The Ontario Hockey League was stocked with talent up front this season and it culminated in a season for the ages for one London Knight. But while Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect Mitchell Marner may have been the top winger this year, he was not the only show in the league.
While the Calgary Flames’ NHL season did not end on much of a positive note, and their AHL affiliate Stockton Heat also missed a playoff berth, it is still a franchise very much in transition and trending the right direction. Despite a difficult year as an organization in the standings, there are a number of young talents to be excited about at all levels. When you go over the list of prospects and young players the Flames currently have in the fold, the feeling is that these difficult years are being put behind them. It has been an altogether difficult season for some, but for others there is recognition that is deserved.
The Calgary Flames have five NCAA prospects. All five are eligible to be signed to pro contracts, but three of them have completed senior seasons that will force Brad Treliving and crew into decision-making time. While it remains to be seen what will happen with the likes of Mark Jankowski or John Gilmour, we are starting to see the blending of the old management’s building plan with the potentially new and different blueprint of the current management.
The Calgary Flames prospect pipeline is an interesting combination when you look at it top to bottom.There is some exceptional high-end talent coupled with some depth players and role players, who seem like grinders at best. In other words, there may be a lack of middle ground from the high to the low. Nevertheless, the team has on hand some really strong blue-line depth and some reasonable center depth with several individual players having strong years. This is a system bristling with high end talent, but there is some considerable risk as well. There are some big moves and a few surprises in this mid-season rank to boot, so strap in.
Sticks are both figuratively and literally on fire in this week’s edition of Prospect Impressions. Andrew Mangiapane and Brendan Leipsic score impressive goals, joining a trio of players in Europe who provided creative entries of their own. Make sure to check in this week to see why Bobby Ryan’s snipe will forever be known as the “puppy goal!” Read more»