Movers and Shakers 2004
Moving Target Prospects
Summer 2004

Sometimes, in fact, most of the time predicting the future for young hockey players is like predicting the weather - all the signs are there, you feel confident, but more often than not you end up dead wrong.

This is the case for hockey scouts, making the likelihood of successful prognostication for the average hockey fan more of a guess than an exact science.

To celebrate the inefficiencies of said science, every summer we shine a bright light on the prospects that have had their ratings and ranks change the most from one off season to another.

We chart the guy that looked bad last summer, but is the man this summer. We throw a spotlight on the can't miss kid that becomes a complete bum in the fans eyes just 12 months later.

The guy moving up is just as likely to fall back again next year, just as the lonesome loser could be the team's number one center in six months.

Don't you just love hindsight?

The Rising Phoenix

Looking back in time, this is a list you just don't want to make.

Player Score Rank
Dion Phaneuf



Tim Ramholt



Curtis McElhinney



Yuri Trubachev



Pierre Johnsson



Through three previous years of rating Calgary prospects, time and time again, the guy that makes a big move up one year makes a big move out the very next; a kiss of death for the Flame prospect, if you will.

Big league names like Levente Szuper, Roman Rozakov, and Micki Dupont have all caught the attention of the Calgary hockey fan only to disappear from the map within a calendar yeare.

Others like Jarrett Stoll and Blair Betts have moved on to toil in other organizations while others still like Brent Krahn, Andrei Medvedev and Andrei Taratukhin continue to tease from afar.

Things might be different this season however, as the ratings seem to more closely resemble the 2003 set with less extremes in opinion and a more steady course for the Calgary prospects.

In fact the top two prospects in improvement are two of Calgary's best overall prospects just getting a little bump in the scoring rather than a dark horse emerging from the pack.

Dion Phaneuf leads this category with an improvement of just over half a point, while fellow defenceman and 2003 draft pick Tim Ramholt parlayed his first season of Canadian Junior hockey into a .313 improvement.

Neither move is all that earth shattering and probably just suggest that the lustre of a recent pick hasn't worn off with one year in the prospect cupboard.

Free Falling

Things are similar on the other side of the coin, with movement down the list somewhat minimized this season with most prospects holding their ground.

Player Score Rank
Jamie Tardif



Eric Nystrom



Dimitri Kokorev



Brent Krahn



The only player that received enough votes to be statistically significant while losing ground was a fairly innocuous prospect in Jamie Tardif, a skater that hardly tops the list of future impact players.

Tardif rated 3.5 in 2003 but fell to 2.81 this summer, a drop of almost 0.7 points, or the difference between a slightly above average NHL player and a player below average.

One of the club's top forwards, Eric Nystrom had his rating erode by .16 points when he moved from 3.48 to 3.24, a difference that hardly registers on the prospect scale.

In the past, players that have lost ground on the lists usually fall into one of three categories; one players that were overrated the past year, two players that have yet to come over to North America, and finally players that have suffered a setback due to injury or attitude.

All in all it appears that Calgary fans have a book on their prospects and they are much more consistent from season to season.



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