On the Money 2003
Prospects that Have Equaled Their Ratings
Summer 2003

Last summer Calgarypuck.com expanded it's prospect analysis to include a new sub-feature, "Right on the Money", a look at past rankings that proved to be accurate in how a player would turn out. 

The 2003 analysis has given us four years of analysis to look back on in order to find examples of players that have developed into the roles that many had foreseen, while providing many other examples of players that have fallen off the mark. 

Clearly the 2000 group is the easiest to judge, followed by the 2001 group and so on. With more time you gain a better understanding of the progress, or lack thereof of each prospect. 

Looking back at past prospect lists can read somewhat like a vicious joke to Calgary fans. Rico Fata is not an average hockey player. Neither is Daniel Tkaczuk nor Kurtis Foster. Dimitri Kokorev has made fewer appearances than the Sasquatch and a good portion of the rest of the earlier prospect groups are no longer with the Flames organization. 

Players that have made the team; like Oleg Saprykin or Jordan Leopold, may have a good shot to someday realize their potential, but to this point are only a shadow or tease of their future selves. 

That doesn't mean the group didn't get some picks right, however. But the lack of a true star in the list below speaks volumes about why the club has suffered through seven years out of the playoffs. 

Blair Betts (2000 rank 2.9)

Blair Betts was never expected to be a star hockey player, but a solid contributing pivot for the club's third or fourth line. Three years later it looks like Betts is ready to take that step and play a full season with the big club under Darryl Sutter. Betts was mentioned by Sutter this summer as one of the few examples of Flame prospects that made it through the system and up to Calgary to stay. He entered our lists at 2.9 in 2000, moved to 3.0 in 2001 and then back to 2.9 in 2002. His expectation level rose slightly this summer with a grade of 3.07. 

Toni Lydman (2000 rank 3.6) 

Toni Lydman has turned out to be every bit the player expected by Calgary fans when they gave the Finnish blueliner an above average rating of 3.6 during the summer of 2000. A few months later Lydman graduated to the Flames and has seen his role expand a little more each season in Calgary. Going into the 2003-04 season Lydman will once again take to the ice for close to 26 minutes a night and play a key role within the club's top four blueliners. 

Chris Clark (2000 rank 2.5) 

With a rating of 2.5, big things were not expected for Chris Clark in Calgary, so in a way one could say he's delivered. Clark entered the prospect lists in 2000, and then followed up that grade with a duplicate mark of 2.5 in 2001. He completed his second full season in Calgary this past winter recording 10 goals for the second straight season. The real question for Clark is; where does he go from here? Is he a third line winger that is able to chip in offensively or a fourth line player without a clear endearing skill? 

Jarett Stoll (2000 rank 3.2) 

Tracking the career of Edmonton Oiler forwards is likely not the most popular practice for a Calgary website, but we'll make an exception in the case of Jarett Stoll. Stoll was drafted in the second round of 2000, and entered the prospect lists with a rating of 3.2. A year later the young pivot garnered a rating of 3.3, before leaving Calgary for Edmonton during the summer of 2002. His slightly above average rating on the Calgarypuck.com prospect lists may appear high at this point, but with Todd Marchant exiting the provincial capital, Stoll may end up holding down the Oilers' third line center role during the upcoming season.




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