Flames Future 2004: On the Money
Prospects Pegged From the Beginning
Once and a while we get one right.
While successes in pinning down a prospects' future are a little more difficult to find than that of out and out failures, the Calgarypuck brethren have been shrewd in the past in identifying a player's path.
The 2004 Future Flames feature is the fifth straight year in which Calgarypuck readers have handicapped the club's prospect field. While five years is the start of an excellent comparison field, the timeline itself is still a little too small to correctly call any player a bust or a true star in comparison to their prior rankings.
Jordan Leopold isn't an above average defenceman in the National Hockey League at this point, but he's getting there, making his 4.1 rating in 2002 and 4.3 rating in 2003 very much in play.
A player like Andrei Taratukhin, slated to be an above average NHL player in prior analyses may find his future up in the air for numerous more seasons before finally either coming over, or being called a draft bust.
It takes time.
There are, however, a few cases of players that are seemingly falling into their assigned ratings, and proving Calgarypuck readers are in fact, on the ball.
Micki Dupont ('00 2.5 / '01 2.3 / '02 2.3)
Despite the big offensive numbers in Kamloops and some great seasons on the farm, Calgarypuck readers weren't fooled into thinking the pint sized defender could make up for his lack of size and make a big impact at the NHL level.
A rating just north of 2.0 suggests and up and down player, something Dupont was for parts of two seasons before moving on to Pittsburgh and then Europe.
Matthew Lombardi ('02 3.18 / '03 3.39)
Clearly, Matthew Lombardi is not a true average NHL forward at this point in his career - as a rookie he did make his mark in Calgary this past fall however.
While few Calgarypuck.com readers could boast that they saw his presence in the opening night roster last year, the group on a whole did take notice of his first AHL season by bumping his likelihood value up by a half point from the summer of 2002 to 2003.
Assuming a full recovery from his concussion woes, Mr. Lombardi appears to be well on his way towards the 3.4 ranking predicted on the site.
Dimitri Kokorev ('00 2.9 / '01 2.7 / '02 2.4 / '03 2.2 / '04 2.0)
This might be a very good hockey player? Who knows, as of yet Calgary fans have never seen actual physcial proof that he's a living breathing human being.
Give Calgarypuck readers credit for realizing the chances of Kokorev ever coming over is marginal at best, downgrading the big defenceman on a year by year basis since 2000.
Having said that, you just know the guy will be over next year and prove everyone wrong!