2023 FlamesNation Prospect Rankings: The individual lists
Photo credit:Candice Ward/Calgary Wranglers
By Ryan Pike6 days ago
Our consensus list has been revealed. The Calgary Flames’ top prospect according to our voting panel is reigning American Hockey League goaltender of the year (and most valuable player) Dustin Wolf… for the second year in a row!
Let’s take a look at how our list came to be.
The top 20
Our seven voters were tasked with sifting through Calgary’s 31 eligible prospects and crafting a list of who they deemed the top 20. (What constituted a “top prospect” was left deliberately vague and up to each voter’s interpretation.)
With each ballot submitted, FlamesNation managing editor Ryan Pike assigned 20 points to every prospect ranked No. 1 on each individual ballot and a single point for each No. 20-ranked prospect (and divided up as such for the in-between spots).
Eight prospects — Jake Boltmann, Daniil Chechelev, Cade Littler, Brady Lyle, Ilya Nikolaev, Josh Nodler, Eetu Tuulola and Yegor Yegorov — received no votes and, correspondingly, earned zero points towards their final ranking. (When we did the vote, Nodler was still Flames property, and Tuulola remains Flames property until he turns 27.)
Axel Hurtig received two points, Parker Bell received 13 points and Martin Pospisil received 20 points.
Here’s how the top 20 came together:
|RANK||PROSPECT||POINTS||CHANGE FROM 2022|
|T5||JEREMIE POIRIER||104||UP FROM 8|
|T5||CONNOR ZARY||104||DOWN FROM 4|
|8||ILYA SOLOVYOV||72||UP FROM 17|
|9||COLE SCHWINDT||64||UP FROM 10|
|10||TOPI RÖNNI||61||UP FROM 13|
|11||LUCAS CIONA||60||UP FROM NR|
|12||BEN JONES||58||UP FROM 20|
|14||RORY KERINS||44||DOWN FROM 6|
|17||YAN KUZNETSOV||34||DOWN FROM 11|
|18||ADAM KLAPKA||32||UP FROM NR|
|19||WILLIAM STRÖMGREN||31||DOWN FROM 16|
|20||EMILIO PETTERSEN||27||DOWN FROM 17|
(We tried to come up with a way to break the three-way tie at fifth spot, but every idea we had contained some downsides and arbitrariness, so we decided to preserve the tie.)
Six new players feature on the 2023 prospect rankings. Samuel Honzek, Etienne Morin, Aydar Suniev and Jaden Lipinski were selections in the 2023 NHL Draft. Two other rebounded from missing the cut last year to land on the list: Lucas Ciona and Adam Klapka.
Adam Ruzicka (No. 5) and Walker Duehr (No. 19) graduated off the 2022 list. And Dennis Gilbert, who just missed the top 20 last year, also graduated. They’ve all played enough games in the NHL that they’re no longer Calder Trophy eligible. Matthew Phillips (No. 7) and Jack Beck (No. 8) both left the Flames organization this off-season. Martin Pospisil (No. 12) and Ilya Nikolaev (No. 18) were eligible for this year’s list but didn’t receive enough support.
The 2023 top 20 features two goaltenders, four defencemen, and 14 forwards. In geographical terms, the list contains eight Canadians, three Americans, three Russians, one Slovak, one Czech, a Swede, a Finn, a Belarusian and a Norwegian.
Eight of our contributors submitted individual lists for the 2023 rankings. Here’s the breakdown:
Everybody had the same top four, albeit in somewhat scattered order: everybody’s top two were the same, and then their next two were the same. After that: chaos! Beautiful chaos! The lists diverge quite a bit from everybody’s top fours.
Suniev didn’t appear on two of the seven ballots submitted, but the five people that voted for him liked him enough that he finished as high as he did. A dozen players appeared on everybody’s top 20 in some form or another.
Which list do you most agree with? Which ballot is the most removed from your opinion? Let us hear it in the comments!
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