On the National Hockey League calendar, August is the lousiest month of the year. October through June have meaningful hockey. July has free agency. September has training camp. August? Absolutely nothing.
So in order to stem off the gnawing feeling that is a month without hockey, we’ve made August our prospect rankings month here at FlamesNation.
The procedure is rather simple: we made a list of the Calder Trophy eligible players in the Calgary Flames system and each of us ranked them from 1 to 20. Based on everyone’s votes we created a consensus list, and from there we talked to our friends throughout the hockey world to learn a bit more about each player and their chances to move along to hockey’s highest level.
Starting on Monday, we’ll profile one Flames prospect per weekday until we’re at the top-ranked prospect on Aug. 30. As a reminder, we’re using Calder eligibility rules so the likes of Andrew Mangiapane, Oliver Kylington and Rasmus Andersson are considered graduated because they’ve played too many NHL games.
The players that didn’t get any votes
There were 31 players on our long list of eligible players. Seven received zero votes on any of the submitted ballots:
- Spencer Foo
- Justin Kirkland
- Ryan Lomberg
- Andrew Nielsen
- Mitchell Mattson
- Nick Schneider
- Rinat Valiev
The “no votes” cluster can be split pretty cleanly into two groups: low ceiling prospects and older prospects. Mattson and Schneider quite simply are long-shot prospects with fairly low ceilings, and so it’s not terribly shocking to see them on the outside looking in. Meanwhile, Foo (25), Kirkland (22), Lomberg (24), Nielsen (22) and Valiev (24) are fairly far along in their developmental arcs and effectively are what they are at this point.
Got some votes, but missed top 20
Another four players received votes, but missed out on cracking the top 20 list:
- Glenn Gawdin
- Jon Gillies
- Luke Philp
- Milos Roman
Gillies had an up-and-down season and is now 25. He’s on the verge of aging off the list. As a free agent signing from Canadian university hockey, Philp is a bit of a question mark in terms of how his superb USports play will translate to the professional ranks. Roman didn’t put up amazing offensive numbers for the Vancouver Giants, but was a very solid role player as they pushed the powerhouse Prince Albert Raiders to seven games in the WHL finals. Gawdin is arguably the least flashy player in the Flames system, but he had a very solid first pro season with Stockton and can play in any situation.
We’ll be back on Monday to kick off the countdown with the 20th ranked prospect in the Flames system.