Well, the Calgary Flames haven't had the best start to the season this year, but I don't think it's time to throw in the proverbial towel just yet. I did a little bit of digging into other notable forwards from random teams this season, and the numbers seem to tell a story. Here's what I found...
Sean Monahan, who was drafted in 2013 and was recently given the A on his jersey, is barely 21 years old and has been a good presence on the team. A lot of people seem to think he's the next captain in waiting and he'll be the face of the Flames in years to come. At 6'3" and 195 lbs, Mony (as he's affectionately known among his fans) earned 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 5 outings with an average of 20.21 time on ice. In total, he's notched 7 goals and 8 assists (15 points) so far this season and I believe he's just getting started.
Johnny Gaudreau, the 5'9" 22 year old Boston College alum, has been quite a spectacle this season so far. Drafted in 2011, this pint-sized forward has brought wonder and hope to the top line that already boasted the skills of Monahan and veteran Jiri Hudler. With 5 goals and 15 assists (20 points) in 21 games, Gaudreau has stepped up his game this year and averaged almost a point a game.
In the last 5 games, both players have a combined 6 points, which is an average of over a point a game. That seems productive after a slow start in October. I took a look at other players around the league that are comparable to Monahan and Gaudreau at this time in the season in hopes of getting a sense as to whether or not the Flames season looks a little brighter than the beginning.
Teuvo Teravainen of the Chicago Blackhawks has had a pretty good season so far with 9 points in 18 games. At the age of 21, this 178 lbs, 5'11" forward has an average of 11.97 time on ice and 2 assists in his last 5 games with an overall season rating of +3.
LA Kings forward, Tyler Toffoli is one of the most outstanding younger players in the league this season with 18 points in 20 games. Drafted in 2010, this 23 year old has an average time on ice of 18 minutes in his last 5 games and has earned 4 assists.
Leon Draisaitl, from Germany, was the first-round draft pick for the Edmonton Oilers in 2014, and here's why. In his last 5 games, Draisaitl has notched 4 goals and 6 assists while averaging 17.24 time on ice. His +10 rating so far this season isn't too shabby either. He has 17 points in only 10 games with the Oilers - not bad for a guy who was initially sent down during the preseason and was called up two weeks after the season had started.
Max Domi, well known among the hockey world as the son of former Leafs enforcer, Tie Domi, is very similar in stature to Gaudreau, being only 5'10" and 198 lbs. But this smaller forward has been an asset to the Arizona Coyotes so far this season with his impressive moves on the ice. In 20 games this season, he's tallied 8 goals and 8 assists and sits at a +4 rating overall. He's earned 3 points in his last 5 games with an average time on ice of 15.20.
So, even though the Calgary Flames may have started out slowly, the younger players are proving that there is much to be seen yet as their numbers and their offensive prowess have matched or even exceeded other comparable players in the league. Not to say that these are the only players on their respective teams that matter, but I thought it would be interesting to point out that it's probably not a good idea to throw in the towel and give up on the Flames season quite yet. There's lots of hockey yet to play.
Go Flames Go!