Flames Future 2003: Potential
Rating and Ranking Upside
Summer 2003

When the Calgary Flames managerial and scouting staff were packing their bags for Nashville and the 2003 NHL Entry Draft the buzz words "big" and "blueline" were at the top of their itinerary.

Defence? What with a club mired near the bottom of NHL goal scoring and a top six set of forwards held together with scotch tape, why in heck would they want defencemen?

Many a fan thought the group to be somewhat out of their collective tree.

Things are a little clearer now, however.

With the annual Calgarypuck.com Future Flames analysis things can become very clear, very fast. We set out to group the teams signed and unsigned non-NHL talent into positions, and the process pointed out abruptly that without 2003 picks Dion Phaneuf and Tim Ramholt the club would have been so forward heavy it would have been laughable.

These intiquing blueline hopefuls have brought balance to the club's prospect depth chart however, making the 2003 analysis quite interesting.

And the winner is

Fans can often be guilty of placing the new hip addition to a club's lists at the top of the class.

Said players has yet to collect any developmental dust as his selection day was only a month prior to the analysis it's all still upside with no recorded missteps for reasons to believe that anything other than perfection should be expected.

Rk Player Potential
1 Dion Phaneuf 4.43
2 Chuck Kobasew 4.20
3 Andrei Medvedev 3.98
5 Brent Krahn 3.65
6 Tim Ramholt 3.60
7 Andrei Taratukhin 3.52
11 Eric Nystrom 3.48
12 Matthew Lombardi 3.42
13 Yuri Trubachev 3.29
14 Blair Betts 3.07
19 Dany Sabourin 2.94
23 Dimitri Kokorev 2.54
24 Roman Rozakov 2.50
27 James Hakewill 2.04
28 Pierre Johnsson 2.00
4 Darren Lynch 3.67
8 Cam Cunning 3.50
8 Greg Moore 3.50
8 Jamie Tardiff 3.50
15 Brian McConnell 3.00
15 David Van Der Gulik 3.00
15 Egor Shastin 3.00
15 Tyler Johnson 3.00
20 Tomi Maki 2.83
21 Ryan Donally 2.70
22 Curtis McElhinney 2.67
24 Ruslan Zainullin 2.50
26 Jyri Marttinen 2.14
28 Emanuel Peter 2.00
28 Jiri Cetkovsky 2.00
31 Joe Campbell 1.88
32 Thomas Bellemare 1.50

So yes Dion Phaneuf is the Flames number one rated prospect, according to you the reader, pulling in a rating of 4.43.

Phaneuf is the first number one pick to hold honours in the now four year history of Calgarypuck.com prospect analysis.

When we first launched this feature, in the summer of 2000, Hitmen goaltender Brent Krahn was the most recently minted #1 pick, but Krahn was edged out by Oleg Saprykin for Future Flames 2000.

During the summer of 2001 the process was repeated with 2001 #1 pick Chuck Kobasew finishing second to the acquired young blueliner Jordan Leopold for Future Flames 2001.

Last summer the void was exagerated when 2002 #1 pick Eric Nystrom finished a lowly 5th in the 2002 edition, behind the two time champion Jordan Leopold, Chuck Kobasew, Oleg Saprykin, and Levente Szuper.

Clearly Phaneuf's leap up to number one is an impressive perch considering the prospect list still contains the aforementioned Chuck Kobasew in his familiar second spot.

Phaneuf's rating of 4.43 is the highest prospect rating since Oleg Saprykin pulled in 4.40 in the summer of 2000.

The rest of the class

Behind Phaneuf and Kobasew, two Canadian hockey players, you'll find a literal road Atlas to hockey's outposts to round out the top five.

The rather rotund goaltender Andrei Medvedev grabs hold of the #3 spot with a rating of 3.98. Medvedev, much like a recent Russian Flame prospect Oleg Saprykin, has enjoyed a wild ride on the Calgarypuck prospect list moving from 4th in 2001 to 10th in 2002 and then back to the top again this summer.

The fourth spot goes to Brent Krahn, a player that has goaltending as well as a comeback to share with his fellow stopper Medvedev. Krahn entered the lists in 2000 with a 2nd ranking, slipped slightly to 3rd in 2001, and then down to 8th last summer before re-entering the top five this year. Krahn's rating of 3.65 was up 0.65 from the 2002 analysis.

Rounding out the top five is another 2003 draftee Tim Ramholt. The robust Swiss defenceman enters the lists with a rating of 3.60.

It's interesting to note that the top five has two goaltenders, two defenceman and only one forward a forward that is likely to graduate this fall leaving the cupboard somewhat bare for next summer.

The rest of the top ten is very forward heavy, however, adding some balance to the club's future. Six through ten shook out with Andrei Taratukhin (7th 2002), Eric Nystrom (5th 2002), Matthew Lombardi (6th 2002), Yuri Trubachev, and Blair Betts (9th 2002).



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