Photo: Boston College standout and WJC gold medalist Johnny Gaudreau continues to climb in the Calgary Flames' mid-season Top 20 ranking (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The Calgary Flames' talent pool has good depth but will need a better development plan in order to have success getting their prospects to the NHL level. The Abbotsford Heat and the Calgary Flames need to use the same systems in order to make the transition between the levels more seamless for their young prospects. With the NHL team's playoff hopes fading as each week passes, the organization might have some very difficult decisions to make that could bring more high-end prospects and draft selections to Calgary.
Photo: Lance Bouma may have seen another opportunity in the NHL during the 2013 season if a knee injury had not prematurely ended his campaign. (courtesy of Kathleen Hinkel/Icon SMI)
The Calgary Flames finished the 2007-08 regular season in seventh place and secured a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. The team was knocked out in the first round for the third straight year when the Flames lost a hard fought seven game series against the San Jose Sharks.
Photo: T.J. Brodie was a leader on the Abbotsford Heat's defensive corps before he was called up to Calgary, where he has recently skated in the Flames' top-four. (courtesy of Bob Frid/Icon SMI)
The Abbotsford Heat finished comfortably in fourth place in the AHL Western Conference for the 2011-12 regular season, playing in the Calder Cup Playoffs after missing them in the previous year. The Heat swept through the first round but was beaten in five games by the Toronto Marlies in the second round of the playoffs. The team lost to a Marlies team that would end up playing for the Calder Cup.
Photo: Defenseman Patrick Sieloff has delivered highlight reel hits and provided a crease-clearing presence in his first junior season with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Calgary Flames have eight prospects at the junior level this year: one in the OHL, one in the QMJHL, and six in the WHL. The three forwards are an offensively skilled mix of size, speed, scoring, and playmaking abilities that all bring very different attributes to the table. The four defensemen are a blend of size, grit, and physicality along with good offensive skills led by second round picks Tyler Wotherspoon and Patrick Sieloff. The goalie is a raw talent that has been his team's starter for two years and has given the Flames organization more depth at the goaltending position.
Photo: Boston College forward and Calgary Flames prospect John Gaudreau has been a scoring machine since joining the Eagles program, and he has carried that offense over to the 2013 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
To those that follow NCAA hockey, seeing John Gaudreau's name among the goal-scoring leaders at the 2013 World Junior Championship is not a big surprise. The Boston College forward has been tearing it up offensively this season after helping lead that team to a National Championship in 2012 in his freshman season.