Photo: Calgary Flames top prospect Sam Bennett doesn’t turn 20 until June but has used this season to become a full-time contributor to the offense (courtesy of Jose Quiroz/Icon Sportswire)
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.
Photo: Yale University product Ken Agostino has been one of the top pro prospects for the Calgary Flames over the last two seasons, and is a leader for the Stockton Heat in its first season in California (courtesy of Jack Lima)
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.
Photo: Calgary Flames prospect Sam Bennett, along with Sean Monahan, provide the club with a formidable source of strength at center ice (courtesy of Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
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.
Photo: Beau Bennett is ready to break out after getting into injury trouble in each of his last five seasons. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
The Pittsburgh Penguins went into the 2010 NHL Draft looking to increase their offensive depth and came away using four of their six picks that year on forwards. While they have yet to meet their projected potential, several look like they could develop into solid NHL players. Read more»
Photo: San Antonio Rampage forward and Florida Panthers prospect Connor Brickley has been a productive AHL rookie after struggling with injuries during his NCAA career at the University of Vermont (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The Utica Comets and San Antonio Rampage have left their respective AHL divisional opponents behind heading into April, but the Midwest Division is still up for grabs as well as the remaining playoff spots from fourth to eighth place in the Western Conference. Read more»