Yes, it's that time of year where we all get really excited about WJC rosters. I'm going to look at the various Flames prospects that make the teams (or come close to it) over the next week or so, break down their playing styles, and what this WJC time can mean for their development and the Flames.
Today the US announced its preliminary camp roster (you know, so we can defend that glorious gold medal) of 29 names. In those 29 names was one John Ramage, drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 4th round of the 2010 draft, 103rd overall.
John Ramage is a physical defenseman for the Wisconsin Badgers. They're my college team, so I've watched him play a few times and I like what I've seen. He hits hard, skates hard, but doesn't get too caught up that he forgets his defensive responsibilities. He's got good eyes for a little bit of offense, but he's more likely to hand over the puck to a teammate and let them take care of the breakout or the point.
What's he accomplished? Well, his numbers aren't bad, and they're improving this year too: last year in 41 games with UW Madison, he put up 2-10-12. This year, in 18 games, he's 1-7-8, putting him on pace for 2-16-18 over 41 games. Nothing stellar, but then, numbers aren't really his game. He also managed 51 PIM last year, and is on pace for 55 this year (24 at the moment).
Ramage has been on his share of winners too; he was on the US team that won the WJC last year, but he also won gold in the U-18 WJC back in 2008, and UW Madison came in second in the 2010 Frozen Four, losing 5-0 to Boston College. His father, as I'm sure is mentioned in every article about him is Rob Ramage, former defenseman for, well, a lot of teams, including the Flames. And while I have no expectations he'll be the player his father was, John Ramage is a guy I'm looking forward to seeing a few years down the road.
Finally- what does him playing in the WJC mean for the Flames? Well, there's a good chance he'll be one of the only Flames suiting up in the WJC this year. No Canadian players look likely (maybe Ryan Howse? Possibly?), and the other guys it looks likely for are Tim Erixon and maybe Joni Ortio. But we'll cover them another day.
On a side note: I'm getting a dog (pug or lab) in the next couple of months. Give me some Flames suggestions and I'll make it into a Fanpost poll later on. I've already got Rene Bark from Hayley, Lanny from Chemmy at PPP, and Vernon from...someone.