Flames Future 2004: Likelihood
Rating and Ranking Prospect Chances
Summer 2004

On draft day, each NHL franchise sets out to draft impact players. Players that will make the difference in winning future championships by making that extra save, quarterbacking the powerplay, or lighting the lamp in a huge game.

The true draft giants however, hit for the numbers as well as swing for the fences, bringing in at least two or three NHL bodies at every entry draft to stock their system, and provide them with options going forward.

With that we take a look at the Likelihood Index in our prospect analysis - the players that regardless of role or impact with the Flames, are the most likely to make the jump and contribute in some fashion.

The cut off point in this analysis comes somewhere between the 3.0 and 4.0 mark, two categories defined by "cup of coffee" and "Strong Chance" of making the NHL.

Players that fail to make it into this group do so for a variety of reasons. The strong majority of the lower ranked group simply doesn't have the talent level required to make a showing in the National Hockey Leauge.

Player Likelihood
Dion Phaneuf


Eric Nystrom


Tim Ramholt


Kris Chucko


Brent Krahn


Aki Seitsonen


Brandon Prust


Andrei Taratukhin


Jonas Frogen


Andrei Medvedev


Tomi Maki


Brennan Evans


Brian McConnell


Jamie Tardiff


Yuri Trubachev


Curtis McElhinney


Dustin Boyd


Pierre Johnsson


David Van Der Gulik


Ritchie Regehr


Roman Rozakov


Dimitri Kokorev


Others, like goaltender Brent Krahn and Andrei Medvedev - two members of the top five group in terms of potential - take a beating for physical reasons (Krahn's knees or Medvedev's weight) or attitude problems (Medvedev again).

Ideally, a team has it's best potential players also being it's best likelihood players indicating a strong chance that said potential is well on track to be realized.

That's exactly the case with defenceman Dion Phaneuf, who led the Likelihood category by a good margin, just as he did in the Potential category. Two other top five players in the potential category; Tim Ramholt and Kris Chucko also make the grade in the likelihood rank, coming in 3rd and 4th respectively.

College prospect and 2002 first round draft pick Eric Nystrom finished second on the list despite his 9th place showing on the other list. He will be a player, it's a matter of his role in the NHL be it 2nd line powerforward or third line checker.

The aforementioned Brent Krahn has had a rally of sorts in this year's analysis, making the top five in the likelihood index after a dismal 14th place showing in 2003. Clearly his camp performance garnered some attention.

All in all, only four players are considered solid bets to make the National Hockey League, down somewhat from past analyses.

Looking Back

Unfortunately, unlike the potential analysis, we don't have a four-year history to look back upon when it comes to likelihood analysis, as it was a feature added in 2002.

That does, however, give us two full years to second guess in retrospect and compare to this year's numbers.

The 2002 analysis was pretty solid in terms of success rate with six of the seven players listed at 3.5 or greater either arrived or well on their way to a solid NHL career.

Jordan Leopold and Chuck Kobasew led the way that year with 4.8 marks, with both having arrived for good this past season.

The third ranked prospect Eric Nystrom is still on course and was clearly considered a lock by Flames fan from the get go.

Of the rest of the list only goaltender Levente Szuper has missed the mark with the remaining over 3.5 cast of Oleg Saprykin, Blair Betts, and Steve Montador all seeing time in Calgary.

Chuck Kobasew held his crown as most likely to make the grade in the 2003 analysis with a 4.52 grade, compared to the then recently drafted Dion Phaneuf - this year's winner - by a few points.

As with the case in 2002, there were seven players that received a likelihood ranking of 3.5 or greater, however five (including Phaneuf) are still in the pipeline, with two of these players (Blair Betts and Greg Moore) both traded for Chris Simon.



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