Flames CHL prospects season review

By Jon Hagan





Western Hockey League  Dustin Boyd

Ranging from goal scorers to gritty role players
and from towering behemoths to diminutive speedsters, the Calgary Flames, with
12 prospects from the Western Hockey League and three from the Ontario
Hockey League, are amongst the leaders in the NHL at drafting CHL players. 
The review is no particular order, but does start with the Hockey’s Future No. 1
prospect for the Flames, Dustin Boyd.  

Western
Hockey League


Dustin
Boyd
, C
Moose Jaw Warriors
– Selected in the
3rd
round (
98th
Overall) in 200
4

Recently
signed to a contract by the Flames, the 6’0 185 lbs centerman’s most
productive season was this past campaign, which saw him post 90
points (48 goals, 42 assists) in 64 games.  These statistics placed him second on the
Warriors, and fourth overall in the league scoring race.  His plus/minus rating of
+27 placed him fourth on his team, and eighth overall in the league.  He has
played the last three seasons with Moose Jaw, and in 265 career WHL games he has
posted 217 points (103 goals, 114 assists) and 260 penalty minutes.  

Earlier this season,
during the Christmas break, Boyd proved himself to be a vital cog in Canada’s
success at the IIHF World Junior Championships, as he scored four goals, and added
two assists for six points.  Currently, Boyd
and the rest of the Warriors are embroiled in a fierce battle with the
Calgary Hitmen in the second round of the WHL playoffs.  In the first
round, Moose Jaw dispatched the Brandon Wheat Kings four games to two.  In
11 postseason games, Boyd has posted seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) and is -4 with 10 penalty
minutes.  

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Moose
Jaw Warriors

WHL

64

48

42

90

34

27

 

Matt
Keetley
,
G
Medicine Hat Tigers
– Selected in the
5th
round (1
58th
Overall) in 200
5

Having
just edged out Toronto prospect Justin Pogge, the leader in all
other categories, for the league lead in regular season wins with 42, Calgary
prospect Matt Keetley
is aiming to do the same in the playoffs.  Thus far, after eight games, he
is perfect with eight wins.  His goals against average is an amazing 1.38
and his save percentage is .944. 

Team

League

GP

W

L

OTL

SL

GAA

PCT

Medicine
Hat Tiger
s

WHL

62

4213152.09.916

 

Gord
Baldwin
,
D
Medicine Hat Tigers
– Selected in the
3rd
round (
69th
Overall) in 200
5

A
giant at 6’5, 205 lbs, Baldwin is playing like a man possessed in the playoffs for the Hat.  After
eight games, Baldwin’s eight points, all assists, are good for third overall in team
scoring, and second on the team for scoring by a defenseman, one point behind Cam Barker (CHI). 
Five of his eight points were on the power play, and he is fourth on the team in penalty
minutes.  He is a big part of the Tiger defense, and a key reason that, in
the previous round, Saskatoon managed only a meager 39 shots in over four
periods of hockey on Apr. 8 while the Tigers pasted Anton Khudobin (MIN) with 89 shots for
the win.  

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Medicine
Hat Tigers

WHL

71

420241199

 

Brett
Sutter
,
C –
Red Deer Rebels
– Selected in the
6th
round (1
79th
Overall) in 200
5

With
a similar playing style to Kris Draper, Red Deer’s Brett Sutter, with the
exception of plus/minus, posted personal
bests this season in all categories.  His 35 points would have put him
fourth on the team in scoring, but with his points from the Ice factored in, he
sat in first.  His reputation precedes him and he will
always be expected to perform as one of his progenitors has.  

Team

LeagueGPGAPPIM+/-
Red Deer RebelsWHL579263580-15
Kootenay
Ice
WHL168715212

 

Kris
Hogg,

LW
Lethbridge Hurricanes

– Selected in the
4th
round (1
21st
Overall) in 2004

After
finishing the 2005-06 season with a career low in plus/minus (-19) and a career high in
penalty minutes (142), the 5’11, 179 lbs Hogg is seeking to redeem himself
defensively, but he will not be able to do that from the box.  He is an
aggressive player with a proclivity for penalties, and during the regular season
he was second on the Hurricanes in penalty minutes.  In six postseason games with the Hurricanes, he has three
goals.  

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Lethbridge
Hurricanes

WHL

71 20 20 40 142 -19

 

Tyler
Johnson
,
C
Seattle
Thunderbirds
– Selected in
the
6th
round (1
73rd
Overall) in 200
3

Johnson
played most of three seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors, and then split his
final Warrior year with the Rebels.  This past season saw him starting with
the Seattle Thunderbirds and playing a career-high 66 games.  He was below
his best output season in total points, but he tied his most productive season
goal-wise with 10.  He played seven games with the Thunderbirds in
the postseason before being ousted by the Portland Winter Hawks  and posted
seven points in seven
games.  

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Seattle
Thunderbird
s

WHL

66 10 16 26 56 -1

 

Adam
Cracknell
,
RW
Kootenay Ice
– Selected in the
9th
round (
279th
Overall) in 2004

Cracknell
is a big man who can score, but after
a breakout season with the Ice that saw Cracknell post career highs all
categories except for games played, he approached the postseason a bit more
conservatively: six games, five points (1 goal, 4 assists) and -5 rating.  His
contribution was not enough to keep the Ice from falling four games to two to
the Kelowna Rockets.  He
was recently moved to Calgary’s top affiliate, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights of
the AHL, where, after six games, he has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and a
plus/minus of -1.

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Kootenay
Ice

WHL

72 42 51 93 85 29

 

Matt
Schneider
,
C –
Tri-City Americans
– Selected in the
7th
round (
200th
Overall) in 2004

Being
6’6 represents tremendous potential.  Being 6’6 and 185lbs
represents a tremendous amount of unused space.  Lanky forward Matt
Schneider really needs to pack on some pounds, and fill out that
long frame of his.  If he can do this, he could be a decent acquisition for
the Flames, but considering he is almost 21, and the fact that he has yet to do
it, it may be difficult for him to gain the necessary weight.   

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Tri-City
Americans

WHL

58 25 13 38 46 -8

 

J.D.
Watt
,
RW
Vancouver Giants
– Selected in the
4th
round (1
11th
Overall) in 200
5

Watt
is regarded as a grinding, pesky type
of player who likes to get in your face.  The 6’1, 201lbs winger, has
modestly improved his statistics this year over his draft year.  He notched
two more goals, 22 more assists and has a plus/minus differential of +24 — all
in eight fewer games.  This overall increase of 24 points, and the
tightening up of his defensive game bodes well for him.  Nine games into
the postseason he has two assists and a rating of +2 with a team-leading 28
minutes worth of penalties.  

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Vancouver
Giants

WHL

58 8 29 37 199 8

 

Fred
Wikner
,
RW
– Prince
George Cougars
– Selected in the
6th
round (18
2nd
Overall) in 2004

In
his first season with the Cougars, the 20-year-old rookie Swede was tied for
eighth in Cougar scoring with fellow rookie Dana Tyrell.  With this
in mind, Wikner is not regarded as offensively talented, and is therefore not
expected to contribute in this manner.  His role will be that of a
forechecker, and agitator.  He is sometimes inclined to play a bit dirty,
and it’s for this reason he gets under an opponent’s skin.   He is
also a good skater who played two seasons with Frolunda of the Swedish junior
League.  He only managed one game in the Cougars’ unsuccessful postseason.     

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Prince
George
Cougar
s

WHL

56 10 8 18 32 -9

 

Myles Rumsey, D
– Swift Current Broncos – Selected in the 7t
h
round (
221st
Overall) in 2005

In
four playoff games, Rumsey had a team leading -5 (actually, tied with three
others).  He was held without a point, and he chalked up a mere six minutes
in penalties.  Uninspired play left his team handily expelled from the
playoffs by the superior play of the Medicine Hat Tigers.  It’s easy to see
Calgary added Rumsey simply for defensive depth.  

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Swift
Current Broncos

WHL

67 0 12 12 116 -21

 

Ontario
Hockey League


Ryan
Donally
, LW
Sudbury Wolves
– Selected in the
3rd
round (
97th
Overall) in 200
3

In
259 career OHL games, the 6’5, 226 lbs left winger has posted 79 points (33
goals, 46 assists).  It would seem that he has the size, but not the other tools.  The
trade to the Sudbury Wolves didn’t seem to do much to awaken the sleeping giant,
and, unfortunately, he no longer seems like a viable prospect.

TeamLeagueGPGAPPIM+/-
Sudbury
Wolves
OHL39551076-2
Kitchener
Rangers
OHL800029-1

 

Kevin
Lalande
, G
Belleville Bulls
– Selected in the
5th
round (1
28th
Overall) in 200
5

With
Matt Keetley, the
Flames grabbed the Western Hockey League leader in wins.  With Kevin
Lalande, they drafted the goalie with the third-best save percentage in the OHL. 
In the 2005-06 All-Star Classic, Lalande split goaltending duties with Columbus
prospect Dan LaCosta.  He faced 17 shots and made 16
saves.  Despite suffering a season-ending knee injury Feb. 24 in a
game versus the Guelph Storm, Lalande was nominated for OHL goaltender of the
year.  In the end he finished third in voting behind Buffalo prospect Adam
Dennis
and Atlanta prospect Dan Turple.      

Team

League

GP

W

L

OTL

SL

GAA

PCT

Belleville
Bulls

OHL

50 24 17 3 2 3.08 .916

 

Matt
Pelech
,
D
London Knights
– Selected in the
1st
round (26th Overall) in 200
5

Another
gigantic defenseman drafted by the Flames (the other being Gord Baldwin),
Pelech is a fluid skater who is not considered an offensive type
defenseman.  He would rather make the safe play by putting the puck off the
boards to relieve pressure than risk it with a cross-ice pass, and he forces the
play at the blue line.  He has a good shot, and rarely makes defensive
mistakes.  In 10 games with the high-flying London Knights, Pelech is
second on the team with 26 minutes in penalties and +3.   

TeamLeagueGPGAPPIM+/-
London
Knights
OHL34178803
Sarnia
Sting
OHL1802259-10

 

Daniel
Ryder
,
C
Peterborough Petes
– Selected in the
3rd
round (
74th
Overall) in 2005

Ryder could very well have
a bright future.  He sees the ice very well, is an elusive skater and has
no problem taking a hit to make the play.  He patiently allows plays to
develop before acting, and quite often can make tape to tape passes through
crowds.

He
played three fewer games this season than he did last, but managed to post
similar numbers.  His plus/minus slipped somewhat, but he seems to be making up
for any defensive lapses in the regular season with fine, solid play in the post
season.  He has +7 and 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) in 10 games. 

Team

League

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Peterborough
Petes

OHL

65384482577

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