Comparing the 2016 Young Stars Classic rosters

The annual Young Stars Classic Tournament kicks off on Friday in scenic Penticton, British Columbia. The event brings together the National Hockey League’s four Western Canadian clubs in a battle of their youngest and most promising non-college/non-European prospects.

Now that all the rosters have been announced, how do the Flames compare to the teams from Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg?

Goaltenders

CALGARY EDMONTON VANCOUVER WINNIPEG
Jon Gillies
Mason McDonald
Tyler Parsons
Nick Schneider
Keven Bouchard
Nick Ellis
Dylan Wells
Thatcher Demko
Michael Garteig
Rylan Parenteau
Mikhail Berdin
Jamie Phillips

Lots of interesting connections here: the Flames have an NCAA champion goalie (Gillies) and a Memorial Cup goalie (Parsons). Ellis was Gillies’ backup with Providence College for two seasons. Demko was selected after McDonald in the 2014 NHL Draft. 

In terms of pedigree, Calgary and Vancouver probably have the advantage here.

Defensemen

CALGARY EDMONTON VANCOUVER WINNIPEG
Rasmus Andersson
Riley Bruce
Ryan Culkin
Roman Dyukov
Stepan Falkovsky
Aaron Hyman
Keegan Kanzig
Oliver Kylington
Kenney Morrison
Ethan Bear
Matt Benning
Ben Betker
Kayle Doetzel
Aaron Irving
Kyle Jenkins
Caleb Jones
Markus Niemelainen
Dallas Valentine
Guillaume Brisebois
Cole Candella
Olivier Galipeau
Olli Juolevi
Evan McEneny
Carl Neill
Tate Olson
Ashton Sautner
Troy Stecher
Mackenze Stewart
Jordan Subban
Luke Green
Jan Kostalek
Matt Murphy
Nelson Nogier
Kristians Rubins
Logan Stanley
Tyson Wilson

Every team is an interesting mix on the blueline. The Flames and Oilers each have nine defenders, Vancouver has 11 and Winnipeg has seven – and each team plays three games, so it’ll be interesting to see how they get rotated.

Names to watch: Kylington (Calgary), Niemelainen (Edmonton), Juolevi (Vancouver) and Green and Stanley (Winnipeg). Heck, Rubins is pretty solid, too.

Forwards

CALGARY EDMONTON VANCOUVER WINNIPEG
Mikkel Aagaard
Brayden Burke
Austin Carroll
Justin Doucet
Dillon Dube
Mark Jankowski
Morgan Klimchuk
Dennis Kravchenko
Ryan Lomberg
Andrew Mangiapane
Matthew Phillips
Brett Pollock
Mathieu Sevigny
Hunter Smith
Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Tuulola
Lane Bauer
Joey Benik
Tyler Benson
Chad Butcher
Drake Caggiula
Greg Chase
Braden Christoffer
Jaedon Descheneau
Thomas Foster
Kyle Platzer
Jesse Puljujarvi
Patrick Russell
Collin Shirley
Tomas Soustal
Carson Stadnyk
Rodrigo Abols
Michael Carcone
Cole Cassels
Tyler Coulter
Alexis D’Aoust
Joe LaBate
Yan-Pavel Laplante
Kyle Maksimovich
Brett McKenzie
Danny Moynihan
Marc-Olivier Roy
Jakob Stukel
Curtis Valk
Dmitry Zhukhenov
Axel Blomqvist
Kyle Connor
Chase de Leo
Brandon Denham
Jiri Fronk
Matteo Gennaro
Jansen Harkins
Brendan Lemieux
Jimmy Lodge
Jack Roslovic
Michael Spacek
Jordy Stallard
Antoine Waked

The Flames are taking the most forwards out of any of the teams, and Winnipeg is taking the least. The Jets crew is pretty good on paper, boasting Connor, Lemieux, Roslovic and Spacek. The Oilers boast Puljujarvi and Benson, while the Canucks have an interesting mix of secondary prospects but nobody to the level of the other teams. The Flames stack up well, with Tkachuk, Jankowski and a bunch of interesting WHL products like Pollock, Klimchuk, Dube and Phillips.

First Rounders

CALGARY EDMONTON VANCOUVER WINNIPEG
Jankowski (2012)
Klimchuk (2013)
Tkachuk (2016)
Puljujarvi (2016) Juolevi (2016) Connor (2015)
Roslovic (2015)
Stanley (2016)

Jankowski, having finished college, is by far the oldest previous first rounder at the tournament. The Flames and Jets each have three past firsts, while Edmonton and Vancouver each have one apiece. Winnipeg won’t have Patrik Laine, who’ll be at the World Cup of Hockey, but the other three teams have their firsts from this June’s draft going.

Bigs (Players 6’4″ or Taller)

CALGARY EDMONTON VANCOUVER WINNIPEG
Gillies (6’6″)
McDonald (6’4″)
Kanzig (6’7″)
Falkovsky (6’7′)
Bruce (6’7″)
Hyman (6’5″)
Smith (6’7″)
Jankowski (6’4″)
Doucet (6’6″)
Betker (6’6″)
Niemelainen (6’4″)
Valentine (6’4″)

Abols (6’4″)
LaBate (6’4″)
Rubins (6’4″)
Stanley (6’7″)
Blomqvist (6’7″)
Denham (6’4″)

The Flames are bringing as many big bodies as the other three teams put together. Deep down, it’s a Brian Burke team. Interestingly, their size is distributed throughout the line-up – a couple of big goalies, a few big defensemen and a few big forwards. No other team has big goalies, while the remaining “bigs” are a mix of defenders and forwards on the other teams, but not to the degree they are with Calgary’s roster.

Smalls (Players Shorter Than 5’10”)

CALGARY EDMONTON VANCOUVER WINNIPEG
Phillips (5’7″)
Lomberg (5’9″)
Kravchenko (5’9″)
Descheneau (5’9″) Stecher (5’8″)
Subban (5’9″)
Carcone (5’8″)
Maksimovich (5’9″)
Valk (5’9″)
nobody

The Flames continue to love their tiny guys – Andrew Mangiapane and Brayden Burke just missed the size cut-off – and bring three with them. The Canucks have five, Edmonton has one, and Winnipeg is devoid of tiny guys.

Despite having the most big bodies by a wide margin, the Flames seem to also value small, skilled guys.

    • jupiter

      I remember back to Grade 8 when many of us made it a priority to hone the skill of being a smart-ass.97 Train seems to have lost a wheel and is permanently stuck at this station.Kinda sad really.

    • Arminius

      Send this guy off Rob Maver’s boot and punt him
      I mean really. The first post at 8 something in the morning from a Coilers fan. [ed – this part could probably have been left out, remember, post like your grandmother is reading over your shoulder] The guy needs a spell on the sidelines

      I do feel sorry for you lol.

      • BurningSensation

        [ed – unnecessary; post like your grandmother is reading over your shoulder]

        Do not google that kiddies. Not if you want to be able to eat anything for the rest of your day.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        That’s probably one of the most ignorant uneducated comments ever posted on this site.
        Calgary is not a big team. Still most of the successful teams in the NHL are the ones that have size and skill not just skill. Anahiem ,St Louis, LA ,San Jose,sorry if you disagree but it’s a fact. The big free agent signing you had happened to be a guy with the combination of size and skill.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        This is a fine example of what trolling is! I make a comment about the lack of size on a team and this is what the article is about and this poor excuse of a person is talking about taking a sh!t on someone’s face but is yet still here and not banned from this site.
        Some of you may not agree with my comments but I never speak like this to any one of you on this site like that!

        FN MODERATOR: I’m going to caution you now. Your behaviour had improved at the end of last season and over the summer, but you seem set on stirring the pot. It’s fun to a point, but over the past few days you have become a nuisance again. Cool your jets. We will not engage with you further and disruptive comments will be deleted.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      I take this to mean – yeah the Flames are better, but the Oilers are bigger. (Which is wrong, but hey who cares about accuracy when you’re busy trolling).

      When bigger = Stanley Cup wake me up.

    • BurningSensation

      If this comment were coming from just about anyone else it would have recieved less opprobrium.

      That said, its still wrong.

      Calgary doesn’t need MOAR BIGGAR, they just need better players, and if they happen to be big, all the better.

      • Greatsave

        Calgary doesn’t need MOAR BIGGAR, they just need better players, and if they happen to be big, all the better.

        I’d replace “all the better” with “so be it”.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        Who cares who’s bigger. All I care is that Calgary’s better, and this is indisputable. Not because Calgary is a great team, just that no other team has sunk to Edmonton’s depths in NHL history.

        So, in a sense your team is #1. The #1 worst performing team in NHL history. But hey, maybe your team is bigger!

        • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

          Just because a team is bigger does not make them better but the majority of the teams that are at the top of the league have a combination of size and skill.

      • Parallex

        No, I think that the importance of such is highly disputable. The Winnipeg Jets were the biggest team in the NHL last year… they ended up drafting Laine.

  • wot96

    Dube didn’t miss the cutoff by much either.

    The size thing is slightly misleading as two of Calgary’s tall guys are goalies and Smith and Kanzig are unlikely to play more than 20 games at the NHL level. Probably also true of Doucet, Bruce and maybe Falkovsky too, though the latter may actually surprise. Once you filter them out, each team has roughly the same number of tall guys.

  • Baalzamon

    I’m actually a little surprised at how unimpressive Winnipeg’s blueline is. I had them pegged as the team to beat, but now I’m not so sure.

    Still, they shouldn’t have any difficulty scoring goals. And that’s without Laine.

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      They still have a fine blue line even without Trouba. What would you sign him for . He would make an awful lot of money for a 3rd paring RHD don’t you think?

      • Baalzamon

        I meant the blueline for the tournament, so Trouba wouldn’t be involved anyway. The top prospect missing is Josh Morrissey.

        As for Trouba’s contract… unfortunately for Winnipeg, the Red Wings handing big $$ to DeKeyser won’t help them keep his hit manageable. Quality wise he should sign in the $4 million range (he’s inferior to Klefbom, whom the Oilers just signed last summer IIRC). Trouba certainly shouldn’t get more than Vatanen, but DeKeyser did so there’s really no telling what will happen.

        Can anyone explain to me why the Jets re-signed Mike Hutchinson? Like, they realize he’s worse than Pavelec right (and both Hutchinson and Pavelec are worse than Hellebuyck)?

        • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

          I think Trouba is really an unknown so far. He has had top end talents ahead of him and left to play softer minutes. So I guess time will tell.

    • OKG

      Seeing them against each other at the same level of helter-skelter preseason tourney play is more interesting than comparing them across different leagues behind vastly different styles of team.

      That said while I am a huge McDonald fan he is less polished than Demko at this point in time. But you don’t draft for polish.

  • Prototype369

    Honestly, what train does is light years better than some of the other ninnies from OilersNation. Druds, Blue Moon Nigel to name two, are all troll, no debate. But I do get the point some people are making here, if you want to praise the oilers, do it on ON.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Winnipeg has a tremendous base of young talent.

    Vancouver is a terrible team, with very little in the pipeline to show for it.

    Calgary is going to surprise a lot of people in the next 2 seasons. But not in this tournament. They’re middle of the pack.

    Edmonton is a terrible organization, from top to bottom. They are the worst team in the NHL, and the worst team at this tournament.