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Old 01-22-2021, 12:26 PM   #1
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Default Wheeler Prospect Rankings

Behind the pay wall but here is his Flames ranking



Has Calgary 20th, up 6 spots

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The Flames seem to find ways to graduate prospects on a consistent basis. In the last couple years, they’ve added Rasmus Andersson, Andre Mangiapane and Dillon Dube. As I write this, Juuso Valimaki is in the midst of joining them (though he was included in this ranking under the criteria nonetheless).

For a while, though, the Flames organization wasn’t replacing those players at the same rate as they were graduating them and their prospect pool’s standing suffered. From 2017-2019, Calgary used just three total picks inside the first three rounds of the draft, dealing their second- and third-rounders in 2017, all three of their picks at the top of the 2018 draft, and a second-round pick in 2019. The result, even with some impressive late-round drafting results with the selections of Dustin Wolf, Mathias Emilio Petterssen, and Dmitri Zavgorodny, was a prospect pool that ranked firmly in the league’s bottom third.

Then, finally, the Flames hung on to each of their picks in the 2020 draft, even adding a third-round pick. And with those eight picks, they did a good job mining talent (a theme, frankly). Today, while the Flames’ pool still lacks a true top-end prospect, its depth of quality and focus on skill has helped establish it as a roughly average farm system overall, with a few of my personal favourites as well as some intriguing long shots.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:30 PM   #2
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This guy sure loves Jeremie Poirier, and sure dislikes Yan Kuznetsov.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:32 PM   #3
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I don't know how Valimaki is behind Zary. For that matter I put Pelletier above Zary.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:34 PM   #4
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seems like a fair analysis (what you posted). the part about a true top-end prospect is also likely fair (depending what the bar is for that definition) but Valimaki in my mind is darn close to that- but either way he's essentially graduated (* obviously if by top-end he means superstar/hall of famer then fair enough, but top pairing/line , I think JV can be that)
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:44 PM   #5
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I don't know how Valimaki is behind Zary. For that matter I put Pelletier above Zary.
Agreed. IMO JV is a whole level ahead of all of them

Pelletier looks like a higher end guy than Zary but Zary looks to be a more rounded/complete player....so maybe he values that over pure skill.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:46 PM   #6
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I don't know how Valimaki is behind Zary. For that matter I put Pelletier above Zary.
Based on what, exactly? Pelletier had a terrific WJC tournament, but I also thought that Zary looked a lot better than him in their short appearance in Flames camp. It is still really early to be setting one ahead of the other.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:50 PM   #7
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I read the article this morning and to be fair, he stated that Valimaki and Zary could be switched for each other. He also was very high on Pelletier and the Flames prospects and general drafting strategy in general.
Probably one of the most complimentary articles about Flames prospects I've read in along time by any writer.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:51 PM   #8
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Agreed. IMO JV is a whole level ahead of all of them

Pelletier looks like a higher end guy than Zary but Zary looks to be a more rounded/complete player....so maybe he values that over pure skill.
I'm no scout but I have it the other way.

Pelletier plays like an eight year vet. Less flashy, but a complete game on all sides of the puck.

I think Zary has a higher ceiling offensively, but maybe not as good away from the puck.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:52 PM   #9
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I don't know how Valimaki is behind Zary. For that matter I put Pelletier above Zary.
This is not a be all end all of all analysis, but Connor Zary is a very impressive prospect - and we'll find in years to come just how good of a pick it was.

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It isn't just about the impressive NHLe Zary has, but the gains he saw between D-1 and D0. An absolutely stellar pick for the second half of the 1st round, let alone 24th overall.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:54 PM   #10
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Not to disparage but having all the Russians (those that play in Russia so Kuznetsov excluded) at the bottom screams to me as not being able to view them the same as others.

I'm very intrigued by the Russians especially the goalie.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:58 PM   #11
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not to disparage but having all the russians (those that play in russia so kuznetsov excluded) at the bottom screams to me as not being able to view them the same as others.

I'm very intrigued by the russians especially the goalie.
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:00 PM   #12
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I'm no scout but I have it the other way.

Pelletier plays like an eight year vet. Less flashy, but a complete game on all sides of the puck.

I think Zary has a higher ceiling offensively, but maybe not as good away from the puck.
Tourigny said in an interview that in team meetings (video sessions), he had asked Pelletier to let other teammates answer the questions once in a while as his hockey insight is off the charts and therefore spent the whole meeting with his arm raised ready to answer all the questions.

Also has a knack for saying the right things to his teammates to support them.

What a great pick for the Flames.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:38 PM   #13
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Based on what, exactly? Pelletier had a terrific WJC tournament, but I also thought that Zary looked a lot better than him in their short appearance in Flames camp. It is still really early to be setting one ahead of the other.
Based on their style of play, I think Pelletier has a better all around game and I just like his compete level. Less holes in the game.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:48 PM   #14
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For what it is worth, Wheeler was on with Pinder yesterday talking about his prospects list.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/960/big-sho...s-farm-system/

It is interesting to me that he believes the League is trending a little away from the high-speed, blistering fast skating League; this could suggest why he has Zary ranked #1 for Calgary. Also, Wheeler is REALLY high on Wolf; he thinks he will be a NHL starter.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:51 PM   #15
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Why does he think it is moving away from speed? The league seems to get faster every year.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:12 PM   #16
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Why does he think it is moving away from speed? The league seems to get faster every year.
I didn't interpret his comments as "moving away from speed," more like slowing down just a fraction from the extreme end break-neck speed that has characterised the League for a few years.

His direct quote: "I think increasingly the games is slowing down for the best players in the game, rather than speeding up; we talk so much about the track-[m]eet in today's NHL, and it's no as much of a track-meet as I think people realise—once you enter the offensive zone things really do start to slow down and then it's about: 'with the puck on my stick, can I drive plays? Can I make things happen? And when the play collapses in on me and when pressure comes, can I handle that? And do I have this sort of calm presence to be able to make plays through layers and navigate under that pressure?' ...
"It's increasingly about the ability to dictate play; the ability to manage what's in front of you, rather than just seeing the first play and advancing the puck. I think coaches of ten years ago were often preaching: 'You make the quick play; it's get-up-and-go; it's pivot, crossover, pass, pivot, crossover pass,' and that's how the game was played in many ways. Now it's changing. You need to be able to sort of control play when you're out there and have possession of the puck."

I get the sense not that skating and speed aren't important, but rather that they are not quite as heavily weighted as they were a few years ago, and now not nearly as important as possession instincts and a very high on-ice IQ.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:15 PM   #17
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^Which is great news because those are the two key qualities the Flames have been looking for in players and draft prospects. I suspect that Treliving may have been ahead of the curve on this trend.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:19 PM   #18
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Well if the game is moving to stick handling and away from outside speed, that’s better for Johnny.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:43 PM   #19
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I get the sense not that skating and speed aren't important, but rather that they are not quite as heavily weighted as they were a few years ago, and now not nearly as important as possession instincts and a very high on-ice IQ.
This is very good news to me. Speed has been over-emphasized to the point where a lot of players are showing signs of Matthew Lombardi syndrome – they can carry the puck from point A to point B at blistering speed, but when they get there, they haven't got a play. The legs have been outrunning the brains.

It's kind of the reverse of what happened in the 1990s, when teams went all-in for size and were using first-round picks to draft guys who were 6'4" and so musclebound they could barely skate.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:48 AM   #20
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For what it is worth, Wheeler was on with Pinder yesterday talking about his prospects list.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/960/big-sho...s-farm-system/

It is interesting to me that he believes the League is trending a little away from the high-speed, blistering fast skating League; this could suggest why he has Zary ranked #1 for Calgary. Also, Wheeler is REALLY high on Wolf; he thinks he will be a NHL starter.
That was a really good listen! When I saw he had Zary rated 1st over Valimaki, I thought he was just some idiot throwing a list together without really knowing the Flames prospects. But after listening to him, he is just really high on Zary and does sound like he has a real decent understanding of the Flames prospects and the fact the Flames are not afraid to draft undersized talent.
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