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 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 Barrie Colts are one of the top teams in the OHL’s Eastern Conference. They boast an impressive offense with Kevin Labanc (SJS) leading the league in scoring, and Julius Nattinen (ANA) and Andrew Mangiapane (CGY) providing secondary scoring. They also have impressive backstop MacKenzie Blackwood (NJD) holding the fort between the pipes. Read more»
The Calgary Flames are just now beginning to reap the rewards of patience with the prospect group. After three consecutive quality drafts, there are a number of quality prospects already signed with the team that are either on the verge of playing in the NHL or already there. Among them, Sam Bennett is at the top of the heap, and for good reason.