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FlamesNation Top 20 Prospects 2020: final lists revealed

It’s well into November and we’ve finished revealing our annual top 20 prospect rankings! Now all that’s left to do is to unveil our ballots, break down the rankings, and ponder the ways our list will look silly when players break out over the next year.

The top 20

We operated with a pretty simple system: our panel was asked to rank the 33 eligible prospects from 1 to 20, with first place votes worth 20 points and 20th place worth 1 point. We tallied up the points to provide a ranking of the organization’s top youngsters.

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Nine players – Lucas Feuk, Rory Kerins, Justin Kirkland, Demetrios Koumontzis, Carl-Johan Lerby, Mitchell Mattson, Josh Nodler, Ilya Solovyov and Artyom Zagidulin  – all failed to make any of our top 20 lists.

Four players received votes but were just shy of the cut-off for the top 20: Daniil Chechelev (1 point), Jake Boltmann (1 point), Filip Sveningsson (5 points) and Colton Poolman (5 points).

Here’s how the Top 20 shook out:

Rank Prospect Points Change from 2019
1 Juuso Valimaki 100 None
2 Connor Zary 94 New
3 Jakob Pelletier 87 None
T4 Connor Mackey 83* New
T4 Dustin Wolf 83* Up from 14
6 Emilio Pettersen 73 Down from 5
7 Dmitry Zavgorodniy 66 None
8 Glenn Gawdin 62 Up from NR
9 Matthew Phillips 61 Down from 4
10 Jeremie Poirier 57 New
11 Adam Ruzicka 52 Down from 8
12 Yan Kuznetsov 36 New
13 Ilya Nikolayev 32 Down from 11
14 Johannes Kinnvall 29^ New
15 Eetu Tuulola 29^ Up from 13
16 Luke Philp 27 Up from NR
17 Martin Pospisil 25 Down from 10
18 Ryan Francis 19 New
19 Alexander Yelesin 15 Down from 9
20 Tyler Parsons 8 Down from 12

* – Wolf and Mackey were in a perfect tie, with the same number of points and on the same number of ballots

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^ – Kinnvall and Tuulola were tied in points, but Kinnvall was on more ballots than Tuulola to win the tiebreaker

Check out the big leaps up the list by Wolf, Gawdin and Philp! Check out the tumbles down the list by Pospisil, Yelesin and Parsons!

Six newly-acquired prospects made the list – two free agent signings and four draft picks. In terms of nationalities, the 20 players break down as follows: seven Canadians, four Russians, three Americans, two Finns, two Slovaks, one Norwegian and one Swede. In terms of positions, it’s two goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards.

Individual lists

Five of us voted on lists this year. We all came up with preliminary lists immediately before the 2020 NHL Draft, then revised for our finalists to include any newly-drafted Flames.

Rank Ryan Mike G
Mike W
Prajeya Craig
1 Valimaki Valimaki Valimaki Valimaki Valimaki
2 Zary Zary Zary Pelletier Zary
3 Mackey Mackey Pelletier Zary Wolf
4 Wolf Pelletier Mackey Wolf Pelletier
5 Pelletier Zavgorodniy Wolf Pettersen Pettersen
6 Gawdin Wolf Phillips Mackey Mackey
7 Pettersen Pettersen Zavgorodniy Gawdin Zavgorodniy
8 Phillips Poirier Pettersen Phillips Poirier
9 Zavgorodniy Kuznetsov Poirier Tuulola Gawdin
10 Ruzicka Gawdin Ruzicka Ruzicka Ruzicka
11 Poirier Phillips Gawdin Zavgorodniy Phillips
12 Kinnvall Francis Nikolayev Poirier Tuulola
13 Tuulola Ruzicka Pospisil Kinnvall Nikolayev
14 Kuznetsov Nikolayev Kinnvall Philp Kuznetsov
15 Philp Philp Kuznetsov Parsons Francis
16 Nikolayev Yelesin Yelesin Pospisil Philp
17 Pospisil Pospisil Sveningsson Kuznetsov Pospisil
18 Yelesin Kinnvall Philp Nikolayev Poolman
19 Francis Poolman Francis Yelesin Kinnvall
20 Parsons Chechelev Parsons Sveningsson Boltmann

Everybody had Valimaki at the top spot, a repeat from 2019’s list. Four of the five voters had Zary second (and he was third on the other ballot).

The top three had a strong consensus, followed by Wolf/Mackey, Pettersen, Zavgorodniy, and Gawdin/Phillips in a cluster. Things spread out from there, with a lot of variation between our lists.

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Who did we have too high? Who did we have too low? Will we all look like utter fools – besides Mike Gould – for not having Chechelev on our lists? Sound off in the comments!