Jump to content
The Official Site of the Calgary Flames
rickross

Calgary Flames Drafting and Development: Your Analysis

Recommended Posts

I didn't like the yo yo treatment of Baertschi. If he goes on to do great things in Vancouver I will have as much right to say 'told you so' as anyone.

But you can't criticize that while ignoring the great work they did getting Ferland back on track (drafted the season before) or how much success Gaudreau is having (drafted the same season). Or how well our young core is doing.

Every single team has its success stories and it's failures. But I think you are being way to harsh given how successful our young home grown core is (many of them not high picks.)

You are accusing others of ignoring facts but that door swings both ways. I also think a little rational discussion is a good thing personally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we've seen improvements but we were so bad before that just being average looks like a great achievement. Those Darryl Sutter years were completely forgettable.

I like the variety of picks now and the willingness to draft undersized/skilled players. While Poirier and Klimchuk don't look to justify 1st round picks, I think they will still be NHL'ers at some point. I like Karnauhkov. I think he will pan out as a 4th liner with a lot of energy. Hickey looks like NHL material sooner rather than later. Jon Gillies looks like the real deal (hopefully comes back strong from surgery), etc.

Only thing that worries me is the track record of our farm system at progressing development. Some of our best young players were able to by-pass the AHL completely like Monahan, Bennett, and Gaudreau. At the AHL level, we've seen more promising careers steered off the edge of the cliff than that which have matured. For example, Poirier and Klimchuk are not progressing well offensively. Baertschi asked for a trade. There are also a few fringe guys who are almost there but can't take the next step, such as Wotherspoon, Seiloff, Kulak, and Ortio.

I'm not sold that our farm system is effective enough at development.

Let's see. Ferland, Granlund, Bouma, Brodie, Backlund, and Jooris all coming up from the farm. Poirier and Klimchuck working on their D and still progressing. Baertschi was a combination of inappropriately heightened expectations and an attitude ( and hey, he's turned out ok).

It seems to me the farm is doing just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But you can't criticize that while ignoring the great work they did getting Ferland back on track (drafted the season before) or how much success Gaudreau is having (drafted the same season). Or how well our young core is doing.

 

 

Our discussion regarding development was targeted at the AHL, so that would be yes to Ferland, and no to Gaudreau.

 

And, imho that would be no to Ferland as well, because in his two years in the AHL, if anything he regressed a little bit from year one to year two.

 

The best things we did with Ferland, imho, were:

 

-keep him in the WHL as long as possible

-limit his total time in the AHL to just 57 games for his entire career

-give him opportunities to develop in the NHL (given his development time in the WHL, and his size etc)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see. Ferland, Granlund, Bouma, Brodie, Backlund, and Jooris all coming up from the farm. Poirier and Klimchuck working on their D and still progressing. Baertschi was a combination of inappropriately heightened expectations and an attitude ( and hey, he's turned out ok).

It seems to me the farm is doing just fine.

 

Ferland I touched on above,

 

Granlund regressed in the AHL but did well when we got him out of there,

 

Bouma was 5 years ago, and he regressed in the AHL from year 1 to year 2.  Very limited AHL exposure.  Again, his size helped keep him out of there, and most of his development happened in the WHL and the NHL

 

Brodie yes, but it was a long time ago.  To be honest, he also regressed somewhat in the AHL until he got a 54 game season with the big club.

 

Backlund we nearly ruined in the AHL....entire threads on that

 

Jooris developed almost entirely in US College

 

 

So out of those 6 listed, only two have an arguement for "yes"....Ferland and Brodie.  Ferland with big questions.

 

 

Compared to the provided list of 12 players showing regression (not an inclusive list either)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our discussion regarding development was targeted at the AHL, so that would be yes to Ferland, and no to Gaudreau.

And, imho that would be no to Ferland as well, because in his two years in the AHL, if anything he regressed a little bit from year one to year two.

The best things we did with Ferland, imho, were:

-keep him in the WHL as long as possible

-limit his total time in the AHL to just 57 games for his entire career

-give him opportunities to develop in the NHL (given his development time in the WHL, and his size etc)

Ferland had some significant fitness issues, injuries, and personal issues that could easily have derailed his development. The Flames organization did a great job in avoiding that. Development isn't all numbers and odd inferences.

For the record, I am not a big fan of Huska or our current AHL program. I don't think the Flames have done a good job supporting their young guys with talent. The kids looked unprepared at development camp this summer and at main camp in the fall. There is a general lack of success stories outside of Granlund. The number of injuries is also concerning.

But I don't agree with just about anything else you are saying. X player doesn't count. Y player was almost ruined so we will ignore his success. Z player was too long ago. Q player was obviously ruined because of the alignment of the moons of Jupiter.

The radio doesn't need to be off or on full blast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly I think a lot of that is perception rather then reality. Who are these teams that are more commonly finding these gems outside of the top 10? I am speaking of the modern draft.

I am not suggesting the Flames are the best drafting house in the business. But finding and developing Gaudreau, Giordano, and Brodie in the late rounds (or undrafted signing) is a heck of a feather in the cap.

I am sure many of the other rebuilding clubs wish they had more of those late round guys to boast about.

Agree completely, Flames have not been that bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What we are seeing, is regression.  With too many players.  Not even stagnation, but recurring issues of regression:

 

Baertschi    (then progression when he leaves)

Brossoit      (then progression when he leaves)

Granlund    (almost does better when he's with the Flames, by some standards)

Ortio           (almost does better when he's with the Flames, and played, by some standards)

Poirier

Kulak

Kylington   (slowing down with each game)

Wotherspoon

Elson

Arnold     (imho)

Klimchuk (imho)

Sielfoff (imho)

 

 None of the bodled make any sense for you to say they are regressing unless you are just looking at point totals and if that is the case you are missing alot. 

 

I've read and herad multiple reports from the Heat that Kylington is gettin better and better as the season has gone on, not worse. Keep in mind this is a player that coudn't stick in the Swedish Elite league last year and now has stuck as a top 5 dman in the AHL. to suggest that isn't progression is pretty silly.

Porier - had to take a step back to take 2 forwards. Problem with Porier is people forget he was drafted as a raw project and needed to round out his game. First 14 games of this season = 1 Goal 5 points. Next 23= 7 Goals 16 points and he's on pace to add to his assist total this year which I think is really important. Porier is not going to make the NHL for very long being a one trick pony.

Consdiering that both Granlund and Elson  have gotten better each year i don't see where you get the idea they are regressing. Look at Granlund's faceoff totals and tell me he isn't getting better.

Brosoit took his team to the memorial cup as a Flames prospect. How exactly has he gotten better since they traded him?

 

Keep in mind JJ the fact that guys like Kulak, Elson, or Broissoit are even legit NHL prospects speak to positive devleopment becuase the odds that draft picks that low, or in Elson's case a non draft pick, ever becoming NHL options is very low. The fact that KUlak can play at the NHL and not look entirely out of place speaks to positive development. 

 

As i continue to say I think the Flames can get better, but they have a solid development system in place. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they failed each other. It is a business and everyone is different. Tough love doesn't work for everyone. That's where they handled him wrong. Some players get motivated in other ways.

Yes Baertschi was entitled, but the organization also needed to handle him differently.

I compare it to they way they handled Monahan who the coddled and was BH's secret love child. I get that they needed to keep him up or send back to the OHL, but they lived with a lot of mistakes with Monahan and extremely sheltered him, even though I thought Monahan looked really tentative in his game. I am saying they could've done that with Baertschi too.

I heard Baertschi tried to put in time but was sent down, brought up and sent down. I just think the Flames mishandled him as much as he didn't follow through on his end, which is part of development. The Flames failed to develop Baertschi.

The Flames made some mis-steps, yes, but it was Baertschi's attitude and unwillingness to change that failed him. He preferred to get his dad to support his whining then stated he was going to refuse to re-sign. Not until the Flames dumped him and Vancouver basically treated him he same as the Flames did it start to dawn on him that he had better change or it was all over. Some guys get so hung up on early accomplishments they need a severe wake-up call before they get the message.

Monahan on the other hand has always had a tremendous attitude, has been very teachable and gone out of his way to do what he's been told, his early face-off study as an example.

I hope for his sake that Baertschi makes it but to compare the two guys and say that he is a symbol of a faulty Flames development system is nonsense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What we are seeing, is regression.  With too many players.  Not even stagnation, but recurring issues of regression:

 

Baertschi    (then progression when he leaves)

Brossoit      (then progression when he leaves)

Granlund    (almost does better when he's with the Flames, by some standards)

Ortio           (almost does better when he's with the Flames, and played, by some standards)

Poirier

Kulak

Kylington   (slowing down with each game)

Wotherspoon

Elson

Arnold     (imho)

Klimchuk (imho)

Sielfoff (imho)

 

 

That's a big list, with some good, and even high-profile prospects in it.   

 

We can't expect all of them to continue improving.  Obviously some will plateau and stagnate.  That's just the odds.

 

But for regression to be noticeable....

 

Pretty big list.

The total list is nonsense. I don't see Regression in a single one of those players. All those players are continuing to develop, and though their season to season PTS may vary widely for a number of reasons, I hardly think that is the "key" to development.

Probably the only thing truly Regressing is some misplaced expectations on the part of some fans. It's really quite hilarious, many wanted the "Detroit" model of over-simmering but when a player just doesn't blast their way quickly throu the process we think they are a failure. Get a grip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see. Ferland, Granlund, Bouma, Brodie, Backlund, and Jooris all coming up from the farm. Poirier and Klimchuck working on their D and still progressing. Baertschi was a combination of inappropriately heightened expectations and an attitude ( and hey, he's turned out ok).

It seems to me the farm is doing just fine.

 

Working on their D... my goodness.

 

Flames:  Hi kid, you are a one dimensional high end scorer but don't like that.  We want you to be a responsible two-way player.

Prospect:  What?  I'm not an effective two-way player.  I excel at one dimensional high end scoring!

Flames: We will provide you with all the development and support for you to become what you are not.

Prospect:  What?  Why did you draft me then?

Flames: Because you are a one dimensional high end scorer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Working on their D... my goodness.

 

Flames:  Hi kid, you are a one dimensional high end scorer but don't like that.  We want you to be a responsible two-way player.

Prospect:  What?  I'm not an effective two-way player.  I excel at one dimensional high end scoring!

Flames: We will provide you with all the development and support for you to become what you are not.

Prospect:  What?  Why did you draft me then?

Flames: Because you are a one dimensional high end scorer.

 

Unless they are top line talents, one dimensional scorers don't last long in the NHL. If you want to stay in the game, you need to be a responsible two way player. Thats a pretty well known fact. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless they are top line talents, one dimensional scorers don't last long in the NHL. If you want to stay in the game, you need to be a responsible two way player. Thats a pretty well known fact. 

 

Then draft two-way players.

 

Instead of helping prospects be the best that they can be and nurturing their strengths, there is an effort to "average out" players and mold them into a prototypical 3rd line grinder type.  Let's scorers be scorers.  Let Baertschi do his thing.  Let Poirier break the zone early or do whatever made him successful in the Q.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then draft two-way players.

 

Instead of helping prospects be the best that they can be and nurturing their strengths, there is an effort to "average out" players and mold them into a prototypical 3rd line grinder type.  Let's scorers be scorers.  Let Baertschi do his thing.  Let Poirier break the zone early or do whatever made him successful in the Q.

 

 

By why miss out on talent? Especially when defence can be taught. If the want to only draft two way players Flames would have missed out on Brodie. Brodie had all kinds of offensive upsdie, but part of the reason he dropped was defensive game wasn't up to snuff. Your not going to draft a perfect prospect unless your in the top 5 of the draft and even then it's not a given. You can draft players for certain traits and then work on the rest, you don't have to change a player into someone he is not. Porier can still use his speed but do so in a way that is also responsible and fits into the team game. 

 

Funny enough, you mention Baertschi and most Canucks fans will tell you his defensive games is better this year and that allowed him to stay on the ice even though his offence wasn't there yet and now both are clicking. let them play to their stregnths yet, but you have to balance allowing their strenths while working out their weaknesses. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One dimensional offensive players don't exist in the NHL anymore and if they do they are rare and a dying bread. If you want to play in the NHL you have to play on both sides of the puck.

 

To say just let players do what made them successful in junior, is a nice sentiment, but this isn't junior it's pro hockey, if you don't continue to mold your overall game then you will get left behind.

 

So you draft guys with high skill and talent and then mold them into NHL players.

 

I would rather have a guy that can put up 35 points and play solid defense than have a guy who can put up 45-50 points and be a pylon on defense.

 

 

 

I lot of this conversation is asinine, as most of the arguments are based off of what a particular person that a players potential was/is. Baertschi for example, he was never going to be a PPG player, at best he was going to be another Jiri Hudler, a guy who puts up 50 points a year and maybe has that one year where everything clicks and puts up 70. Poirier and Klimchuk are other great examples, this kids had an outside chance, and still do I guess, of being top 6 players, but if we being honest from the outset they were both destined to be 3rd liners.

 

Sometimes I think being drafted in the 1st round, especially outside the top 10 is a hindrance to some players. Having that tag of being a 1st rounder carries some much unreal expectations. Lots of people believe that just because a player is drafted in the 1st round that he is going to become a top 6 forward or a top 4 defenseman or that that is the potential he automatically carries. Lots of times guys drafted in the 1st round are just seen as having a better chance of becoming pro's than other guys.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By why miss out on talent?

 

My entire argument is "why miss out on talent".  Like, why draft a highly offensive player and then "miss out on it" by promoting aspects of his game that he doesn't excel rather than the aspects of his game that are elite. And then you reply my post by asking "why miss out on talent?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.tsn.ca/tsn-hockey-s-top-50-nhl-affiliated-prospects-1.436669

Button just put out his list of top 50 NHL affiliated prospects, and we don't have a single player on the list. Most of that is because our top young talent us already playing in the NHL, but I think it also speaks to the lack of top end talent in our system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My entire argument is "why miss out on talent".  Like, why draft a highly offensive player and then "miss out on it" by promoting aspects of his game that he doesn't excel rather than the aspects of his game that are elite. And then you reply my post by asking "why miss out on talent?"

 

I don't think you miss out on talent by teaching or reinforcing two way play in an offensive player thats why. My response was to your quote "then draft two way players". If you only drafted two way players you would miss our on guys like Brodie who have offensive talent they just need refinement.

 

You dont' play in the NHL unless you can play two way responsible hockey so I don't agree with the premise that teaching someone defenisve reponsbility changes them as an offensive player so you and I are on different wave lengths there. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you miss out on talent by teaching or reinforcing two way play in an offensive player thats why. My response was to your quote "then draft two way players". If you only drafted two way players you would miss our on guys like Brodie who have offensive talent they just need refinement.

 

You dont' play in the NHL unless you can play two way responsible hockey so I don't agree with the premise that teaching someone defenisve reponsbility changes them as an offensive player so you and I are on different wave lengths there. 

 

We drafted Sven Baertschi whose talent is "offense-first hockey" and then we don't let him be that.  Baertschi was an unstoppable offensive weapon in the WHL achieving 2-points-per-game in his final season.  Instead of encouraging him to continue developing his talents so that he can make some noise at the NHL level, we muted him.  Your example that Baertschi's defensive game is his strength with the Canucks is exactly an example of squandering talent because he's not scoring anywhere near his original potential.  Baertschi is now a good two-way player but lost his high end offensive talents.  Congrats?

 

Thus, just draft a two-way player and then provide all the support for him to be the best two-way player he can be.

 

Sure, this means Baertschi would've been a 40-goal scorer or a bust.  That's fine though.  That should be understood the very moment we decided to draft him, or any player we decide to draft like him in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We drafted Sven Baertschi whose talent is "offense-first hockey" and then we don't let him be that.  Baertschi was an unstoppable offensive weapon in the WHL achieving 2-points-per-game in his final season.  Instead of encouraging him to continue developing his talents so that he can make some noise at the NHL level, we muted him.  Your example that Baertschi's defensive game is his strength with the Canucks is exactly an example of squandering talent because he's not scoring anywhere near his original potential.  Baertschi is now a good two-way player but lost his high end offensive talents.  Congrats?

 

Thus, just draft a two-way player and then provide all the support for him to be the best two-way player he can be.

 

Sure, this means Baertschi would've been a 40-goal scorer or a bust.  That's fine though.  That should be understood the very moment we decided to draft him, or any player we decide to draft like him in the future.

 

 

If that is your belief, my response is you likely have overrated Baertschi from the start. I don't think he ever had 40 goal potential nor do I think he had slam dunk first line potential so I don't agree that Baertschi was changed becuase the Flames wanted him to play a more reliable game.  Its really not that difficult to play a responsible game AND still produce at a high level offensivly so I don't agree you can stiffle a prospects high end ability by trying to get him to play a more responsible game. If you've got enough talent to score 40 goals in the NHL I don't beleive at all thats going to dissapear just because a coach wants you to play more responsibly.  Almost all the high end players in the NHL can maintain a high point production and still play a defensivly responsible game. 

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing I think we did wrong with Baertschi was yo-yoing him up and down and not providing him stability.

Ward talked about it and I am just going off memory, that he said Baertschi is immature for his age. At the time, he didn't mean it as a slight, but just that kids mature at different rates. What needed to be done was to have him grow in one spot and somewhere along the line of his development, I feel like the organization botched the communication.

Bringing kids up and down works for some and not others. We botched that part of his development not taking into account his maturity and understanding how to handle him.

I am not upset about drafting him. But I think you gotta keep a prospect down in the AHL and keep open lines of communication. We can't have our prospects ousted in the media no matter what. How can so many things be kept internal but to talk about a kid the way Burke did was not?

Hopefully we learned from the Baertschi debacle and can grow from it. The first was giving him the keys to the stadium when he was just in JR.

We have to draft players like him, but develop their 2-way game, and not let them in the league until they have it. The AHL should be the place to do that. Let them hone their game there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If that is your belief, my response is you likely have overrated Baertschi from the start. I don't think he ever had 40 goal potential nor do I think he had slam dunk first line potential so I don't agree that Baertschi was changed becuase the Flames wanted him to play a more reliable game.  Its really not that difficult to play a responsible game AND still produce at a high level offensivly so I don't agree you can stiffle a prospects high end ability by trying to get him to play a more responsible game. If you've got enough talent to score 40 goals in the NHL I don't beleive at all thats going to dissapear just because a coach wants you to play more responsibly.  Almost all the high end players in the NHL can maintain a high point production and still play a defensivly responsible game. 

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. 

 

There are Phil Kessel types who succeed in the NHL all the time.  Their main focus is scoring and they put less emphasis on D.  If you decide to draft one, then understand what that means before hand and then let them be the best they can be after you draft them.

 

Yes, it does snuff offense when you force those type of players to be two-way players.  So ya, we'll have to agree to disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are Phil Kessel types who succeed in the NHL all the time. Their main focus is scoring and they put less emphasis on D. If you decide to draft one, then understand what that means before hand and then let them be the best they can be after you draft them.

Yes, it does snuff offense when you force those type of players to be two-way players. So ya, we'll have to agree to disagree.

I agree with both. Only because, if you expect them to be 2-way after you drafted them as an offense 1st/only guy, then develop their game slowly and in the AHL. THERE you can live with mistakes more so giving a kid leeway in the AHL and just making sure they're responsible on the back check.

But then again, I am also a firm believer that a great offense is a great defense. So I agree with possession there. If you have possession in the offensive zone, that's a better defence. I get tired of being in our own zone too long, which has been the case the last few years.

Of course you require possession first and so on.

Also, put players like Baertschi on a line with someone who is great on the back check and good defensively. There are ways to work around deficiencies.

But I say live with the mistakes in the AHL. It is a developmental league. Hire more development coaches so there can be more 1-1 teaching going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Working on their D... my goodness.

 

Flames:  Hi kid, you are a one dimensional high end scorer but don't like that.  We want you to be a responsible two-way player.

Prospect:  What?  I'm not an effective two-way player.  I excel at one dimensional high end scoring!

Flames: We will provide you with all the development and support for you to become what you are not.

Prospect:  What?  Why did you draft me then?

Flames: Because you are a one dimensional high end scorer.

Had a good laugh, that you seem to think responsible 2-way play doesn't matter.  Wow....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are Phil Kessel types who succeed in the NHL all the time.  Their main focus is scoring and they put less emphasis on D.  If you decide to draft one, then understand what that means before hand and then let them be the best they can be after you draft them.

 

Yes, it does snuff offense when you force those type of players to be two-way players.  So ya, we'll have to agree to disagree.

 

If Sven Baertschi could have scored 40 goals like Kessell does then yes you allow for certain latitudes. As I said above if you are talking about true first line talents you allow for certain concessions. I think Baertschi looked like a 20-25 goal scorer who had the attitude of a 40 goal scorer and that's not going to fly for any young player trying to make it in the NHL. But if you saw 40 goal potential in Baertschi then we are haivng a different conversation but I never did and I don't think the Flames did either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My entire argument is "why miss out on talent".  Like, why draft a highly offensive player and then "miss out on it" by promoting aspects of his game that he doesn't excel rather than the aspects of his game that are elite. And then you reply my post by asking "why miss out on talent?"

If a guys only talent is scoring in a league that basically doesn't play defence (the Q) then they'll have very little to no value once the demands are higher, and the opposition actually defends.

http://www.tsn.ca/tsn-hockey-s-top-50-nhl-affiliated-prospects-1.436669

Button just put out his list of top 50 NHL affiliated prospects, and we don't have a single player on the list. Most of that is because our top young talent us already playing in the NHL, but I think it also speaks to the lack of top end talent in our system.

As we all know from his annual draft lists, being on his list is one thing, becoming a top player is something else altogether.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...