With both the Flames and the Abbotsford Heat sitting this one out where the post-season is concerned this Spring, it is perhaps time to turn our attention to some of the organization's draftees competing in the Canadian Hockey League playoffs.
Heading into the finals for each of the three Leagues, only two players representing the Flames remain and both of them play for the Kootenay Ice, who completed a sweep of the Medicine Hat Tigers last night en route to a berth in the WHL final against either the Spokane Chiefs or Portland Winterhawks.
Max Reinhart (2010 3rd Round, 64th Overall)
Renihart has had a spectacular playoffs thus far and ranks second in overall playoff scoring, ahead of teammate and top prospect Cody Eakin; he has 14 goals and 22 points in 14 games played for a grand total of 1.57 points per game and is a +12 with only eight penalty minutes. Only four of his 22 points have come on the powerplay and three shorthanded. His five goals against the Tigers last night (including two shorthanded markers) broke a thirty-year old WHL record and helped the Ice to their 11th consecutive win and their second consecutive series sweep.
Joey Leach (2010 3rd Round, 73rd Overall)
Leach was limited to just 56 games in the 2010-11 regular season due to injury, but still managed five goals and 30 points and a +16. In 14 playoff games thus far, the defencemen has three points including two shorthanded assists and is +2 with 12 PIMS. Leach isn't counted on to rake in the points and has limited offensive upside as a largely stay-at-home defencemen, his offensive ability is there and has been improving.
Reinhart continues to show some really encouraging progress at the WHL level, and could potentially get his first taste of American Hockey League action next season. With the Flames' organization's current surplus of defenders, there is absolutely no need to rush Leach, also in his second last year of Junior, to the Pros--although recent history has proven that the Heat typically need all the help they can get at all positions within a season, amplified by the fact that a player like T.J. Brodie could potentially earn a full-time gig with the big club next season.