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.
The struggles of the Calgary Flames in the 2015-16 season have been high-profile. They have failed to build upon a Cinderella run last year that saw the team beat the analytics and crash out after getting to the Division Finals. With struggles coming from the big club, you would like to at least see some good coming from their AHL affiliate in their inaugural season in Stockton, California. Unfortunately, it that has not been the case.
Calgary Flames General Manager Brad Treliving has acquired an embarrassment of riches in the course of his tenure, and recently started to see results from past drafts and acquisitions. After a surprising 2014-15 season, the Flames should shed the label of underdogs, as former prospects like Josh Jooris and Sean Monahan graduated along the way to leading the scrappy Flames into the playoffs.
With their first playoff appearance after just six years removed, the Calgary Flames continue to develop in the right direction with their current system of prospects, coaches and management in place. One bright spot this past season was Micheal Ferland, who was one of six players picked by Calgary in the 2010 NHL Entry draft. Ferland provided a physical presence during the first round of the playoffs, along with timely offensive contributions to help eliminate the Vancouver Canucks.
Along with Ferland, the Flames selected Max Reinhart, John Ramage, and Bill Arnold in the 2010 draft class, which is developing into a hard-working group of prospects that are starting to contribute and make an impact at the NHL level.
The American Hockey League’s Western Conference will undergo some major re-structuring over the summer as five AHL teams will be playing in California beginning in the 2015-16 season. But before the westward expansion takes place, there are several elite prospects playing in the Western Conference this season looking to make the full-time jump to the NHL. Read more»
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