Introducing FlamesNation’s Top 20 Prospects: Honourable Mentions

Starting tomorrow, for the next month, we’ll be covering the Flames’ top 20 prospects, as ranked by all of us here at FlamesNation. We each submitted a list of who we think are the Flames’ top 20 kids – those who still count as NHL rookies, and in essence, are still eligible to win the Calder Trophy – and formed an aggregate list based on all of our opinions.

Are we experts? Well, maybe amateur ones; we’re nerds who pay a lot of attention. But there are plenty of people out there who know more than we do, so we either saw what they already had to say, or talked to them ourselves for further insight on the hopes for the Flames’ future.

The top 20 kicks off tomorrow morning, and will run until just before Labour Day weekend. In the meantime, let’s take a look at those who found themselves on the outside looking in.

No votes

Teams accrue a lot of prospects over the years, but it’s just a matter of fact that not all of them will be good. As such, a number of them weren’t placed in anyone’s top 20s:

  • D Riley Bruce
  • LW Austin Carroll
  • C Matthew DeBlouw
  • RW Tim Harrison
  • D Keegan Kanzig
  • LW Pavel Karnaukhov
  • C Mitchell Mattson
  • D Rushan Rafikov
  • G David Rittich
  • G Nick Schneider
  • RW Hunter Smith

Most players on this list are later round guys, and ones nobody would likely have high expectations of in the first place. Bruce, Carroll, DeBlouw, Harrison, and Rafikov all fit this parameter, as do Rittich and Schneider as undrafted players.

A note on DeBlouw: the Flames have until Aug. 15 to sign him, or else he becomes a free agent. He scored 17 points in 28 games as a senior in the NCAA; free agency seems to be beckoning. As for Rafikov, we really haven’t even seen him at all outside of the World Juniors in 2015…

Fifth rounders maybe should have a bit higher expectations, but with Karnaukhov choosing to go overseas, chances are we won’t see too much of him further out, either. Mattson does have the shiny newness of a 2016 draft pick, but his inability to score at the USHL level thus far sees him left off.

That leaves Kanzig and Smith, two guys who could barely score in junior who were perhaps selected a little higher in the draft than they should have been.

Some votes here and there

When you’re reaching as far down as 20, it can get pretty difficult to form a consensus. At this point, we’re splitting hairs between guys who, if we’re being honest with ourselves, aren’t that likely to make it to the NHL; so a couple of prospects did get some stray votes tossed their way. They were:

  • Adam Ollas Mattsson
  • Kenney Morrison
  • Stepan Falkovsky
  • John Gilmour
  • Eetu Tuulola

I think my bias for Tuulola has (or is at least, becoming) obvious, so I’ll fess up to being one of the people who voted for him in the later numbers.

Tuulola is actually the only forward of this group; the rest are defenders. Everyone here is either a late round pick or undrafted, further pointing towards lesser expectations.

Guys like Ollas Mattsson, Falkovsky, and Tuulola are little-seen by us. Morrison has only been in the organization for a year, and didn’t have quite the year that was maybe expected. And Gilmour is in the same situation as DeBlouw: the Flames have until Aug. 15 to sign him, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

The runner-up

Garnet Hathaway came in 21st place in our rankings.

Brad Treliving recently named Hathaway as one of the players he’s expecting to make some noise at camp. So why, then, is he so low on our rankings? He put together a decent enough AHL campaign, and even made his NHL debut this past season, putting up some points.

He likely ended up lower because he made a decent debut in a fourth line role, and that’s probably his ceiling. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but the idea of a player with more potential – even if he never actually plays an NHL game in his life – is much more exciting, which resulted in players ranked ahead of him.

Who beat him out? We’ll see when number 20 comes at you tomorrow!

  • Baalzamon

    As always, I’ll toss my belligerent hat into the ring.

    1. Matthew Tkachuk
    2. Jon Gillies
    3. Oliver Kylington
    4. Rasmus Andersson
    5. Andrew Mangiapane
    6. Hunter Shinkaruk
    7. Emile Poirier
    8. Mark Jankowski
    9. Daniel Pribyl
    10. Adam Fox
    11. Brett Kulak
    12. Tyler Parsons
    13. Brett Pollock
    14. Dillon Dube
    15. Tyler Wotherspoon
    16. Brandon Hickey
    17. Mason McDonald
    18. Morgan Klimchuk
    19. Eetu Tuulola
    20. Matthew Phillips

    I begrudgingly rank Tkachuk #1 because it seems too reasonable. Kylington has the highest ceiling on the list, Gillies included. I dithered between Andersson and Mangiapane for a while, but ultimately I went with the defenseman for the #4 spot. Shinkaruk and Poirier are essentially tied. Poirier has better tools pretty much across the board, but Shinkaruk gets the nod because his progression has been more… progressive, and he’s done more when given chances in the NHL. Jankowski trails them solely because he’s simultaneously older and less experienced, and Pribyl because he’s still older and hasn’t shown much sign of what he’ll ultimately become. Pollock his ahead of Dube because… he’s closer? I expect most people will have Hickey much higher than I do. Tool and the Screwdriver just sneak their way onto the list ahead of Nick Schneider.

    All in all… a bizarre list where ceiling and readiness are frequently and randomly flip-flopped as the most important factor.

  • Hubcap1





















    I was most confused with where to put Pribyl and some of the recent draftees.

    Missing the cut:


  • supra steve

    Interesting how a handful of impressive games in the AHL to close out last season has sparked confidence in Janko. Kid might turn out to be a decent pick after all. Won’t be a total shock, as this scouting staff has really done some good work over the last several years.

  • Primo

    Although not on your list I will say that Nick Schneider will be one of the largest surprises in recent Flames history. An 18 year old undrqfted goalie who thrives under pressure as proven by his play recently with Stockton….he is a real gem and we will start to see this at camp…..

  • Flamethrower

    I feel Morrison was not given a fair shake by Ari. He has a real heavy shot, good skater and was by no means a wilting flower on defense in Stocton. Patients, see what year 2 in the AHL brings. Big, strong with real good puck sense that is why he was brought here in the first place. Remember defenseman mature at a different pace than forwards.

    • Baalzamon

      Morrison is a year older than Wotherspoon (and Jokipakka and Hamilton, btw), two years older than Kulak, and FIVE years older than Kylington. All of the aforementioned are defensemen, and they’re all closer to the NHL than Morrison is (or already there).

      Also, it’s not just Ari. The voting was conducted by all the writers, which I assume includes Pike, Bader, McKee, Christian, CTibs, MikeFAIL, and of course Kent.

  • amaninvan

    I would somehow have made room for Adam Ollas Mattsson, but the fact that he didn’t make the cut is a real testament to the talent this team has stockpiled. The future certainly looks bright.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    1. Tkachuk

    2. Kylington

    3. Gillies

    4. Mangiapane

    5. R. Andersson

    6. Shinkaruk

    7. Jankowski

    8. Hickey

    9. Poirer

    10. Pribyl

    11. Dube

    12. Wotherspoon

    13. Kulak

    14. Fox

    15. Parsons

    16. Pollock

    17. Klimchuk

    18. Ollas Mattson

    19. MacDonald

    20. Phillips

  • Slowmo

    I predict that Poirier and KLim will be pushed up into the top 5 by early Nov. If not they will not be signed next yr which would be a shame. That would mean we gave away Iggy Although he didn’t do much for the pens cause any way. Gillies will be an interesting person he was killer in his first 3 games and hurt the whole time. That says alot about his determination 2 shutouts and a win 3 games 3 wins not bad now he is healthy lets hope this is going to be Gillies time to shine and is brought up in Dec just after Xmas to show his stuff.