Calgary Flames – Offseason Prospect System Review

by Joel Henderson on August 5, 2018

 

***

Thanks for joining us for our August 31-in-31 series! Every day this month we will be taking a look at each team and diving into their prospect depth charts, risers and fallers, graduating prospects, and top ten prospects in the system.

***

 

Offseason Moves

 

As everyone knows, the Calgary Flames have been busy. I think it was apparent to Brad Treliving and company that things aren’t heading completely in the direction they hoped for. 

 

New coach – again. 

New young promising defensemen – again

More Right handed everything. 

 

This offseason truly began with the acquisition of Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm and the leaving of Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and highly anticipated prospect Adam Fox. I would love to go deep into this trade, but instead I’ll simply say, for Calgary Flames fans following fantasy hockey, it hurts losing Adam Fox. I referred to him as the “sexy pick” when he was selected in 2016. He was one that fantasy owners could truly salivate over and hope for the best. He still could play out his NCAA eligibility and sign with whoever he wants to. He moves from a star studded D core to.. another one. 

 

Free Agency brought in James Neal, Derek Ryan, and Austin Czarnik for the Flames as well, giving them significant improvement on the RW position and giving more options at C. From a fantasy standpoint, watch who develops chemistry with Monahan and Gaudreau early and ride the wave.

 

From a prospect perspective, fans had to say goodbye to Hunter Smith, import Daniel Pribyl, Austin Carroll, and sadly past first-round pick Emile Poirier. After finding success in battling alcoholism, Poirier couldn’t put forth the consistency in his production at the AHL level. As of today, he is still a Free Agent.

 

Sam Bennett, Matthew Tkachuk, and now Noah Hanifin. These are the super young impact players. The only other prospect who could really turn heads and shock a lot of people is Juuso Välimäki and the landscape seems to be perfect for him to experience pro hockey in the AHL. Calgary has depth in Stockton but don’t expect any crazy unexpected stories. Also…. maybe they decide to play Rasmus Andersson 20 minutes a night. Who knows.

 

Graduating Players

 

 
Lots of new faces around but it will be tough to know the impact at the NHL for the new faces. Välimäki and Dube could certainly see NHL games as early as next season. 
 
Maybe an NHL job, 
 
When? That is the question. All of these beauties have tested the NHL but there isn’t many jobs to win at this point. Calgary brought in Vets and Free Agents to fill the void and make it tough for prospects. You can also expect both Jon Gillies and David Rittich to taste the NHL. It’s probably Rittich’s job to lose due to his one-way contract but word around the street is that Calgary didn’t hate what they saw from Gillies despite a 0.896 save percentage and a 2.88 GAA. He showed wonderful flashes. Bet on Rasmus Andersson too.

 

Risers

 

  • Glenn Gawdin – He had an ok camp with Calgary in the summer of 2017 and he was going to be watched closely in the WHL for Swift Current. Before the 2017-18 season, Gawdin was saw to be a two-way PPG WHL C. With some crazy offensive linemates, he gathers 125 points in 67 games and led the charge in the WHL playoffs too. He is a riser, purely because he is making Flames fans feel like they found a treasure. But… it’s more likely he will begin as a bottom-six AHL C and try to work his way up. 
  • Rasmus Andersson – He continues to prove that slow and steady wins the race. He improved and is already an NHL player. He needs to be there. 
  • Andrew Mangiapane – A sixth round pick, to conquering the AHL, to fourth line NHL minutes. It’s uncertain if he can be a consistent NHLer with offensive minutes but he sure keeps pushing through expectations. 
  • Dillon Dube – He’s a Dube. Team Canada. Strong Season. Flames team loves him. 
 

Fallers

 

  • Hunter Shinkaruk – No NHL games in 2017-18. Will need to show he can offensively produce at the AHL level as an all-star. 
  • Tyler Parsons – First real injuries of his career. Caused set backs and mixed results. There were good results though. The only reason he is in this category is because his promise is sky high! It took a hit, but he’s still doing just fine. 
  • Adam Ruzicka – Some were thrilled the big-body C fell to Calgary in the second round of the 2017 draft. He had all the right opportunity and line mates in Sarnia. The second half of the season wasn’t the improvement fans should want to see. 

 

Top Ten Prospects

 

  1. Juuso Välimäki, D
  2. Rasmus Andersson, D
  3. Dillon Dube, C
  4. Tyler Parsons, G
  5. Jon Gillies, G
  6. Oliver Kylington, D
  7. Spencer Foo, RW
  8. Andrew Mangiapane, LW
  9. Matthew Phillips, C
  10. Morgan Klimchuk, LW

 

Thanks for checking in. Lots of Calgary players pushing or turning pro. Calgary often has a lot of player to cheer for come WJC time in December, but sadly I think the prospects will be limited. 

 

As always, follow along on Twitter @dathockeydoe

Joel Henderson