Calgarypuck.com Future Watch
Calgarypuck.com has always used the second measuring stick of Likelihood to better rank the prospects in the Flame's systems and add a sense of realism to any projections of the future of the big club's roster.
Over the six year period, the combination has proved very adept at finding that right mix between impact and probability, moving less talented but solid players up the list, while tumbling extremely talented but enigmatic or troubled kids down the list.
Much like the old saying … all the tools but no tool box, young hockey players that wish to take the game to a profession have to have a little of everything to leap that big hurdle and make a living at it.
Since we added the Likelihood section to the mix the marriage of the two rating systems has done well to project the future of young Calgary Flame talents.
For every high end prospect with a high chance of making the grade such as players like Dion Phaneuf, Chuck Kobasew and Jordan Leopold, there have been less talented players like Blair Betts and Matthew Lombardi that have made the list on the strength of character.
This season's analysis is consistent in that fashion with recent number one pick, goaltender Leland Irving at the top with the only 4+ combined rating. Dustin Boyd holds his 2nd spot position of the potential rank
The next three prospects, Eric Nystrom, Kris Chucko and Matt Pelech are similar in the fashion that they parlayed strong likelihood projections into top five overall ratings. Though Chucko has upside as a powerforward, all three players are cut from the same clothe in that their angle to the show is probably anchored in the less glamorous forms of hockey.
The junior Ryder, Daniel took the opposite approach, having his likelihood index push him down a few spots despite a strong 3.74 index.
Prospect list mainstays Tim Ramholt and Brent Krahn have well balanced ratings in their birth to the top ten, while the abrasive Brandon Prust squeaks in ahead of Matt Keetley based on the assumption that he will play.
The top ten that features two goaltenders, two defencemen and six forwards, and looking down further netminders hold four of the top 12 spots suggesting a potential log jam in the works between the pipes.
Players with less than 35% of appearances on rating entries were left off the list due to poor representation. Of this group interesting notables include David van der Gulik (would have finished 8th ahead of Krahn / 17% of ballots), Kevin Lalande (13th / 7%), and David Moss (14th / 23%).
What makes the top 15 list this year more exciting is the shear number of players on the list that could see time in Calgary as early as this winter.
Leland Irving is only 18 and as a goaltender, is ear marked for further junior duty in Everett, but a good 12 of the 15 players on the list will either make the Flames or head off to Omaha and ply their trade with the Flames AHL affiliate, just a phone call away.
In just over a year, the Flames have gone from a team without their own AHL chapter, to a team looking to stock one with many of their own draft choices and a future with the parent club.