The 2016-17 hockey season is slowly creeping upon us, and pretty soon junior teams will begin their seasons. Heck, European teams already have began their regular schedules. With that in mind, we’re looking at the last few seasons worth of Calgary Flames draft picks, checking out each player’s progression, and making some prognostications and goal-setting for their upcoming years.
Let’s move onto the 2013 Draft class! (NHLE calculations from the most recent Hockey Abstract revisions.)
First round selection, sixth overall in 2013.
- 2013-14: 34 points in 75 games (NHL) – 37.1 NHLE
- 2014-15: 62 points in 81 games (NHL) – 62.8 NHLE
- 2015-16: 63 points in 81 games (NHL) – 63.8 NHLE
(Draft Year NHLE was 35.3.) Monahan has been a full-time NHLer for three seasons. He’s gotten votes for the Selke and Lady Byng over the past couple of seasons. He just got a big-money, long-term contract. I’d estimate his production ceiling is probably around 75 points, but I also can’t see him dropping below 60 points. If the Flames’ power-play can be revitalized, a 70-point season is probably realistic.
Considering the Flames had awful, awful luck with firsts before him, Monahan has been a very nice performer.
First round selection, 22nd overall in 2013.
- 2013-14: 87 points in 63 games (QMJHL) – 29.4 NHLE
- 2014-15: 42 points in 55 games (AHL) – 29.4 NHLE; also 1 point in 6 NHL games
- 2015-16: 29 points in 60 games (AHL) – 18.6 NHLE; also 0 points in 2 NHL games
(Draft Year NHLE was 23.0.) After a couple consistent years post-draft, Poirier slid back last season with his production stalled out by a particularly flat start. He ended up getting things turned around late in the season (and even made a brief NHL appearance), but he’ll need to have a good camp to get back on the NHL call-up radar.
Considering how Poirier’s game projects – he’ll need to be an offensive contributor to make the transition to the NHL – he’ll need to re-establish himself as an offensive leader on the farm. A return to the 40-point level is definitely needed. If he can get to the 50-point level, we might be able to write off last season as a one-off.
First round selection, 28th overall in 2013.
- 2013-14: 74 points in 57 games (WHL) – 28.7 NHLE
- 2014-15: 80 points in 60 games (WHL) – 29.5 NHLE
- 2015-16: 9 points in 55 games (AHL) – 6.3 NHLE
(Draft Year NHLE was 23.4.) Similar to Poirier, Klimchuk back-slid a bit last season after having a couple good post-draft years. He made the transition to the AHL last season and struggled early on with injury and the pace of play, but he seemed to figure things out by the end of the season.
His game isn’t predicated on offense, though you’d hope he can score some goals while playing a good 200-foot game. If nothing else, you’d hope he can get his point total somewhere into the 20s. (That would hopefully reflect some consistency in terms of offensive production.)
Third round selection, 67th overall in 2013.
- 2013-14: 8 points in 63 games (WHL) – 2.8 NHLE
- 2014-15: 22 points in 70 games (WHL) – 7.0 NHLE
- 2015-16: 20 points in 53 games (WHL) – 8.3 NHLE
(Draft Year NHLE was 2.2.) Aside from a brief AHL appearance last season, Kanzig has been primarily a WHLer since being drafted. He improved his offensive production last season and ended up still with an NHLE below 10. When he was an overager in the Dub and bigger and stronger than everybody else. (And playing top four minutes.)
In the AHL, a 8.3 NHLE would be about a 0.21 points-per-game, or about 15 points. He’ll probably be a third pairing guy. Somehow, he seems destined to back-slide. The hope for the Flames is probably that Kanzig figures out the pro game and isn’t a liability.
Sixth round selection, 157th overall in 2013.
- 2013-14: 5 points in 34 games (ECAC) – 2.8 NHLE
- 2014-15: 11 points in 34 games (ECAC) – 6.1 NHLE
- 2015-16: 17 points in 36 games (ECAC) – 8.9 NHLE
Harrison has played three seasons in the NCAA. He has been a depth guy on a club that’s not a college powerhouse, both things that suggest he doesn’t have a bright pro future. The Flames have until Aug. 15, 2017 to sign him or they’ll lose his rights (as he’s going to graduate after this season). Barring Harrison suddenly becoming an offensive dynamo, he’s probably not in their future plans.
Seventh round selection, 187th overall in 2013.
- 2013-14: 20 points in 47 games (MHL)
- 2014-15: 18 points in 35 games (VHL)
- 2015-16: 2 points in 33 games (KHL) – 4.0 NHLE
Rafikov has spent the last three seasons in the Russian hockey system. He bounced around a lot last season. He spent the previous two seasons in leagues that don’t usually translate into North American pro success – the MHL (the Russian junior league) and the VHL (the Russian AHL). He produced reasonably well, but was hardly a world-beater in those leagues. The Flames have to sign him by June 1 or lose his rights. It seems extremely doubtful given the defensive depth in their system that they’ll try to sign him, regardless of how this season goes for him.
The KHL season has already started. He has an assist, which puts him well ahead of last season’s pace. He’s headed for a career year!