Another year, another August (mostly) gone by.
We’re now mere days away from September, and with that, mere days away from players arriving en masse back into Calgary, training camp opening, and the preseason kicking off in like… two weeks.
With the passing of another August, so, too, has another month of limited excitement gone by. Troy Brouwer got bought out. Noah Hanifin still has not been signed. And we have officially gone through another edition of the Flames’ top 20 prospects, and one in which top talent really seems to shine.
The top 20
A reminder that the way it works is pretty simple: a player voted in the top spot got 20 points, second place got 19, and etcetera, all the way down to 20th place votes, which garnered a single point. Whoever had the most votes in the end topped the list.
We started with the no-votes and runners up.
Six players – Zach Fischer, Josh Healey, Ryan Lomberg, Mitchell Mattson, Mason McDonald, and Nick Schneider – all failed to make any of our top 20 lists.
Brett Pollock received one point, Eetu Tuulola six, and Yasin Ehliz came close to making the top 20 with 13 points.
A mere point separated our overall ranking between Valimaki and Andersson. Throw in Kylington’s top five ranking – and a fairly definitive one, at that – and the Flames’ prospect strength really does come from the backend.
Though the forwards have a chance at making something of themselves, as well. Mangiapane and Dube shot up the rankings to round out the top five, while Foo didn’t fall too far behind himself. Phillips only just beat out Parsons to squeak into the seventh spot, placing the two goalies right together.
The grouping was, overall, top heavy. The top 10 – really, maybe it should just be top nine – are well-defined, and everyone underneath them – including all five selections from the 2018 draft – are a bit more of a crapshoot, with deference going to those who have generally scored more at higher levels (and a preference for major junior, as Zavgorodniy and Roman separated themselves from the others).
Eight of us voted on lists this year. That means there are eight of us you get to yell at! Hooray.
|Rank||Ari||Ryan||Mike||Christian R||Christian T||Bill||Karim||Taylor|
As usual, I can’t speak for how anyone else’s list shook out: only my own. But I would like to share my basic thought processes once again.
What really helps me in separating these players is dividing them into tiers. Valimaki and Andersson: tier one. Mangiapane and Dube: tier two. Foo, Kylington, and Phillips: tier three, and so on.
From there, it’s a matter of weighing ceiling and immediacy. How good can this prospect be at his peak, versus is he more likely to make the NHL sooner rather than later? For example, I believe Valimaki’s ceiling is higher than Andersson’s, but that Andersson is a bigger threat to make the NHL this season… but Valimaki probably isn’t too far behind, and he has the greater potential, so he won out in my books. But for Mangiapane and Dube, as far as I can tell at this stage, their ceilings may not be too far apart – but Mangiapane, who has already played professionally, is perhaps more likely to make the NHL before Dube, so he got the nod for me there.
Voting was a lot more difficult the further down the list, but that’s because we’re simply not as familiar with those prospects. The guys in my top 10 I have followed and known about and been excited over for a couple of years. None of the others have reached that allure just yet, so ranking them kind of turned into a “let’s see what sticks” affair.
But anyway! That’s how things turned out for us. Agree? Disagree? Just how horribly wrong did we get things, anyway? Sound off in the comments; we’ll soon be seeing a lot of these guys playing, and maybe some will blow the doors off and make it within a month and change.