Welcome to Part 2 of reviewing our Top 25 Under 25 class from way back in 2015. It’s been fun looking back at some players we haven’t spoken of in years, but there have also been players who made me want to bang my head into the wall. Don’t worry there’s plenty more of that in the Top 13.
If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can CLICK HERE to read it where we profile #25 through #14. If you’re in the Top 25 Under 25 mood, you can CLICK HERE to rank this year’s class of players as we compile our rankings through Saturday of this week and start the articles next week.
#13 - D Tyler Wotherspoon (2011 2nd Round Pick)
Ah Tyler Wotherspoon. For me he was always the guy we said “Is this the year he becomes a full time NHLer?” yet he was never able to get over that hurdle. At this point he was coming off a full season in Stockton where he had a respectable 24 points in 61 games. He had also played in six of the Flames playoff games as well. However Wotherspoon would have three more years of primarily AHL hockey with brief call-ups to the NHL but would leave the organization in 2018, and is now with the Flyers AHL affiliate.
#12 - D Oliver Kylington (2015 2nd Round Pick)
At this time in the summer of 2015, Kylington was a super exciting prospect for the Flames organization. After being ranked as high as Top 5 in early season mock drafts, Kylington had injuries and other issues push him way down the draft board, and the Flames finally snagged him at Pick 60. Kylington would play three full years in Stockton before moving to the Flames but only playing about a half a season each time as he often wound up #6 or #7 on the depth chart. He still has his potential, but it’s hard to say if the Flames still have the full belief in him.
#11 - LW Morgan Klimchuk (2013 1st Round Pick)
The 2013 draft really ending up being a stinker after the Sean Monahan pick with only 9 NHL games played by Flames draft picks after him. Klimchuk had just one of those games. He had a couple promising seasons in Stockton in 2016-17 and 2017-18 but he was never able to excel past being a pretty good AHL forward. Klimchuk was traded to the Leafs organization for Andrew Nielsen who just left to Europe and he was since traded to the Senators.
#10 - C Markus Granlund (2011 2nd Round Pick)
Markus Granlund is a weird player for me, I seem to have a bunch of memories of him being involved in key moments for the Flames, yet he only ended up playing 88 games over three seasons with the team. At this point he was coming off of 18 points in 48 games after earning his first real shot at the NHL level. However Granlund would struggle in 2015-16 and be traded to Vancouver for Hunter Shinkaruk (bleh). Granlund would have a few decent years in Vancouver including 19 goals and 32 points in 2016-17 before being signed by the Oilers last offseason. He struggled to maintain a spot in Edmonton’s forward core despite its lack of depth, and now finds himself in the KHL.
#9 - C Drew Shore (Acquired via Trade in Jan 2015)
The Flames traded for Shore in January of 2015, sending Corban Knight back to Florida for him. Shore had been stuck on the Panthers depth chart and got a bit of an NHL shot in Calgary before ending up back in the AHL the following season. At the time the trade felt like a steal, but that ended up not being the case as Shore left briefly to Vancouver before heading to Europe for good. He’s still playing in the KHL right now.
#8 - G Joni Ortio (2009 6th Round Pick)
Ortio’s career over his time with the Flames was strange. After being drafted in 2009, he spent time in both Finland and the AHL for a few years. He got his first round of games in the NHL in 2013-14 before getting a big role in Stockton in 2014-15. He had a decent performance in 2014-15, and became part of a three-headed goalie tandem with Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo in 2015-16. Predictably it didn’t really work out, but he did get in 22 games that year with a 7-9-5 record behind a bad Flames team. The Flames however chose not to re-sign him and he’s been back in Europe since.
#7 - RW Micheal Ferland (2010 5th Round Pick)
Of course this series was published just months after Ferland had been running over the Canucks in the playoffs and becoming a celebrity in the city. Ferland had become a full time NHLer during the season, and never played another AHL game with the Flames franchise. He would have three more solid years with the Flames, topping out with 21 goals in 77 games in 2017-18. Ferland was then traded to Carolina in the Elias Lindholm deal, and had a good year there as part of the Bunch of Jerks before signing in Vancouver on a three year deal. Unfortunately concussion issues arose for Ferland again this year and it’s unclear what his future holds. Really hope he’s able to get healthy again as he was a great story.
#6 - RW Emile Poirier (2013 1st Round Pick)
Sad trombone sound. Poirier’s lack of progression still stings after the already mentioned bust of the 2013 class. Considering guys like Shea Theodore and Andre Burakovsky were taken with five picks after him, it’s extremely frustrating. Poirier was coming off an impressive 42 point rookie season in the AHL which included a six game callup to Calgary. However Poirier would take a step back in the AHL in 2015-16 and never reach those numbers before leaving the organization after 2017-18. Since then he’s played with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, the Jets affilaite.
#5 - G Jon Gillies (2012 3rd Round Pick)
Gillies was coming off his third and final season at Providence College where he again put up great numbers with a .930 SV% and winning the Frozen Four. However Gillies wouldn’t end up developing as the goaltender of the future fans had been clamouring for. A significant injury wiped out most of his 2015-16 season, and he was never really able to gain solid form in Stockton. Gillies had an 11 game tryout late in the 2017-18 season but also struggled to impress and wound up losing the backup job to David Rittich. A couple more lackluster seasons in Stockton and Gillies was out of the organization this offseason.
#4 - C/LW Sam Bennett (2014 1st Round Pick)
Sam Bennett had a very strange year after being drafted fourth overall by the Flames. A shoulder injury and subsequent surgery sidelined him for almost the entire year. However he returned to action with 11 games with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL, posting a whopping 24 points. Bennett made his NHL debut in the final game of the regular season and ended up earning his way into the playoff lineup, where he became a folk hero, perhaps second only to Micheal Ferland. “18 year old Sam Bennett” is a name he still goes by to this day despite being 24. Bennett’s growth has been odd to say the least, but he has been arguably the Flames best player in the last two playoffs after being meh at best in the regular season. We’re still stuck waiting and seeing what the future holds for him.
#3 - D Dougie Hamilton (Acquired June 2015)
The Flames took advantage of a tight cap in Boston during the 2015 Draft, and managed to pry Hamilton away for a 1st and 2 2nd round picks. Hamilton would have three very solid seasons for the Flames proudction-wise, but underlying issues seemed to ultimately lead to his departure from the team. He was traded to Carolina in 2018, but the Flames got two assets back for him and life goes on. He was having a Norris-level season this past year with 40 points in 47 games before a leg injury cut his season short.
#2 - C Sean Monahan (2013 1st Round Pick)
Yeah, not a ton to say here. He’s up to 9th all time now in franchise history in goals. There are still parts of his game that need work but that’s been beaten to a pulp in other articles and discussions. It was pretty clear from the start he was going to be good.
#1 - LW Johnny Gaudreau (2011 4th Round Pick)
Yeah he’s good, and no they shouldn’t trade him now. Stop it. Gaudreau sits just outside the Top 10 in franchise scoring history and has a good shot to get as high as 7th or 8th by the end of next season, depending on how many games are played. Go Johnny Go.
#13 to #1 Summary:
Flames Draft Picks: 11/13
Picks 2nd Round or Higher: 7/11
>100 NHL GP: 6/13
Still with Flames: 4/13
Once again, if this article put you in the Top 25 Under 25 mood, you can CLICK HERE to rank this year’s class of players.