Contracts to sign. Coaches to coach. The Flames have been busy this off-season and they certainly aren't finished. Brad Treliving and company are hard battlers at the contract table but lets take a look at what they have accomplished thus far.
Draft goals: Target raw offensive talent. Replenish Center prospects.
Off Season goals: Assess G depth, make tough RFA/UFA decisions, improve Pro RW
Calgary signed Chad Johnson and traded for Brian Elliott but both are only under contract for one more season. This has stabilized the position for now, but come trade deadline they will be once again talking about the goaltending situation. The assumption is that Brian Elliott will sign some sort of extension but that's assuming he can handle the workload and the new system.
Mason McDonald will be turning pro, and with signing raw older prospect David Rittich this means that McDonald might play most of the year in the ECHL. This could be best for him. Jon Gillies will be healthy and ready to prove he's a beast.
Tough RFA/ UFA decisions
A number of years ago, Feaster made it his goal to create a team which pushed development by strong AHL depth. The philosophy of acquiring Hamilton, Shore, Knight, Grant etc was designed to create strong battles within and strengthen long term. What's left? Not much. Stockton will be a young team made up mostly of strong draft years with a few sprinkles of trades/FA signings.
They traded for Alex Chiasson. They signed Daniel Pribyl and Troy Brouwer. What didn't they do? They didn't acquire a top-line RW. Jiri Hudler meshed well with Monahan and Gaudreau due to creativity and vision and it seems they are hoping to find potential chemistry with someone a bit more bulky. Fantasy owners should pay attention to this position. Whoever gets those 5-on-5 and PP minutes will get a bump in stats instantly.
Top 10 Rankings:
Matthew Tkachuk – NHL player? Soon. Potential? Top-6 strong complimentary player
Jon Gillies – NHL player? 2 Years. Potential? NHL Starter
Mark Jankowski – NHL player? Soon. Potential? Long-term career as bottom-6 Forward.
Hunter Shinkaruk – NHL player? Soon. Potential? Boom or bust. Needs to create immediately or he will be sent down.
Oliver Kylington – NHL player? 2-3 Years. Potential? His offensive transition tools are NHL caliber. Should add strength and defensive positioning/IQ.
Rasmus Andersson – NHL Player? 2-4 years. Saying this… he could even begin the season with the Flames. Potential? His NHL longevity will depend on his conditioning. Flat out.
Emile Poirier – NHL player? 1-2 Years. Potential? Game breaking ability. Needs to be more consistent and improve special teams tools.
Tyler Wotherspoon – NHL player? Soon. Potential? Depth defender. He added aggression and an improvement in physical play and transitioning from the defensive end. He looked solid in his NHL games.
Morgan Klimchuk – NHL player? 2-3 Years. Potential? Complimentary Bottom-6 forward. Loads of intangibles.
Andrew Mangiapane – NHL player? 2-3 Years. Potential? Top-6. His shifty skating ability combined with his great vision makes him a high sleeper player.
Left off the list?: Daniel Pribyl (injured, older), Adam Fox (high potential, long wait till NHL), Brett Kulak (large strides, depth NHL potential)
Brad Treliving: The 2016 was very impressive and brings tons of potential NHL fantasy players to the table. Fox and Parsons bring significant gifting.
Morgan Klimchuk: I mention him because he seems very forgotten on radars. Watch a Stockton game early in 2016/17 and see for yourself what his potential still could be.
Mark Jankowski: Strong debut. Showed that his north-south skating ability and IQ made his transition to pro pretty easy.
Mason McDonald: Not to say that Mason has personally regressed, but the depth chart has changed a bit. He still has much to prove. He was injured for portions of training last off season so lets see if a new team and healthy patterns make for a push up the rankings.
Dillon Dube: While Dube is new, shiny, and has tons of potential, his second half in the WHL is what most likely pushed him out of being a top-30 NHL pick in 2016. He looked very promising in development camp however.
Emile Poirier: Veterans and older prospects pushed Emile down the line chart. Some nights he barely received PP time. He needs to establish himself as a top-line, top PP guy now that his two-way game has made strides.
Can play more than one position *
Brad Treliving has been quite slow on dealing with contracts compared to other organizations and it's clear he has an end goal in mind. Currently Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Tyler Wotherspoon, and Freddie Hamilton are RFA. Jakub Nakladal is also a UFA who is rumored to be in talks with the Flames still.
Calgary is currently at 40 contracts. That will increase to 44 when they sign their RFA players so they have room to do a few things.
If you're looking for more prospect depth, check out the July edition of the Calgary Flames 2016 draft here.
Joel Henderson @dathockeydoe