Calgarypuck.com Future Watch
Off the Mark
On draft day … every player has upside.
Small guy? No worries, Brian Gionta and Theoren Fleury have proven size doesn't matter at all.
Lack of jets? Flames just hired a skating consultant they'll fix that guy up in a development camp or two.
Big immobile blueliner? Baby fat. Once he grows into that massive frame he'll be the next Adam Foote or Robyn Regehr.
Lacks hockey sense? Jealous buggers shouldn't put that kind of thing on a jumbotron anyway!
And so it goes season to season for hockey fans in plotting the dynamic future of their beloved hockey teams and justifying any limitation pasted to their prospect pool.
Time will heal all.
Guess what … sometimes it doesn't.
And with that I present a brief (couldn't possibly list every example) of some of the more eye catching or interesting misguided picks over the years.
Oleg Saprykin ('00 4.39 / '01 NHL / '02 3.54)
There hasn't been many prospects through the years that have captured the imagination during a preseason than Oleg Saprykin following his 1999 selection. He lit the depleted NHL up in September, returned to Seattle and did the same in the WHL which led to a massive rating from Calgary fans during the summer of 2006. He had star sniper written all over him, but then bad advice, some inability to stay on his skates in traffic, and a frustrating propensity to disappear for large percentages of a season had him on his way to Phoenix.
Andrei Medvedev ('01 3.59 / '02 2.71 / '03 3.98 / '04 4.04)
Calgary fans were fooled not once, not twice, but three times by the rather rotund Gump Worsely from Russia with all the tools but not the common sense dedication needed to become a NHL stopper. The 2002 rating of 2.71 showed his time should have been up, but then another World Junior appearance and people were right back to believing he could get it together and become the Flames future between the pipes. It appears the big guy is no longer playing hockey.
Daniel Tkaczuk ('00 3.33)
The best part of this set of data for Daniel Tkaczuk is that we didn't start rating prospects until the summer of 2000. If we had we'd see much higher numbers in the previous three off seasons as the Flames future captain was progressing towards sure NHL stardom. Was the guy just not very good? A combination of concussions to blame for keeping him off his sure path? Either way, for a top six pick in a time when the Flames needed draft results the kid didn't get it done.