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Canada, AB • Canada • 23 Years Old • Male
According to Hockey's Future, the Flames are currently ranked at 14 in terms of prospect quality. Looking at the names and their point totals make it seem like there's a sharp drop off after the top five prospects. However, problems with Russian clubs looking at our players, or players just not wanting to play anymore have eroded our top five to three potential players.

Let's look at the top five ranked players currently in the Flames farm system.

1) Dustin Boyd, C
Boyd is currently up with the big club, and doesn't look to be going back down any time soon. Like it or not, he's likely graduated from the AHL and will be in the NHL for the rest of the season, as well as next season.

2) Leland Irving, G
Scouts, and Irving, himself claim that he's following a similar plan that Cam Ward had earlier. A sort of five-year plan to get from junior to the majors. I don't seem him getting up any sooner than that, because in terms of development and experience, MacElhinney, Keetley and Krahn are ahead of him. And besides, Kiprusoff has been signed long term, so our starting goaltender situation isn't really up in the air. Irving projects to be a quality NHL goaltender though, so I say, don't rush him into things.

3) Daniel Ryder, C
He walked away from the farm team due to 'personal problems'. I don't want to discuss this further, but I hope that he resolves these problems and comes back, because he could be one hell of a player.

4) Mikael Backlund, C
Backlund is my favorite prospect that Calgary has, and I would hate to see him go for anything. Incredibly talented already and is able to play the two-way game. I look forward to watching him lace them up and play on the big team in three to four years.

5) Andrei Taratukhin, C
He's gone back to Russia. Sutter himself has said that he didn't think that Taratukhin's game suited the NHL and the Flames in general.

Those are the top five. Two are currently MIA.

Now, there's a couple ways that the Flames could build the farm; a) through drafting, or b) through some trades.

Sutter's got the drafting down pat, since the last two first round drafts have wound up in the top five, I won't even bother commenting on that front.

However, trades also build prospect lists fairly well.

Some possibilities that I thought of..

Chicago has a very young defense and will be looking for the a calming presence of a veteran, since I don't think that Brent Sopel could do it all himself. Except for Brent Sopel, everybody on the blue line will be under the age of 25.

Rhett Warrener has a cap hit (2.35M) that could easily be absorbed into Chicago's payroll, and one that would benefit Calgary by shedding. Calgary needs prospects, of any position, so any quality prospect coming back would be beneficial.

Trade suggestion looks something like this:

To Chicago:
D Rhett Warrener

To Calgary:
C Akim Aliu
D Niklas Hjalmarsson

St. Louis has three pending UFAs on their backend, and it doesn't look like many of their defensive prospects are going to make the jump, so potentially sending them a 3rd pairing D-man would seem like a good deal to them.

Anders Eriksson hasn't really fit here in Calgary. His price tag is low enough that it could be incorporated into St. Louis' plans, and it's only for one season as well. That one season would allow for development of some of the prospects that St. Louis has that are that close to making the jump.

To St. Louis:
D Anders Eriksson

To Calgary:
RW Aaron Palushaj

I'm not discounting the prospects that we currently have, but the distribution of wealth just isn't there. Trading one of our goaltending prospects to a team which seems to be in need for one would be a pretty good deal from our standpoint.

To Colorado:
G Curtis MacElhinney

To Calgary:
D Johnny Boychuk
Avs 2009 3rd Rounder

Post any ideas that you guys had to build the farm.
February 18, 2008 10:14 PM ET | Delete
Maybe you guys can trade Jarome Iginla for someone who has the guts to fight without his visor on!
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