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kehatch

Which Flames Prospects Will Join The Heat Next Season?

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As the title says, which players do you think will join the Heat next season?  My picks:

 

Granlund: © His military commitment will be completed.  I assume he will follow his brothers path and head over.  One of the Flames more exciting contracts.  Will be great to see what he can do on NA ice given his pro experience.  

 

Hanowski: (RW) Acquired in the Iginla trade.  Having a great playoffs.  Hopefully there aren't any issues getting him signed and he will be a good piece going forward. 

 

Ramage: (RD) Another college player.  He is a big, physical, right handed shot D.  Assuming the Flames ink him to an NHL deal he could be a big help on the back end.  

 

Elson: (LW) Can't say I am big on Elson.  But he is already inked to a 2-way deal so he will likely turn pro next season for the Heat.  Despite his potential lack of NHL potential he may turn into a very good AHL player.  

 

Wotherspoon: (LD) Recently signed to a 2-way deal he is a sure thing to turn pro next season.  Great 2-way D with NHL upside.  

 

Ortio: (Goalie) He made his debut once before but didn't transition well to the NA game.  Went back to Europe where he has been very good.  Probably time to try him out again on the NA ice.  Kipper like butterfly goalie.  Was the heir apparent until his not so good NA debut.  

 

Brossoit: (Goalie) He is having a good CHL career.  He qualifies for one more season in the CHL so the Flames may leave him their for a season.  But given our need for goalies I wouldn't be surprised to see him join Ortio with the Heat.  

 

Ferland: (LW) Ferland made the jump this season but he struggled.  He returned to junior.  He will be back next season.  Hopefully the transition goes better this time.  

 

Other Possibilities:

 

Kulak and Culkin both qualify for one more year in the CHL.  They are also at the age where they can play in the AHL if the Flames want.  Neither are high profile enough to make the jump early IMO and will probably play out their last season in the CHL.  But given the lack of options at D for the Heat this season they have a chance of earning an AHL spot at camp.  

 

Gaudreau is ready for the AHL according to the Flames brass.  But chances are he does at least one more year of college.  In fact, the safe money is him going for his final two years and graduating.  He is a little guy and the extra time to fill out won't hurt him.  Plus, having a college degree to fall back on would be the smart move.  

 

The Flames also hold the rights for Nick Larson.  He will graduate this season and the Flames have the option to sign him to a 2-way deal.  Personally I think signing him to an NHL deal is unlikely.  His offensive numbers have gone down the last 3 seasons and he was limited to 9-points in 40-games this season in the NCAA.  If they like him they might ink him to an AHL deal on the Heat I guess.  But chances are they cut ties.    

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Granlund: Would LOVE to see what he can bring on the NA ice. I think he has huge potential, especially after his impressive showing at the last WJC. I'd like to see him put on a bit more muscle and work on his defensive game a bit more, but would enjoy seeing what he can do in the AHL.

 

Hanowski: I've seen mixed reviews on him, some saying he has 1st line potential, others saying he will be a 3rd liner. He has been great in the playoffs so far, and hopefully he can take SCSU to the finals (hopefully against Yale & Agostino!), but after that im hoping we get him signed and over here with the Heat.

 

Ramage: I fully expect the Flames to ink him to a deal soon, and rightfully so. As you said, he has a right handed shot and is big & physical - something the Flames are lacking on the backend (at frontend, actually).

 

Elson: I don't really care for him either particularly... especially with the backlog of talent that we have at left wing.

 

Wotherspoon: VERY excited to see him on the Heat next season! I loved how he performed for Canada at the WJC!! Was one of the bright spots, and actually moved up in the roster after impressing the coaches. Great prospect.

 

Ortio/Brossoit: Hard to tell what to expect here... Im assuming that with the current backlog of goalies, that the Heat will move Brust at the end of the season. However, their is then room for 4 goalies. Two with the Heat and two with the flames, and we currently have Ramo/Ortio/Taylor/Irving/Macdonald/Brossoit. Plus it is possible that the Flames try and get a more proven goalie in the offseason, such as Bishop. Personally, I would roll with Ramo/New goalie on the Flames and Taylor/Brossoit or Ortio on the Heat & let the other one stay where they are for another season. Let Irving and Macdonald go.

 

Ferland: I live in Saskatoon for school, and as such, was able to get a bunch of updates/info on Ferland. Ever since being sent back down and traded to Saskatoon, he has been tearing it up. He had 9 goals and 22 assists for 31 points in 30 games with the Blades, and was a +24. He operated at a 1.03 ppg pace, good for fourth on the team. I wouldn't be opposed to giving him another shot with the Heat, especially since he is one of our only bigger left wingers.

 

Other Possibilities: Kulak & Culkin: Doesn't really matter to me what happens with either of these two. Either option works.

 

Other Possibilities: Gaudreau: I would really really like to see Johnny make the jump to Pro. I think he has dominated in the NCAA, and has accomplished all he can there, and at that level. Time to see what he can bring in the AHL and to get him working with team trainers on adding body weight. That being said, if he remains in the NCAA for another season, I wouldn't be overly upset. Patience is never a bad thing when developing prospects.

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Sorry, for Hanowski I feel the Flames are looking at him as NHL ready.  The guy has been a leader at every level, and I'm sure they will give him a tryout on the Flames for a few games.  If they like what they see, then Hano stays for the rest of the season.  If they don't like what they see, he goes to the A.

 

It could also be part of Hano's negotiations that if Calgary wants to sign him, he gets a start in the NHL first, and then they go from there, or else he walks.  Business is business.

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Sorry, for Hanowski I feel the Flames are looking at him as NHL ready.  The guy has been a leader at every level, and I'm sure they will give him a tryout on the Flames for a few games.  If they like what they see, then Hano stays for the rest of the season.  If they don't like what they see, he goes to the A.

 

It could also be part of Hano's negotiations that if Calgary wants to sign him, he gets a start in the NHL first, and then they go from there, or else he walks.  Business is business.

 

I would not be opposed to that at all! Too bad we can't get him over here before the season is done, would be perfect to give him a few games with us to close out the season!

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It woudln't shock me to see both Granlund and Ortio stay in Europe. i think both still have things to prove over there and i think both are a little further away so may not be a bad idea to keep them home. i think it depends on how training camp goes but dont' be suprsied if both are playing in Europe next year. Especially when Granlund just saw his brother, who is far more talented, really struggle with the transition. i won't be shocked either way, just may not bank on them being members of the heat next year is all

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It woudln't shock me to see both Granlund and Ortio stay in Europe. i think both still have things to prove over there and i think both are a little further away so may not be a bad idea to keep them home. i think it depends on how training camp goes but dont' be suprsied if both are playing in Europe next year. Especially when Granlund just saw his brother, who is far more talented, really struggle with the transition. i won't be shocked either way, just may not bank on them being members of the heat next year is all

 

huh? Mikael struggling in the AHL?  Maybe you mean that Mikael has had a hard time transitioning to the NHL?

 

The Wild just recalled him again, he was deadly-effective in the AHL and it's just a matter of time before he's a regular with the Wild.

http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2013/4/4/4183438/mikael-granlund-recalled-minnesota-wild

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Granlund: © Great player, excited to see him here.  I don't care which league he plays in, as long he's on the top two lines.  We should be developing him to be a second-line scoring center.   He's good enough for the AHL, but I only want him there if he makes the top one or two positions.  Otherwise, there's nothing wrong with him developing for another year in Finland, allowing him to emerge as one of their elite players. p.s.. He's grown two inches since we drafted him, and he's bigger than his brother now. 


 


Ortio: (Goalie) He's ready now.  I don't know why anyone's been disapointed in him, ever.  His development is incredibly advanced for a 21-year-old goaltender.  Not even sure how or why we expected him to be a star in his first two AHL games at that age.  This year was another Huge leap forward for Ortio.  He emerged as a starter in SM-Liiga, and dominated as the 8th-best goaltender in the league (nobody above him was anywhere near as young).   His improvement continued into the playoffs, where he finished as the 5th-best save percentage in the league.   


 


This presents a problem.  Unlike Granlund, there is very little else for Ortio to do in SM-Liiga.  I suppose he could set a goal of being the best goaltender in the league, but it could also leave him stagnant.   He really should be in the AHL, and in a starting position.  


 


He'll make the Heat, but I will be Extremely dissapointed if they use him as a backup.  If that even becomes part of the discussion, then they should loan him to another AHL team.   The Flames have work to do with their goaltender positions.  And it Starts with whatever the heck they're going to do with Danny Taylor.  IMHO, he should be Kipper's backup next season.  It ends with Irving.  IMHO, they should loan him out to another AHL team.


 


Brossoit: (Goalie) Wow, do we ever have an enviable problem in goal.  It's not right to have two top prospects sharing time in net.  They both need starting positions or I can promise you now that both their careers are write-offs.  One only needs to look at the Flames past goaltending prospects to show that.  Already one of the top 3 goaltenders in the WHL.   Further time in this league could be potentially be stagnating, but not as stagnating as being a backup goaltender in the AHL.  For that reason, he may need one more year.   A possible solution may actually be to trade him to a WHL team that's not so strong, where he can be challenged further.   With the emergence of Tristan Jarry, that may just happen.  But all it does is delay the problem of our goaltending glut by one year, maximum.


 


Gaudreau:  Very excited to see him in development camp.  Not sure what else he can achieve at the US College level.  He's already the top candidate for the Hobey Baker award.   I'm interested to see if he makes the jump to the AHL.  I think he has a legitimate shot at becoming an NHL star.  I think he should seriously consider putting off the school, depending on how training camp goes.


 


Hanowski:   Sign him.  (RW) Really excited for this guy, as we have nobody on the right-hand side.  I hope he cracks our fourth line in the NHL, but if not he'll be a fantastic addition with the Heat.


 


Ramage: (RD) Don't see him making the Flames this year but excited to see how he handles the AHL.  Man, do we ever need big RH D-men.


 


Elson: (LW) meh 


 


Wotherspoon: (LD) agreed, will be fantastic addition and probably moving on upwards.


 


Ferland: (LW) He's been having some struggles in the WHL as well as the AHL.  Looks like a guy that may need to transition from a scoring role to more of a defensive role in the AHL.


 


One thing for sure:  I won't look anything like this.   We all know many more deals are coming between now and next year. 


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It woudln't shock me to see both Granlund and Ortio stay in Europe. i think both still have things to prove over there and i think both are a little further away so may not be a bad idea to keep them home. i think it depends on how training camp goes but dont' be suprsied if both are playing in Europe next year. Especially when Granlund just saw his brother, who is far more talented, really struggle with the transition. i won't be shocked either way, just may not bank on them being members of the heat next year is all

 

It sounds like Granlund extended for one more season in Europe.  

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A great article on some of Calgary's NCAA and European prospects.  Gives a nice insight.

 

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/88197/calgary-flames-possess-variety-of-talent-in-ncaa-and-europe/

 

A week older article, this is an update on Hockey's Future's top 20 Prospects for the Flames.  Interesting enough by their criteria, they removed Brodie and Horak from the list as both have played more than 65 games in the NHL.

 

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/87017/skilled-forwards-lead-the-way-in-calgary-flames-top-20-update/

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Ferland: (LW) He's been having some struggles in the WHL as well as the AHL.  Looks like a guy that may need to transition from a scoring role to more of a defensive role in the AHL.

 

Uhm, what? He has not been struggling in the WHL at ALL. In fact, he has been very dominant... don't know what your looking at.

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Uhm, what? He has not been struggling in the WHL at ALL. In fact, he has been very dominant... don't know what your looking at.

 

Not as dominant as he was last year, imho.  Expectations change for over-age WHLers....was expecting a bit more.  jmho.

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Not as dominant as he was last year, imho.  Expectations change for over-age WHLers....was expecting a bit more.  jmho.

 

9 goals, 22 assists for 31 points in 30 games and a +24. What were you expecting? Just curious.

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9 goals, 22 assists for 31 points in 30 games and a +24. What were you expecting? Just curious.

 

Well, given his size, my expectation was that he'd make the Heat, to be honest. 

 

Given playing in the WHL, I'd expect similar or better point production to last year.  He had 1.4 ppg last year, so you'd want to see more than 40 points over 30 games this season.

 

I know it's a different team and all.  Lots of reasons for it.   But it's unfortunate that most of it was a drop in goal production.

 

I could be wrong.  We'll see what happens when he plays with the Heat next year.

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huh? Mikael struggling in the AHL?  Maybe you mean that Mikael has had a hard time transitioning to the NHL?

 

The Wild just recalled him again, he was deadly-effective in the AHL and it's just a matter of time before he's a regular with the Wild.

http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2013/4/4/4183438/mikael-granlund-recalled-minnesota-wild

 

Well considering i never once said he was struggling in the AHL, yes he is struggling with the transition to the NHL. Not saying it makes him less of a prospect just that the transition to the pro game has been a transition so I don't think Markus is going to be as quick to jump over.

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Ortio, if we know what's good for us, should make the Heat this year.

 

Unbelievable development this year.

 

One of the top 5 goaltenders within his age category, imho.  Not bad for a 6th round pick.

 

Just amazing how we mismanage goaltenders.  His performance in the AHL was very similar to Sami Aittokallio, who is the same age, but drafted much earlier.  The difference is that Colorado actually continued to develop him in the AHL, where he plateaued at the level where Ortio horrified us (because we have no clue when it comes to G prospects).  Colorado, being a rational team, was happy with this.

http://theahl.com/stats/player.php?id=4587

 

Ortio, on the other hand, continued to improve all season and became a leader in SM-Liiga.  He will impress.

 

Does that mean we'll give him the lead AHL spot?  Who knows.  We have like 20 goaltenders now.  I'm totally confused.

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Ortio, if we know what's good for us, should make the Heat this year.

 

Unbelievable development this year.

 

One of the top 5 goaltenders within his age category, imho.  Not bad for a 6th round pick.

 

Just amazing how we mismanage goaltenders.  His performance in the AHL was very similar to Sami Aittokallio, who is the same age, but drafted much earlier.  The difference is that Colorado actually continued to develop him in the AHL, where he plateaued at the level where Ortio horrified us (because we have no clue when it comes to G prospects).  Colorado, being a rational team, was happy with this.

http://theahl.com/stats/player.php?id=4587

 

Ortio, on the other hand, continued to improve all season and became a leader in SM-Liiga.  He will impress.

 

Does that mean we'll give him the lead AHL spot?  Who knows.  We have like 20 goaltenders now.  I'm totally confused.

 

i'm confused here. You have consistantly said you dont think the Flames gave irving the right type of development becuase he didn't get to play in the a and now you are saying the same thing about Ortio? Can't ahve it both ways, only one guy gets to play.

 

I actually ahve zero problem with what the flames did with Ortio. he clearly was overmatched in the A so they sent him to a place where he would be comfortable and have a chance to be THEE number one and play. I fully expect they will give him a shot at the Heat next year but he's got to earn it you just can't give it to him and so far he hasn't earned it. Will he next year? Let's hope so becuase I would like to see him develop but that is also on Ortio as well.

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Ok, since this thread was resurrected without an update on contract information, I will update contracts and current play for everyone so that we all understand where we can begin to make informed decisions. You cannot simply look at who might come in but also who might go out at the same time.

 

Recent signings include:

 

Granlund C: 3 year ELC 925K

Berra G: 1 year ELC 1.4 million

Hanowski RW: 2 year ELC 900K (I think 1 year is getting burned right now because he has started playing here already)

Ramage D: 2 year ELC 900K

Wotherspoon D: 3 year ELC 925K

Brossoit G: 3 year ELC 659K

 

Young prospects currently signed and being looked at in the NHL and making a solid point to stay:

 

Reinhart C/W

Horak C/W

Baertschi LW

 

Young Players who NEED to be re-signed as they are now NHL regulars and good ones at that

 

Backlund C

Brodie D

 

Young players who are NHL regulars that are OK and I wouldn't mind re-signing or losing

 

Butler D

 

3, 4 or possibly 5 young prospects having a shot at the NHL club for next season, there is room for new people to jump right onto the heat.

 

Additionally, there are a number of players who have not made the NHL club and are up for contract renewal, not sure if they will even be offered contracts and they are as follows:

 

Nemisz W (likely given a 2-way, at 22 not ready to give up yet)

Cameron C (at 24 he is approaching his best before date and is being passed by younger guys. 1 or 2 year 2 way at most)

Lamb D (See Cameron)

Irving G (might sign elsewhere by choice after being left entirely in limbo this season)

Aliu W (A good call up, 2 or 3 year 2 way is fine by me)

Bouma C (Injury hurt him this season, re-sign and give him his shot next season)

Byron W (Bitten by the injury bug, lots of ability but can he make the jump? 1 year 2 way?)

Bancks W (Not going to be an NHL regular but great dressing room guy from what I hear and see on Flames videos, re-sign AHL)

Patterson C (Not making any progression. Being passed by many others. AHL at best, time to move on)

Breen D (Big D man still making improvements, 2 year 2 way and see what happens)

Walter C (Time's run out, time to move on)

Kolanos C (Time's run out, time to move on)

Testewuide RW (Why did we get this guy? at 26 and his numbers are dropping?)

Taylor G (Good AHL tender and a decent call up, I would re-sign if Kipper chooses to retire)

 

Based on current numbers, there are 7 veteran NHLers holding forward positions on the Flames. Re-signing Backlund is a must so that is 8 spots gone. Re-sign the toughness of McGrattan which is 9 spots gone. That really leaves 3 spots open for players to step up. Competing for those 3 spots I would say are: Baertschi, Horak, Reinhart, Bouma, Hanowski, Aliu, Byron (in order). Wouldn't mind Aliu and or Byron sitting in the press box as extra bodies. Not really stunting the growth of prospects by them sitting when we basically know their ceiling already.

 

With current numbers we have 4 D signed. Brodie is a definite lock for a 5th spot. That leaves 2 spots open. I would prefer to bring in 1 more set D but it all depends on guys like Ramage, Cundari and Breen.

 

Net all depends on Kipper's decision for next season. I am not sure how quickly he decides. If it goes into free agency, we risk losing MacDonald as a veteran back up. If we sign Mac quickly expecting Kipper to retire but he decides to play out his contract then we have a huge log jam in the AHL nets.

 

In all honesty, I think you will likely see Irving walk, Berra and Kipper or MacDonald on the Flames, Ortio will stay overseas and then Taylor and Brossoit on the Heat. I know I have left out Ramo, but he depends entirely on Kipper's decision and the path the Flames want to go. I would not be surprised to see the Flames sign him to retain his rights but allow him to go back to play in the KHL.

 

Hanowski will likely play on the Heat next season to improve his skating. He knows his skating needs a little work, but he has tons of promise. Gaudreau, Gillies, Jankowski, Arnold and Agostino (I know I may have missed a couple) will stay in college, Ferland will play for the Heat (I think it was more a traffic jam on the heat and his continued eligibility for junior that sent him back down, not a can't hack it situation). Granlund is signed so will likely come over to the Heat.

 

Essentially, I think that the Heat could look as follows (with only our NHL prospects listed, not stating specific lines just filling numbers)

 

Granlund, Street, Eddy

Elson, Ferland, Howse

Hanowski, Reinhart, Aliu / Byron

(AHL Filler or last chances)

 

Breen, Wotherspoon

Ramage, Martin

(Other Fills Sielhoff, Kulak, or Culkin maybe?)

 

Taylor

Brossoit

 

Calgary could actually have a fairly positive outlook depending on drafting, UFA signings or trades as early as next season thanks to their cap space and how the young guys have played so far the past few games.

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Looks like MacDonald signed an extension according to the Flames website... Changes the outlook a little.

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Pretty sure Berra and Granlund will be playing with the Heat next year. The question is now if Kipper doesnt retire does Ramo still come over next year because Mac is signed.

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Pretty sure Berra and Granlund will be playing with the Heat next year. The question is now if Kipper doesnt retire does Ramo still come over next year because Mac is signed.

 

I think how Mac's contract is structured and the fact that its only one year, the flames can easily bury him in the minors if they need to. So I think the Flames will be trying to sign and bring Ramo over for next season. Then if Kipper decides to come back next year, they will have to determine who they want: Kipper/Ramo or Kipper/Mac.

 

If they decide to go with Kipper/Mac combo. Ramo goes to the A with Berra. If Ramo is ready then they send Mac down.

 

I was thinking Ortio might come over and the Heat would have Ortio/Berra next year.

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Feaster said during a recent interview on the Fan that he sees Ortio as being ready to be a starter in the AHL.  Sounds like he will be over here.  

 

That leaves (IMO):

 

Kipper/MacDonald/New

Ramo/Berra

 

Ortio

Brossoit/Berra/Taylor/Brust/MacDonald

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Feaster said during a recent interview on the Fan that he sees Ortio as being ready to be a starter in the AHL.  Sounds like he will be over here.  

 

That leaves (IMO):

 

Kipper/MacDonald/New

Ramo/Berra

 

Ortio

Brossoit/Berra/Taylor/Brust/MacDonald

NHL

1a.Ramo

1b.MacDonald

Backup Berra

 

AHL

1a.Ortio

1b.Brossoit

Backup Taylor or Brust

 

Irving walks

Kipper retires or gets traded

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i'm confused here. You have consistantly said you dont think the Flames gave irving the right type of development becuase he didn't get to play in the a and now you are saying the same thing about Ortio? Can't ahve it both ways, only one guy gets to play.

 

I actually ahve zero problem with what the flames did with Ortio. he clearly was overmatched in the A so they sent him to a place where he would be comfortable and have a chance to be THEE number one and play. I fully expect they will give him a shot at the Heat next year but he's got to earn it you just can't give it to him and so far he hasn't earned it. Will he next year? Let's hope so becuase I would like to see him develop but that is also on Ortio as well.

 

It wasn't my decision to have as many goaltending prospects as we do. 

 

My hope at this point is that all of their young goaltending prospects play first-string minutes next year at the highest level possible.

 

For Ortio, that means the AHL.  For Irving, that also means the AHL, or that they give up on him as a prospect.   If they're both considered prospects, then they should both play in the AHL and one of them should get loaned to another team.  I believe that's what should have happened last year, but yes, they handled Ortio better than they handled Irving, because Ortio at least got to play.

 

The goaltending situation will be Very interesting this fall.

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It wasn't my decision to have as many goaltending prospects as we do. 

 

My hope at this point is that all of their young goaltending prospects play first-string minutes next year at the highest level possible.

 

For Ortio, that means the AHL.  For Irving, that also means the AHL, or that they give up on him as a prospect.   If they're both considered prospects, then they should both play in the AHL and one of them should get loaned to another team.  I believe that's what should have happened last year, but yes, they handled Ortio better than they handled Irving, because Ortio at least got to play.

 

The goaltending situation will be Very interesting this fall.

 

I would have agreed with you on Irving a couple of years ago but honestly the opportunity has been there now for Irving to jump up and take the starting job at the AHL and he continues to not use the most of the opportunity so in that regard i'm not sure I agree anymore on Irving. At this point I think it's best that Irving move on and you go forward with hopefully Ortio taking the starting job but I agree if he doens't looking into a loan at the AHL level would be wise.

 

I'm not thrilled with the way Irving was developed by the Flames but at the same time I dont' think Irving really made a lot of decision for them easy.

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agreed Cross....I really don't know what to do with Irving now.   If it were the Flame's first time bungling up their goaltender developement, I would hang it on Irving.  Given the Flame's history, I have to assume it's a bit of both.

 

So, if Ortio gets the starting position, what do we do with Brossoit, Berra, etc?

 

Is it a given that Brust is on his way out then?

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