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Calgary Flames Drafting and Development: Your Analysis

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I think saying he plays like Lucic is getting ahead of yourself. Yes he has an edge to his game but this isn't Lucic, not IMO. The Lucic comparison is tosed out way too much and I think people don't realize that what Lucic did and how he developed is very rare.

I don't really agree with you about size either. Size is useless if you can't use it to your advantage and I think Tululo can still learn a lot of using his size to his advantage and building off his skil.

Yes you can start in the A and go back to junior but problem is that CHL teams are only allowed w certain amount of imports. Don't know off the time of my head hit if he doesn't make it and Everett fills it's spots Tuuluo is stuck unless they trade him.

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I think saying he plays like Lucic is getting ahead of yourself. Yes he has an edge to his game but this isn't Lucic, not IMO. The Lucic comparison is tosed out way too much and I think people don't realize that what Lucic did and how he developed is very rare.

I don't really agree with you about size either. Size is useless if you can't use it to your advantage and I think Tululo can still learn a lot of using his size to his advantage and building off his skil.

Yes you can start in the A and go back to junior but problem is that CHL teams are only allowed w certain amount of imports. Don't know off the time of my head hit if he doesn't make it and Everett fills it's spots Tuuluo is stuck unless they trade him.

 

I quoted the Lucic part because that's how he described himself.  I have no idea if the comp is even close.  

 

You have probably read the scouting on the kid.  At 6'3" 227 already, and his "heavy" game, I tend to think he would be better suited to the AHL.  Maybe he goes to junior and it's like Draisaitl going back to junior; he dominates.  I am sure that BT will decide what is best for the player.  

 

INTERNATIONAL SCOUTING SERVICE - RANKED 54TH OVERALL

Big and strong kid and plays a heavy game. Hard on puck and is hard to handle down low. Power forward with good hands. Uses his size and body positioning to protect the puck and take it to the net effectively. Willing to go into the corners and in front of the net. Lacks speed, however he is a powerful skater and once he gets going, he is hard to stop. He has a good skill set and has scored numerous big goals for his team this season. Understands the game. Solid two-way winger.

NHL Potential: 3rd line winger

FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS - RANKED 84TH OVERALL

Tuulola is a prime example of the Finnish dedication to solid two-way, unselfish hockey. He plays a pest game to get under his opponents skin. He uses every inch and pound of his frame to go to the dirty areas of the ice, clears room in the crease and plays hard along the wall. Tuulola enjoys to get his nose dirty and is seemingly always available for a little scrum after the whistle. He plays with a physical edge and finished his checks. He has impressive speed and great acceleration for his size. In the neutral zone, Tuulola is a very dangerous player because he can hit you hard and create turnovers. His shot is very lethal and more often than not, he is the target of his teammates for taking the shot. He can also make good one-touch passes to his teammates, and is not the kind of player who creates many giveaways. Tuulola is also a smart and patient player who waits for the right moment to forecheck and cut passing lanes. He acclimates himself to the situation well, and can go from playing shutdown defence to playing high-tempo offence at the flick of a switch. We love his tenacity and willingness to do whatever it takes to get his team in a good situation to succeed. Offensively, Tuulola is still rather unpolished, but solid, and the tools are there for him to be a good player if his development continues on pace.

NHL Potential: Middle six power winger

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I've read it and watched him play and while yes there are elements of what Lucic does, my main point there is a comparison is one thing but development is another and Lucic's development was insane and very rare which is why using that comparable isn't fair to a prospect IMO.

I don't think a heavy game is enough to get you into the NHL you need to produce. I'm the AHL he is likely stuck on the 3rd, 4th line or maybe doesn't even play. Let him try and produce some offense. Not to mention that for me his skating is not even AHL calibre yet.

I think people are getting too carried away here with Tuululo. He had a great scrimmage no question and you see a ton of things you like but let's remember this is a guy who only just broke out offensively in the Finish junior league and a guy that while was solid for Finland at the Under 18s, didn't play a top 6 role. Him going to the A is a huge jump from where he's been. Not impossible but highly unlikely IMO. He is more raw then I think people are thinking right now.

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I would like to see Tuulola go to the WHL, I just wish he wasn't going to Everett. I don't care much for Kevin Constantine or his defensive first system, that is geared more towards winning, than developing talent. The Silvertips haven't really been turning out much NHL talent over the years. 

 

I think it might just be better for him to stay in Finland.

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I'm tempering expectations for all the new prospects, Tkachuk especiallly. Tuulola the same way, it was one scrimmage game nothing to get over excited over however its really rewarding to see the potential is there with such a late round pick. I'm still not comfortable with our goalie prospects, I'm still salty the Flames didn't take Demko over Macdonald, i'm really hoping MacDonald and Gillies can give us a full season of solid goaltending so we could get a real pulse on the Flames goalie situation. It would be a huge boon to finally be able to develop goalies within the Flames prospect system.

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I'm tempering expectations for all the new prospects, Tkachuk especiallly. Tuulola the same way, it was one scrimmage game nothing to get over excited over however its really rewarding to see the potential is there with such a late round pick. I'm still not comfortable with our goalie prospects, I'm still salty the Flames didn't take Demko over Macdonald, i'm really hoping MacDonald and Gillies can give us a full season of solid goaltending so we could get a real pulse on the Flames goalie situation. It would be a huge boon to finally be able to develop goalies within the Flames prospect system.

I'm tempering expectations too, however certain players have already proven in their past certain things so you take that into consideration as well.  Even tempering expectations, I expect Tkachuk will have a very good chance of making the team right out of training camp as he is physically quite mature, emotionally more mature than many and has shown a skill level better than other options.    Hopefully he will prove that during the Fall.  With Tuulola the scrimmage was good, but getting him to the AHL (my preference) is based on the fact he is very physically mature and has an opportunity to make that jump because he's from Europe and needs to play against tougher/bigger competition to advance his game.  

 

If CHL players were able to make the jump prior to their age 20 year, we would be having this discussion over multiple players every single year, but since they can't, we don't.  

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I'm tempering expectations too, however certain players have already proven in their past certain things so you take that into consideration as well.  Even tempering expectations, I expect Tkachuk will have a very good chance of making the team right out of training camp as he is physically quite mature, emotionally more mature than many and has shown a skill level better than other options.    Hopefully he will prove that during the Fall.  With Tuulola the scrimmage was good, but getting him to the AHL (my preference) is based on the fact he is very physically mature and has an opportunity to make that jump because he's from Europe and needs to play against tougher/bigger competition to advance his game.  

 

If CHL players were able to make the jump prior to their age 20 year, we would be having this discussion over multiple players every single year, but since they can't, we don't.  

How do we know that where Tuulola played is inferior to where Tkachuk has played ? I think both could use another year of seasoning in the minors.

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Tuulola wasn't even playing in the Mens League in Finland. He played 10 games there last year and has hardly dominated in the junior league over there too. IMO the junior leagues in Sweden/Finland are usual a step behind the CHL so I really think people are getting ahead of themselves with this "Tuulola should play in the A" stuff. Its a huge jump and like I said he's not even dominating or one of the best players in the JUnior league over there so IMO there is nothing to suggest he would even be one of the best player in the WHL if he came over. You are asking way too much of him to play in the AHL IMO, thats a huge step for him and an uncessary one. 

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Tuulola wasn't even playing in the Mens League in Finland. He played 10 games there last year and has hardly dominated in the junior league over there too. IMO the junior leagues in Sweden/Finland are usual a step behind the CHL so I really think people are getting ahead of themselves with this "Tuulola should play in the A" stuff. Its a huge jump and like I said he's not even dominating or one of the best players in the JUnior league over there so IMO there is nothing to suggest he would even be one of the best player in the WHL if he came over. You are asking way too much of him to play in the AHL IMO, thats a huge step for him and an uncessary one. 

I don't disagree at all and maybe the Flames can pull some strings to get him with a WHL team if Everett isn't a good place for him.

Maybe the Hitmen ? and get him used to Calgary and Western Canada.

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Tuulola wasn't even playing in the Mens League in Finland. He played 10 games there last year and has hardly dominated in the junior league over there too. IMO the junior leagues in Sweden/Finland are usual a step behind the CHL so I really think people are getting ahead of themselves with this "Tuulola should play in the A" stuff. Its a huge jump and like I said he's not even dominating or one of the best players in the JUnior league over there so IMO there is nothing to suggest he would even be one of the best player in the WHL if he came over. You are asking way too much of him to play in the AHL IMO, thats a huge step for him and an uncessary one. 

I'm not sure where would be the best.  However, since he is from Europe and not CHL-restricted, it is worth having the discussion, and for the Flames to investigate and provide input to him where he would be best served.  Personally with limited viewings and knowledge, I do note he is physically mature and plays a tough, physical game that is common in NA but not in Europe.  I would therefore think he would likely be better served in NA(to advance that game with better competition), and I'm not assuming its the CHL just because that's the normal/required for CHL players here.  For him, like Kylington last year, the AHL is an option and needs to be weighed out thoroughly rather that what seems to be jumping to conclusions.

 

If the CHL wasn't restrictive I am sure we would regularly see guys go straight to the AHL, and I'm very curious about Tuulola in this specific case.

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I don't disagree at all and maybe the Flames can pull some strings to get him with a WHL team if Everett isn't a good place for him.

Maybe the Hitmen ? and get him used to Calgary and Western Canada.

 

If they can convince the 2 teams to make a trade then sure, but Everett owns his rights and unforutnatley Flames can't change that. 

 

I'm not sure where would be the best.  However, since he is from Europe and not CHL-restricted, it is worth having the discussion, and for the Flames to investigate and provide input to him where he would be best served.  Personally with limited viewings and knowledge, I do note he is physically mature and plays a tough, physical game that is common in NA but not in Europe.  I would therefore think he would likely be better served in NA(to advance that game with better competition), and I'm not assuming its the CHL just because that's the normal/required for CHL players here.  For him, like Kylington last year, the AHL is an option and needs to be weighed out thoroughly rather that what seems to be jumping to conclusions.

 

I agree that his game is best suited to NA so agreed its best if he comes over. Normally I like these guys staying overseas to develop but in his case he'll be a better fit here.

 

Of course the AHL option is an option but IMO its just not a likely one. Kylington is a pretty rare exception where you put an 18 year old in the AHL and I think the only reason they did was becuase his skating is so good. IMO Tuulola's skating isn't good enough for him to be playing in the AHL full time. I'd much rather see him get opporuntities, then get burried in the A. 

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If they can convince the 2 teams to make a trade then sure, but Everett owns his rights and unforutnatley Flames can't change that. 

 

 

I agree that his game is best suited to NA so agreed its best if he comes over. Normally I like these guys staying overseas to develop but in his case he'll be a better fit here.

 

Of course the AHL option is an option but IMO its just not a likely one. Kylington is a pretty rare exception where you put an 18 year old in the AHL and I think the only reason they did was becuase his skating is so good. IMO Tuulola's skating isn't good enough for him to be playing in the AHL full time. I'd much rather see him get opporuntities, then get burried in the A. 

 

I would only suggest the AHL if the Flames feel he is closer to NHL than junior or the CHL team is terrible at turning out prospects. Not sure what Everett is like for that.  The other thing is we have literally seen nothing of his abilities.  Dev camp is really just getting a look.  Young Stars and main camp should be the place where those initial views are confirmed or replaced.

 

So, while I am excited to have a player of his size and style, I will hold off any evaluation of what to do with him until he has shown what he has at camp.  

 

As far as a trade goes, I think it only works if the other team involved has an open spot for an import or they traded imports.  

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Team where Tuulola played last year, Hpk has just announced that Tuulola decides move to play next year at Everett. So that's now for Flames decision is he going play there or Heat.

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Team where Tuulola played last year, Hpk has just announced that Tuulola decides move to play next year at Everett. So that's now for Flames decision is he going play there or Heat.

I just read the article on the homepage and it sounded like BT was going to let him decide whether it would Finland or Everett in North America. Everett won't hurt him for one year as an introduction to the smaller ice surface and game here.

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I think it will be very interesting to see how Gulutzan manages the youth on this team. With his new associate coaches signings he gets NHL and AHL experience so maybe we'll see a more fluid transitional system for the prospects. It really is a big gamble by Treliving. Under Hartley a lot of young players thrived..itnitially..JH and Monny are the obvious ones but Jooris, Ferland, Bennett and Bouma saw some success under Hartley. Hopefully this new coaching staff can further excel prospect development and aren't a hindrance to the rebuild. 

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I think it will be very interesting to see how Gulutzan manages the youth on this team. With his new associate coaches signings he gets NHL and AHL experience so maybe we'll see a more fluid transitional system for the prospects. It really is a big gamble by Treliving. Under Hartley a lot of young players thrived..itnitially..JH and Monny are the obvious ones but Jooris, Ferland, Bennett and Bouma saw some success under Hartley. Hopefully this new coaching staff can further excel prospect development and aren't a hindrance to the rebuild. 

Who isn't a hindrance, the coaches or the prospects ? Either way you need a balance of youth and veterans to bring prospects along and having to many projects at one time is not a good situation.

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I think it will be very interesting to see how Gulutzan manages the youth on this team. With his new associate coaches signings he gets NHL and AHL experience so maybe we'll see a more fluid transitional system for the prospects. It really is a big gamble by Treliving. Under Hartley a lot of young players thrived..itnitially..JH and Monny are the obvious ones but Jooris, Ferland, Bennett and Bouma saw some success under Hartley. Hopefully this new coaching staff can further excel prospect development and aren't a hindrance to the rebuild. 

 

Johnny and Monahan were the only ones that showed progression year over year.  It's one thing to have a good season bookended by ok or bad seasons.  It another thing to show progression.  Bennett was hard to gauge, since he didn't play center much of the season.

 

My concern is less with GG than one of the A/coaches.  Cameron was known for yelling.  At least that's how I heard him described.

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I just read the article on the homepage and it sounded like BT was going to let him decide whether it would Finland or Everett in North America. Everett won't hurt him for one year as an introduction to the smaller ice surface and game here.

http://www.hpk.fi/eetu-tuulola-siirtyy-whlaan-kaudeksi-2016-2017/

 

I'm using my Finnish language skills instead of that awful Google Translate...

 

EETU TUULOLA MOVES TO WHL FOR THE SEASON 2016-2017

 

HPK forward Eetu Tuulola uses the clause in his contract and opts to move to Canadian Junior League WHL for the season 2016-2017. Tuulola was drafted at #156 earlier this summer by Calgary Flames.

 

Tuulola is still under contract with HPK for the season 2017-2018.

 

The head coach of HPK Antti Pennanen would of liked to keep Tuulola with the team. "Liiga is a good place to be for developing young players, not the least they play with men, but there's also a lot of time allocated for practice. We would of liked to see Eetu battling on ice while wearing the HPK jersey. I also believe we could of helped Eetu with his development towards being a pro. We'll respect Eetu's decision and wish him nothing but the best for the next season."

 

HPK Communications

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Who isn't a hindrance, the coaches or the prospects ? Either way you need a balance of youth and veterans to bring prospects along and having to many projects at one time is not a good situation.

Sometimes I feel management is a hindrance leaving no spots in the lineup for kids from the farm to graduate onto the team. Stajan blocked Derek Grant last year. This year, he may block Jankowski. Wideman knocked Nakladal off the team. It also looks like LW is crowded if Shinkaruk and Klimchuk prove NHL ready at camp.

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Sometimes I feel management is a hindrance leaving no spots in the lineup for kids from the farm to graduate onto the team. Stajan blocked Derek Grant last year. This year, he may block Jankowski. Wideman knocked Nakladal off the team. It also looks like LW is crowded if Shinkaruk and Klimchuk prove NHL ready at camp.

Living with your choices is life and you have to ride them out. I think management is gradually making room for some of the prospects but are living with some bad signings/contracts in Wideman and Stajan especially. They do want to put a good product on the ice as Calgary fans deserve this at a minimum and that takes a solid experience factor. Look at it this way, by the 2017/18 season the mistakes should be all but gone.

I honestly don't think Jankowski was going to be counted on and could use a year in Stockton. Shinkaruk could get his chance now but Klimchuk will be in Stockton. I hope Nakladal catches on with someone as he looked like a solid player but some of our young defensemen like Wotherspoon, Kulak and maybe Morrison get some NHL action this season. I have to think the plan is to take Wideman, Stajan and Bouma to the TDL and trade them for whatever picks we can get again.

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Sometimes I feel management is a hindrance leaving no spots in the lineup for kids from the farm to graduate onto the team. Stajan blocked Derek Grant last year. This year, he may block Jankowski. Wideman knocked Nakladal off the team. It also looks like LW is crowded if Shinkaruk and Klimchuk prove NHL ready at camp.

Yes, absolutely correct.  And who is Bollig bumping off the roster?  Unfortunate but that's the reality.  We have to hope BT can make some deals, and hold onto the best of the prospects till things open up.

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I agree that having guys like Stajan and Bollig on the roster is detrimental because we have kids thst could take the spot.

But I don't think anyone can accuse the modern Flames of not giving youth a chance. We have had plenty of kids make the team in the last couple of years.

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Living with your choices is life and you have to ride them out. I think management is gradually making room for some of the prospects but are living with some bad signings/contracts in Wideman and Stajan especially. They do want to put a good product on the ice as Calgary fans deserve this at a minimum and that takes a solid experience factor. Look at it this way, by the 2017/18 season the mistakes should be all but gone.

I honestly don't think Jankowski was going to be counted on and could use a year in Stockton. Shinkaruk could get his chance now but Klimchuk will be in Stockton. I hope Nakladal catches on with someone as he looked like a solid player but some of our young defensemen like Wotherspoon, Kulak and maybe Morrison get some NHL action this season. I have to think the plan is to take Wideman, Stajan and Bouma to the TDL and trade them for whatever picks we can get again.

Yes, absolutely correct.  And who is Bollig bumping off the roster?  Unfortunate but that's the reality.  We have to hope BT can make some deals, and hold onto the best of the prospects till things open up.

I agree that having guys like Stajan and Bollig on the roster is detrimental because we have kids thst could take the spot.

But I don't think anyone can accuse the modern Flames of not giving youth a chance. We have had plenty of kids make the team in the last couple of years.

 

Bollig should only play about 30-games against inter-divisional teams where it can get really rough because teams want to send messages to teams.  So, maybe he plays 30-games and be carried as the 13th forward.  No biggie.  Unless Hunter Smith is ready to transition into the team's enforcer, i think Bollig isn't blocking any youth because no youth in that role is NHL ready.  Ferland alone may not be enough.  Plus, i feel Ferland has more to give than fighting.  I actually don't want Ferland fighting at all next season so he can develop the other parts of his game.

 

Stajan though, the 4th line C position doesn't require him.  GG mentioned in his press conference that he wants his veterans to play big roles and mentioned Stajan directly.  So, there may be a promotion in place for Stajan... maybe he moves to the LW on the 3rd line with Backlund... but then Bouma?... 

 

I suspect management has soured on Bouma because of his late season suspension (If i remember correctly, Johnny and Monny got 1 game but Bouma got 2, probably because he threw a fit).  There are trade rumours but nothing has materialized...Yet.  I wouldn't be surprised if something did though.  He's also overpaid slightly so moving him makes cap sense.

 

After that, i think Shinkaruk is NHL ready based on his late season audition but LW is so crowded right now.  I even think Klimchuk can make the team out of camp but won't logistically make it because of too many bodies. 

 

Lastly, not many GMs build their team around trading for other team's training camp casualties.  If Shinkaruk makes serious noise at camp, teams aren't sitting there waiting for the Flames to move Bouma.  You have to clear that space much sooner than that.

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I agree that having guys like Stajan and Bollig on the roster is detrimental because we have kids thst could take the spot.

But I don't think anyone can accuse the modern Flames of not giving youth a chance. We have had plenty of kids make the team in the last couple of years.

The top-level prospects, yes, but I'm not so sure about the mid-level or lower guys.  The only ones I can think of are Jooris and Ferland, both who got a chance 2 years ago and last year, respectively.  That doesn't really sound like a team "giving youth a chance"  There hasn't been a defenceman in years (Hamilton was a 3 year vet when we got him), and goalies?  Last year doesn't really qualify as "a chance" for Ortio.   It has been especially galling to see many over-the-hill vets brought in which has gummed up the works and saddled the team with temporary contracts, and some of the LT contracts signed a few years back that we are still waiting to clear.  Management mis-judged the development and impact of the top-level prospect's we've been able to bring in who have taken off like rockets, dragged down by excess vet baggage that we can't cut loose.  I think directly as a result we've lost some pretty useable pieces, like Byron, Arnold, Agostino, Jooris and even Colborne.  That's the way it goes, but hopefully management has learned some lessons and it changes going forward.  Certainly at this point it appears to be the case, but unfortunately there still is most of the summer and who knows whether BT signs another 2-3 guys?

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The top-level prospects, yes, but I'm not so sure about the mid-level or lower guys.  The only ones I can think of are Jooris and Ferland, both who got a chance 2 years ago and last year, respectively.  That doesn't really sound like a team "giving youth a chance"  There hasn't been a defenceman in years (Hamilton was a 3 year vet when we got him), and goalies?  Last year doesn't really qualify as "a chance" for Ortio.   It has been especially galling to see many over-the-hill vets brought in which has gummed up the works and saddled the team with temporary contracts, and some of the LT contracts signed a few years back that we are still waiting to clear.  Management mis-judged the development and impact of the top-level prospect's we've been able to bring in who have taken off like rockets, dragged down by excess vet baggage that we can't cut loose.  I think directly as a result we've lost some pretty useable pieces, like Byron, Arnold, Agostino, Jooris and even Colborne.  That's the way it goes, but hopefully management has learned some lessons and it changes going forward.  Certainly at this point it appears to be the case, but unfortunately there still is most of the summer and who knows whether BT signs another 2-3 guys?

I think that's a pretty hairy eyeball way of looking at it ccc.

The useable pieces you list are 10 minute/gm guys. You can't keep everyone. Consider Poirier, Klimchuk, F. Hamilton, Hathaway are the guys you keep, I'd let all of those guys go. We've had a good run at drafting so guys become disposable, sad but true.

D is a bad place though. It is stagnant due to contracts.

I believe our guys coming up, Kulak, Wotherspoon, even the older Nakladal, should have spots available. But lo and behold, Kylington, Hickey, Mattson etc are now going to be 2 yrs closer.

I don't mind BT's approach in the forward ranks. We needed size on the right, who was it, David Jones?

Need vet presence too, it might gum up the forward ranks, fine imho.

Can't argue how BT solved G. That alone is gold. Quality netminding at below value to buy a year. Very nice.

The D is a quagmire of way too much money that HAS to get balanced.

You HAVE to slot Wideman and Smid at almost $9mil.

That makes for being very prohibitive for the 23 yo's. $2mil spots for $9mil, owweee...

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