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Introduction to Matchsticks & Gasoline's 2017 Top 25 Under 25

A glance back to last year and an introduction to this year.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As we transition to the later and slowest part of the offseason, it is time to do some looking forward toward the future, with our annual Top 25 Calgary Flames Under 25.

A few of us here have collaborated to rank the Top 25 members of the Calgary Flames' system that are under the age of 25. This is always an interesting challenge, as you have to rank players based on present and expected value, across various ages, positions and leagues.

While we will never get anywhere near perfection, we have compiled a list of who we believe are the top 25 players under the age of 25 that are Calgary Flames. Where some of those players land in the rankings is something that will be very subjective from person to person. By no means are the rankings we will show you the consensus of any of our writers, but we have a general agreement about most of it.

The Flames have a very bright present and a strong future thanks to some excellent drafting and development, so enjoy this upcoming journey with us as we take a look at the best young players of the Flames' organization.

Our 2016 Top 25 Under 25 Rankings

Here is a quick look at our rankings from last year.

Spoiler alert: Some things have changed a lot since then.

  1. Johnny Gaudreau
  2. Sean Monahan
  3. Dougie Hamilton
  4. Sam Bennett
  5. Matthew Tkachuk
  6. Jon Gillies
  7. Micheal Ferland
  8. Hunter Shinkaruk
  9. Oliver Kylington
  10. Rasmus Andersson
  11. Mark Jankowski
  12. Andrew Mangiapane
  13. Brandon Hickey
  14. Emile Poirier
  15. Daniel Pribyl
  16. Jyrki Jokipakka
  17. Tyler Wotherspoon
  18. Morgan Klimchuk
  19. Brett Kulak
  20. Garnet Hathaway
  21. Tyler Parsons
  22. Dillon Dube
  23. Adam Fox
  24. Adam Ollas Mattson
  25. Mason McDonald

Some of These Players Will Not Factor In To This Year's List Because Of Various Reasons

Graduated From Eligibility

This list is for the Top 25 Players Under 25. Some players that were on last year's list are too old to be counted in this year's rankings.

  • Micheal Ferland
  • Garnet Hathaway

Traded Out of the Organization

A couple players have left the organization via trade.

  • Brandon Hickey
  • Jyrki Jokipakka

Knocked Off the List

A couple of the players that made the cut last year have been passed by, either due to an influx of new talent (Ollas Mattson) or uninspiring play (McDonald).

  • Adam Ollas Mattson
  • Mason McDonald

The 2016 Draft Class Was Strong, 2017 Is Not Looking Quite as Hot.

4 players from the 2016 draft class made our rankings last year. All 4 have climbed our rankings this year, while a fifth one has found his way onto our list.

Unsurprisingly, due to a lack of picks in the earlier rounds and an overall weaker draft year, only one player from the 2017 draft has made our list this year.

Speaking of the 2016 Class...

We had Adam Fox way too low. Way too low. I was excited about him from the day the team drafted him, but I think collectively we were unsure how his USHL success would translate to the NCAA.

It definitely did and you will see his terrific play reflected in his 2017 ranking.

The Full List of Eligible Players

This year the Flames have 42 players that are eligible to make the list, now we will run through some of our honourable mentions as well as the remaining players.

Ryan Lomberg - Lomberg has started to make a name for himself among Flames fans with his physicality. A 29 point season in his first full AHL year earned him his ELC and there could be more around the corner.

Eetu Tuulola - Just missed the Top 25 but looks to have a promising future as yet another solid Flames 6th round pick. Will likely be back with the Everett Silvertips this year but it will be interesting to see his progression in his second WHL year.

Nick Schneider - He also just misses the list which is understandable with the depth of the goaltending prospects the Flames have. He had a decent year in Medicine Hat, totalling 32 wins in 47 games and will be returning to the WHL for his overage season with the Calgary Hitmen.

Adam Ollas-Mattsson - Ollas-Mattsson fell from the Top 25 to just outside of it, but it really wasn’t his fault. The Flames clearly still have some hope for him as they’re bringing him over to North America this season.

Adam Ruzicka - We haven’t seen a ton of Ruzicka yet but at first glance he seems to possess a lot of strong traits the Flames need. He’ll be back in Sarnia this season but he could make noise down the road.

The Rest

Austin Carroll - 16 points in 51 games in Stockton this season, not much there.

Tim Harrison - Finished his college career this year. Could play in ECHL next year.

Rushan Rafikov - Will we ever see Rafikov? Probably not.

Mason McDonald - Put up poor numbers in the ECHL and is falling fast on the depth chart.

Brett Pollock - Had 31 points in the ECHL. Could make a push for Stockton this year.

Hunter Smith - Why did we use a second round pick on him again?

Zach Fischer - Put up 63 points in the WHL, could be ECHL bound or return for one more year of WHL.

Pavel Karnaukhov - Was in the running for a honorable mention spot but just missed out.

Linus Lindstrom - Will play in Sweden again this year.

Mitchell Mattson - Still a long term project.

D’Artagnan Joly - Late round pick of this draft, can prove his value this season.

Filip Sveningsson - Ditto

It All Starts Next Week

Starting Monday, we unveil #25 on our list. See you then.