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Photo Credit: Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels

FlamesNation Top 20 Prospects 2019: The no-votes and runners up

On the National Hockey League calendar, August is the lousiest month of the year. October through June have meaningful hockey. July has free agency. September has training camp. August? Absolutely nothing.

So in order to stem off the gnawing feeling that is a month without hockey, we’ve made August our prospect rankings month here at FlamesNation.

The procedure is rather simple: we made a list of the Calder Trophy eligible players in the Calgary Flames system and each of us ranked them from 1 to 20. Based on everyone’s votes we created a consensus list, and from there we talked to our friends throughout the hockey world to learn a bit more about each player and their chances to move along to hockey’s highest level.

Starting on Monday, we’ll profile one Flames prospect per weekday until we’re at the top-ranked prospect on Aug. 30. As a reminder, we’re using Calder eligibility rules so the likes of Andrew Mangiapane, Oliver Kylington and Rasmus Andersson are considered graduated because they’ve played too many NHL games.

The players that didn’t get any votes

There were 31 players on our long list of eligible players. Seven received zero votes on any of the submitted ballots:

  • Spencer Foo
  • Justin Kirkland
  • Ryan Lomberg
  • Andrew Nielsen
  • Mitchell Mattson
  • Nick Schneider
  • Rinat Valiev

The “no votes” cluster can be split pretty cleanly into two groups: low ceiling prospects and older prospects. Mattson and Schneider quite simply are long-shot prospects with fairly low ceilings, and so it’s not terribly shocking to see them on the outside looking in. Meanwhile, Foo (25), Kirkland (22), Lomberg (24), Nielsen (22) and Valiev (24) are fairly far along in their developmental arcs and effectively are what they are at this point.

Got some votes, but missed top 20

Another four players received votes, but missed out on cracking the top 20 list:

  • Glenn Gawdin
  • Jon Gillies
  • Luke Philp
  • Milos Roman

Gillies had an up-and-down season and is now 25. He’s on the verge of aging off the list. As a free agent signing from Canadian university hockey, Philp is a bit of a question mark in terms of how his superb USports play will translate to the professional ranks. Roman didn’t put up amazing offensive numbers for the Vancouver Giants, but was a very solid role player as they pushed the powerhouse Prince Albert Raiders to seven games in the WHL finals. Gawdin is arguably the least flashy player in the Flames system, but he had a very solid first pro season with Stockton and can play in any situation.

We’ll be back on Monday to kick off the countdown with the 20th ranked prospect in the Flames system.

  • freethe flames

    So what is a prospect? When does a player go from being a prospect to being a player? Are Mangiapane and Andersson players or prospects?(Andersson is already a player I get it) What about Kylington, Valimaki, and Dube; prospects or players? For me Mangiapane is a player and I would say the same for Kylington while both Valimaki and Dube are on the cusp of no longer being prospects but NHL players.

  • Gary

    Stone was expendable due to the unexpected and delightful rise from Andersson and Valmaki, we have a team that’s loaded with bonafide NHL players that teams like Edmonton can’t come close to matching. Tre has done a fantastic job, we came in 1st overall in the west last year yet some complain, that was a season of 82 games to remember. The Lucic signing may turn out okay, time will tell, I’ll judge Tre as being excellent so far, new season coming up. We learnt from being eliminated early last year, the team will remember

      • Albertabeef

        I trashed mostly you because you said Lucic signing, he was not signed he was traded for. If that was a season to remember why am I trying to forget everything that happened after the All-Star game? Still very unimpressed with Tre. Screw you and your clown car!

    • Moneyball

      The flames look good to compete for a playoff run and the Lucic signing will payoff in the playoffs. As far as prospects though the Flames are limited after trading away many top draft picks there is not much left. Dube was the best in the system and valamaki and Anderson are nice to see but really replacement level players. Realistically though The oilers, Canucks and jets have much better prospects in their systems now.

    • Off the wall

      I’m usually pretty optimistic about our team. I love our Flames, my truck is still decorated with them year round.

      I defend our Flames vehemently, however after the quick exit from the playoffs, I’m less than thrilled with Treliving’s mistakes.

      He doesn’t get an “A” for taking on the Lucic contract. It will be an albatross, no matter how much we don’t want it to be.

      I like Lucic, but he’s a 4th line player at best. So we jettisoned Neal, who in his own right was terrible, to get.. another one with very little options.
      Why are we supposed to be thrilled?

      Because of bad contracts, we have no cap relief, and it only got worse with the Lucic signing.
      We had to buyout another D just to get some cap space. It still isn’t enough to sign Tkachuk and Mangiapane. $7.76M isn’t enough to sign them both and still have some left for contingency.

      So now we’re FORCED to jettison another player, although this could have been done at the TDL last season, and received a much better return.

      I know this isn’t about accounting, (thanks Kootenay) however it is about asset management, which is all about $ and smart decisions in today’s cap market.

      For the next two years we will be paying players who aren’t on our roster. $3.1M per year x 2= $6.2M gone.

      Did our team somehow get better? We just subtracted and fans claim that our young players will fill the gap. Our farm system is not currently keeping up with our loses.

      Some might claim we graduated Mangiapane and Andersson as examples. Valamaki next. Great, I agree. But our farm team is Chinese paper thin.

      Treliving hedges his bets on the Flames, while scantily clothing the development of the Heat.
      Ask Stockton’s Finest.

      He doesn’t get an A, he gets a C and that’s because I feel generous being a Flames’ fan!

      Trash away friends!

      • Baalzamon

        So now we’re FORCED to jettison another player, although this could have been done at the TDL last season, and received a much better return.

        How many people would have been incensed if the Flames had moved out a veteran player at the deadline? And they would have all felt vindicated in their indictment when the Flames were knocked out in 5. You know that expression “hind sight is 20/20”? It’s actually not, because there’s always about 20,000 variables you’re not accounting for.

        Treliving hedges his bets on the Flames, while scantily clothing the development of the Heat.
        Ask Stockton’s Finest.

        Last summer they signed Alan Quine, Buddy Robinson, Tyler Graovac, and Marcus Hogstrom, and traded for Matt Taormina and Rinat Valiev (and later Kerby Rychel and Andrew Nielsen). That’s several top-scoring AHL forwards, a top scoring defenseman (coming off a 50 point season), an SHL veteran, and two top-four defenders from other AHL teams. The Flames did not skimp on the Heat last season. At all. Treliving gave them the best roster they’ve ever had.

        • Albertabeef

          Very few people would have complained if Frolik was traded last TDL. And wow look at all those career AHL players Tre picked up last season because we didn’t have prospects to fill the lineup. How many of those guys actually have a chance to have a long productive NHL career? None!

          • Baalzamon

            How many of those guys actually have a chance to have a long productive NHL career? None!

            Congratulations, you managed to completely miss the point. People complain that the Flames don’t fill out the AHL roster with quality AHL veterans so the Heat can be a successful, winning team (like the Toronto Marlies for example). But they did fill the Heat roster with quality AHL veterans last year. A lot of them.

          • Albertabeef

            Your definition of quality veterans and mine vary greatly. You missed my point. If we hadn’t traded all those picks for Hamilton and Hamonic we probably wouldn’t have needed to bring in all those fringe AHL vets. Could have kept Kulak and played Kylington and Valimaki in the AHL last year. It’s all very questionable.

      • FLT

        Always appreciate the thoughtful comments OTW. To your points:

        First and foremost, good on ya for sporting the flaming C all year round.

        Lucic – I agree this was far from a home run, but it may well end up being a net benefit for the team.

        Buyouts – Tre has made FA mistakes, and I can’t quibble with your C grade. At least he’s able to recognize his mistakes though…and fortunately has an ownership group willing to stomach buyouts. Maybe this past free agency period is evidence he’s learned a lesson…or maybe it was nothing more than recognition of cap constraints.

        Graduating prospects – this is a positive thing, although you’re right that Stockton’s cupboards are now a bit bare. Fortunately the big club is young enough that there is time to rebuild that depth.

        My glass is apparently half full tonight, hope yours is too.