HFNHL Flamettes Top 32 Prospects (and Hon Mentions!!!!!) - MidSeason Edition

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by MatthewFlames, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    With 12 players on this list in the NHL right now - and a further 5 who are in the AHL but have played in the NHL this season - this list will be pared down by the next edition. Phew.

    Artem Anisimov is having a bit of a breakout season in the NHL - but he's graduated to my full-time roster so isn't on this list as of today.

    1 (1) - Jeff Skinner - F [Drafted 11th Overall 2010] - In the NHL
    The frontrunner for this years NHL Calder Trophy hasn't missed a beat - the youngest player in the NHL has 22 goals and 46 points. He hasn't really been through any prolonged slump as you often see with young players. He's scored some spectacular goals, in regular play and in the shoot-out. He's been physical and stood up for himself when he's had too. The biggest thing you notice is his hand-eye coordination and ability to get the puck up off the ice quickly, as well as an uncanny knack for always being in the right place at the right time. Thanks Brock & Sean (and Jeff for drafting Forbort :naughty: )!!

    2 (8) - Zack Kassian - F [Drafted 15th Overall 2009] - In the OHL
    Okay okay - he may never be more than a 15-20 goal scorer at the NHL level, but there is no doubt that Kassian has turned his career around this year. Now signed to an NHL entry level deal and his legal troubles behind him - Kassian should get a long look on the mighty Buffalo Shrimps in the summer. Have him ranked second just because there is so much he brings and I feel he might just have some long term upside that is higher than the next few players on the list.

    3 (4) - Scott Glennie - F [Trade] - In the WHL
    I'm still a believer. While others have been "dissing" his poor season, I've seen him playing on a weak team without the big name linemates (Calvert and Brayden Schenn) and yet he's still scoring the same number of goals and points but now he's responsible for creating more on his own. His coaches have started talking up his growing maturity and I think it's all coming together now. Has six goals in his last 3 games, is 9th in WHL scoring.

    4 (7) - Jake Gardiner - D [Trade] - In the NCAA
    The Jarome Iginla trade is starting to look like a one-sided deal. Not only has Hejduk rebounded in the NHL (and is tempting me to re-sign him), but Glennie, Gardiner and Gaunce have all improved their stock. Gardiner has dismissed his critics who complained he didn't produce enough offensively with a break-out season. He's big and can skate. He's getting stronger on the puck. Lots of development needed but really, what's not to like? (Except that he's now a Maple Leaf)

    5 (13) - James Reimer - G [Drafted 192nd Overall 2006] - In the NHL
    The first of two Flames 7th round picks who are in my top ten!!!!!!! Reimer used injuries to get a few games with the Leafs and has stuck. One of the brightest spots on the prospect list. Just garnered his second shut-out last night despite the SO loss.

    6 (6) - Eric Tangradi - F [Drafted 92nd Overall 2007] - In the NHL
    Had a very good training camp but had difficulty adjusting the NHL and after 9 games was sent back the AHL for more seasoning. Already has more goals in 42 games (19) than he has all last season and has dominated with his big body at times. A recent call-up has ended up hurting (literally) as a concussion in the Islanders/Penguins madness over the weekend has stalled things. With the other injuries he should remain with the Pens for the remainder of the season.

    7 (2) - Austin Watson - F [Drafted 12th Overall 2010] - In the OHL
    I still like Watson - but in retrospect I should have traded down for one of the Russians.... He's had a difficult season where he hasn't performed as the "go-to" guy offensively. He struggled all over the ice for the first few months. It hasn't helped that he's on such a poor team. Has turned it around in February, with 8 goals and 11 points in his last 8 games.

    8 (3) - Mikael Backlund - F [Drafted 10th Overall 2007] - In the NHL
    Backlund has had a yo-yo season. He's performed well at points and been a healthy scratch at others. He probably could have used more seasoning in the AHL. Has shown sparks at times - and has admitted that he's been really intimidated by the NHL. Has the skills and doesn't mind the physical stuff - a long way to go still - his stock is dropping in comparison to others on this list despite his full time NHL presence.

    9 (15) - Anders Lee - F [Drafted 199th Overall 2008] - In the NCAA
    The other 7th round pick in my top ten. If there was any doubt that Anders Lee was a genuine NHL prospect I think he's done away with that. In his freshman NCAA season, he's been named CCHA rookie of the month, twice, and rookie of the week three times. He has 19 goals, 38 points in 35 games.

    10 (9) Alex Stalock - G [Drafted 165th Overall 2005] - In the AHL
    As steady as a (Stal)rock, Stalock has put in another very good season for the baby Sharks on a team that has played very poorly at times. Stalock though has still managed to keep his GAA down and his SV% up. Still one for the future - as he's only in his 2nd pro season. Made his NHL debut, a 30 minute shut-out performance ;)

    11 (10) - Brad Ross - F [Drafted 39th Overall 2010] - In the WHL
    Brad Ross has played a huge role in leading the Portland Winterhawks to the top of the Western Conference standings. Playing on the top line with much heralded Ryan Johansen, Ross continues to agitate, hit and score.

    12 (26) Sam Brittain - G [Drafted 101st Overall 2010] - In the NCAA
    Sam who? Sam Brittain. This will be the last time that he's on this list and not in the top ten. THE REVELATION of the season on this list. Brittain has been phenomenal as a freshman starting goalie for U of Denver. Has a 2.27 GAA and .921 SV%, with 12 wins, 5 ties and only 6 losses. "He has the potential to be special. Obviously his numbers this year are special as a true freshman and that is unique to goaltending in college," said assistant coach Derek Lalonde.

    13 (11) Cameron Gaunce - D [Trade] - In the NHL
    Don't look now but the third prospect in the Jarome Iginla deal is in the NHL. Gaunce, in his first professional season, started well in the AHL and was called up to play for the Avs due to their injury crisis. Scored his first NHL goal against the Pens.

    13 (12) Bobby Butler - F [Free Agent] - In the NHL
    Butler is one of a slew of lucky FA pick-ups who've made it to the NHL in their first NHL season (with Greening, Nash, Bartkowski so far). Occasionally playing on the top line in Ottawa, he's scored 5 points in his last 4. Still needs a lot of work in his end - but has some good jump.

    15 (25) Grant Clitsome - D [Free Agent] - In the NHL
    This will be Clitsome's last time on this list - he's now a full time NHL'er - and one who's found it much easier to get points at the highest levels. He has 11 points in just 16 games this season since his call-up. Most impressive though, is that after only 27 NHL games, he is logging over 22 minutes a game on a regular basis for Columbus.

    16 (23) Taylor Aronson - D [Drafted 81st Overall 2010] - In the WHL
    Aronson has proven that his play-off performance was for real and has been consistently good for Portland this season. Has been more physical and has already out-scored his 30 point total from last season. If the draft happened today there is no doubt that he would have been drafted higher than the third round. Only downside is that he lacks prototypical NHL size.

    17 (24) Jesse Blacker - D [Drafted 72nd Overall 2009] - In the OHL
    Blacker has quietly put together a very nice season in the OHL. Is fifth in OHL scoring for defenseman with 47 in 52 games. Now 6"2' and 200 lbs - is atop the Leafs prospect list for D-men (with Gardiner...)

    18 (20) Alex Killorn - F [Drafted 79th Overall 2007] - In the NCAA
    Having a great season where is THE offense for Harvard. On a weak team he's still managing to keep up almost a point a game - 23 in 26 games so far - while scoring 12 goals. High end skills and hockey sense separate him from the pack. Was 5'9" when he was drafted (as one of the youngest players avail in 2007) but he's 6'0" now - increasing his chances at a pro career at the highest levels.

    19 (17) Anton Khudobin - [Free Agent] - In the AHL
    This manic maniac fritzoid frenzied excuse for a goalie has a 1.59 GAA and .940 SV % - IN THE NHL - all garnered during a 4 game stint that also saw him record his first NHL shut-out. The log-jam in net for the Wild keeps him in the AHL - and coaches are working to stop his frenetic movement in the crease - but as unorthodox as it may be the kid just stops the puck.

    20 (NR) Colin Greening - F [Free Agent] - In the NHL
    Greening is now in the NHL with the Sens and hasn't looked out of place in a limited role. His offensive upside may be limited at the highest level, though he has 36 points in 52 games in his first pro season in the AHL.

    21 (NR) Matthew Bartkowski - D [Free Agent] - In the AHL
    A sparkling pre-season meant he almost started in the NHL in his rookie pro season. But the Bruins sent him down and he's played well after a slow start and recently earned a two game call-up.

    22 (NR) Brendon Nash - D [Free Agent] - In the NHL
    The big defenseman can handle the puck - and just had his first couple of games in the NHL for Montreal despite being a rookie pro.

    23 (NR) Mark Olver - F [Free Agent] - In the NHL
    Undersized but with a big heart and a nose for the net. 21 goals as a rookie pro has led to a second call-up to play with the Avs - has two points in his 6 games.

    24 (17) Brad Thiessen - G [Free Agent] - In the AHL
    This AHL All-Star has had a great season. A sparkling 1.77 GAA in 31 starts to go with his .930 SV%. Showing that his performances for Northeastern can be replicated.

    25 (NR) Evan Oberg - D [Free Agent] - In the NHL
    Oberg has taken advantage of the Canucks injuries to get a call-up.

    26 (17) Matt Climie - G [Free Agent] - In the AHL
    Another year, another game or two in the NHL. But this season he's really found some more consistency at the AHL level. Projects to be an AHL starter with the occasional call-up.

    27 (NR) Colton Sceviour - F [Drafted 141st Overall 2007] - In the AHL
    This big body made his NHL debut this year. Will be nothing more than an energy type 4th line player at the NHL level.

    28 (NR) Lukas Kaspar - F [Drafted 44th Overall 2004] - In the KHL
    Are you really reading this whole thing? Wow. Well then this one is for you. Lukas Kaspar, he of the San Jose Sharks first round bust, and he of the Eff you Flyers I'm going to Russia if you're gonna send me to the AHL, is one of the best players in the KHL this season - an All-Star with 24 goals in 52 games. Could he be heading back to the NHL?

    29 (22) Maxim Trunev - F [Drafted 201st Overall 2008] - In the KHL
    Like most young players in the KHL ice-time is impossible to get. But Trunev doesn't seem to be earning his - and has struggled to make any kind of impact at all despite his skill level.

    30 (14) Scott Jackson - D [Drafted 31st Overall 2005] - In the AHL
    Solid and dependable but looking more and more like a player who just lacks the jump to make it to the next level.

    31 (16) Lee Baldwin - D [Free Agent] - In the AHL
    Has had some trouble adapting to the pro game. Spent most of his season in the ECHL so far. Lacks any sort of ability with the puck which is holding back his development.

    32 (21) David Kveton - F [Drafted 67th Overall 2006] In the Czech Rep.
    He keeps falling on this list - his development has stalled and its unlikely that after his struggles over the last two seasons that the Rangers would sign him to a contract.

    And okay - no honorable mentions - just cause you read this far.....
     
  2. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    Oh, Jeff Skinner. How you will haunt me in my dreams. Great list here. I would probably bump Bobby Butler up a bit. He looks like the real deal.
     
  3. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    Cheeky stuff going with 32 and including NHLers. I'm tempted to go back and put my own 32 up and include NHLers like Bickell and Zack Smith.

    You have a lot of size in your top 10, with the exception of Skinner of course. I think Watson will bounce back next year, even if long-term he still tops out as a 20/20 guy with well-rounded sim ratings, although maybe well-rounded sim ratings aren't worth what they used to be.

    Other thing that intrigues me is who of your goalies pans out. You were high on Stalock for a time, but his injury has to be worrisome. Reimer seems like the top guy now, but a lot could go wrong in Toronto. Or maybe that's just my bias because I have Rynnas.

    I've already talked to you about Greening and Butler. And I'm disappointed I selected Brandon Archibald over Taylor Aronson as well, that was a toss-up for me.
     
  4. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    Cheeky? Me? Never. ;)

    And yeah, I don't see why you didn't include Bickell and Smith. Players not on your roster, players with only a handful of NHL games before this season. Prospects in my mind...

    Thanks. Hope that Watson does as you've said. Worst case scenario he's a Lauri Korpikoski (who I traded away for nothing just before he became a 40 point scorer.. duh)....

    As someone who suffers a torn nerve (nerves actually) injury that's still a bugger after almost 4 years, yeah, initially I thought that he would be done. But from the sounds of it he should be back in the summer - His injury occurred in a place where it was easy to get to the nerve and repair it (or they could have grafted on a nerve from a different part of the body, probably his foot).... unlike mine which is nerves in a junction box in the shoulder.

    The thing about Reimer that has me convinced is his demeanor. So unlike Raycroft. Or Jiggy. Etc. Etc.

    Yeah - I have misgivings about selecting Brad Ross over Joey Hishon - fingers crossed on that one - though Ross is the bomb.

    Thanks for replying! (and reading)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  5. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    I have Brandon Bochenski like fears with Butler. Hence not getting my hopes up too high...
     
  6. HFNHL Canadiens

    HFNHL Canadiens Registered User

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    Out of the prospects you have received out of the Iginla trade, Gaunce might end up as the most effective pro. He is a coaches player and really can be put into any situation, if he continues to improve his foot-speed he could turn into a very valuable player in this league, he kind of reminds me of Dan Girardi.
     
  7. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    That's good to know. I really didn't know much about him until the trade talks heated up. I asked the OHL experts and they were pretty meh about him - but as you know it was all I could get out of you. :) So pleasantly surprised by his play this year....
     
  8. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    Updates

    Anders Lee was named the CCHA rookie of the year and named to the All-Rookie team.

    Sam Brittain was named to the All-WCHA All-Rookie team. He actually led ALL WCHA goalies in SV% and was 3rd in GAA.

    Jake Gardiner was a 2nd All-WCHA All-Star and signed an ELC with the Maple Leafs. He finished 3rd in the entire NCAA amongst scoring for defenseman. He'll play for the Marlies for the remainder of the season on a ATO.

    Mark Olver scored his first NHL goal against the Flames.
     
  9. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    More Updates

    The Flames list was pared down by trade at the deadline. Mark Olver, Brandon Nash, Bobby Butler all found new homes.

    Joe Lavin completed his senior year for Notre Dame in the Frozen Four... He signed an entry level deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, and the mobile defenseman will finish the year playing in the AHL on an ATO. He's already appeared in two games with a single assist. Look for him to actually be on the top 32 list next year ;)

    Scott Glennie concluded his junior career - with 10 points in his final 6 WHL playoff games - but was unable to help the Brandon Wheat Kings to the second round of the playoffs. He signed an ELC with the Stars, and is now in Texas playing in the AHL.

    Austin Watson made his pro debut in the AHL for the Milwaukee Admirals. In limited ice time, he has yet to appear on the scoresheet in 5 games.

    Andrew Crescenzi is another OHL'er signing an ATO to get a bit of pro experience. He's a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect and is playing for the Marlies.

    Brad Thiessen picked up a couple of awards - the Harry Holmes award for allowing the fewest goals (with John Curry) and the Baz Bastien Award for AHL's outstanding goaltender of the season. He was 34-7-1 on the season.
     
  10. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    Jesse Blacker of the Owen Sound Attack and Nathan Lieuwen of the Kootenay Ice are OHL and WHL champions respectively. Lieuwen, a goaltender, was the 116th overall pick in the 4th round by the HFNHL Flames, and is undrafted and un-signed by the NHL. After his 16-3 record in the WHL playoffs and his Final Series MVP award I'm sure the scouts will be out in force at the Memorial Cup.
     

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