Hat Tigers brought in 20-year-old goalie Austin Lotz, formerly of the Everett Silvertips. On one hand: Lotz will get lots of starts, which might be bad for Schenider’s development. On the other hand: Lotz is a proven veteran in the WHL and is a great person for an 18-year-old to learn from, which was probably the point of bringing him in. Schneider has just two wins in six appearances this season, so it seems like a good move for everyone involved.

MATT DEBLOUW

Another late-round pick who, like Rafikov, probably isn’t a prospect of note anymore, Deblouw has two points in four games with Michigan State so far. He’s a senior and has been used almost exclusively on the right wing of the Spartans’ second line. I strongly doubt he gets a contract offer at this point given his lack of production at the NCAA level to-date, but he’s at least showing some progression after a tough sophomore season and an uneven junior year.

STOCKTON PLAYS TONIGHT

The AHL affiliate of the Flames, the Stockton Heat, are down in Texas on a road trip. They play the Texas Stars, Dallas’ farm club, tonight beginning at 6:30pm MT. You can listen live on the Stockton Heat site. (The interface is pretty good.)

  • Oil City Roller

    Mod Edit: What did this contribute to the discussion?? Trolling that relates to the topic is fine, discussion is good. This trying to antagonize and start fights, however, is not fine.

    • Oil City Roller

      Thats why your city has a hard time attracting players outside of your draft picks which have no choice. To many hobo’s up there. Go back to your cardboard under the high level bridge.

      Mod Edit: I understand the temptation, but please don’t feed the trolls.

  • Derbyherb

    Hey, FN mods. Would it be possible to create a comment system that forces moderator or author approval before a comment is visible? People spamming the comments with junk is really disruptive and sinking the quality of the site.

    • It would be almost impossible to moderate this volume of comments with this kind of system. Not without a dedicated staff of mods who spend their day and night approving comments. Plus, it would lead to potentially long delays in comment strings, which people also tend to dislike.

      We’ve now got an army of volunteer mods who are crawling through the comments regularly in hopes we can keep things moving along.

      • Cfan in Vic

        Thanks to the FN crew for their recent efforts.

        However, I think the combo of the highschool girl giddiness up north, the sheer volume of ON commenters in general, and the Flames crappy play of late has created a perfect storm for immaturity. Truly a shame.