Home > Award Season! > Introducing… the Kris Chucko Award

Introducing… the Kris Chucko Award

So I started writing a prospect update, then Hayley had to steal my thunder with a solid post over at M&G.  So instead of an update, I’ll give out an award (named for the single greatest prospect in Flames history who is still a prospect to this day) to the best Flames prospect this year.  The conditions: they must be in a North American junior league or the NCAA.  Chances are I’ll make this a yearly thing, so here’s a look at the runners up.

Ryan Howse

Ryan Howse is not a big guy.  In fact, he’s my height (5’11”) with only 20 more pounds than me. This is not a bad thing however.  He’s fast, a strong skater, and has good hands to go with it.  This year he scored 47 goals with 25 assists, good for a spread of 47-25-72.  Those 47 goals tied him for 3rd in the WHL with Matt Calvert and Cody Eakin.  And he didn’t let up in the playoffs either, going 5-1-6 before his team was eliminated in 6 games.

Pretty fantastic, right?  The only thing making me a little cautious is SH%, or rather, lack of knowledge of it. 47 goals is pretty high for only 25 assists, at least in junior, but his previous year’s stats are a similar differential at 31-13-44, suggesting a Mike Bossy type player: goals and not much else. Still, 47 goals is nothing to sneeze at, and given the lack of legitimate offensive players on the Heat next year, look for him to be playing top minutes on the Heat.  Provided, of course, that Sutter is no longer in charge or at least no longer intent on suffocating youth.

Gaelan Patterson

Originally he was hardly a sexy prospect (though he has a badass name- Gaelan), Patterson was selected in the 7th round, 201st overall.  Despite that, his production on the Saskatoon Blades this year has been a lovely surprise like coming home and finding a tea party.  Sure, there’s no beer or taquitos, but there’s ladies there and crumpets are kinda tasty, so why complain?

At 6-0 and 204lbs, he’s not huge, but big enough and likely to still grow (random fact: men continue growing until they’re 29 or so) a little bit. I doubt he’ll ever become an NHL first liner, since his stats have held steady at 22-35-57 last year and 26-33-59 this year. But he could becoime a DVG type player, and he did had a rock solid +31 last year next to a +21 this year. Wait, you mean that’s not way out of line on his team and is pretty average?  Well, I’m still pretty happy with how this deep deep pick has developed, and you should be too.

Greg Nemisz

Bluntly put: pretty stats on a loaded team.  Did anyone watch him at the WJC? His Jagr Metric (a measurement of floating ability) was off the charts. On a team that scored 35 goals in that tournament he did nothing.  I hope he’ll develop, but right now I’m not so high on him.

The Kris Chucko Trophy

And your Kris Chucko Prospect of Stupendousness Award Winner is…

Mitch Wahl

The kid has hockey smarts, work ethic, and in this particular photo a face that looks like it should come with “Made In Taiwan” imprinted on the backside.

Future “Ken Doll, Hockey Player” model? Perhaps

Still, the guy has been putting up points this year, to the tune of 30-66-96 in 72 games, good for 7th in the WHL.  He also doesn’t vanish in big game situations, unlike a prospect I’ll take a look at later.  He’s rocking a 2-4-6 spread in 6 playoff games this year, with the 7th tonight.  Often times this is while playing against the other team’s best players.  Wahl has a very complete game for his age, and while I doubt he’ll make the big club next year, in what is likely his first as a pro, him getting the occasional call-up, in addition to a good long look in camp, would not surprise me.

Provided he doesn’t take a step back, he’ll make the Flames in 2-3 years.

Categories: Award Season!
  1. Robert Cleave
    March 31, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    As an ’09 draftee, Ryan Howse can’t play in the AHL on a full-time basis until after next season. If the Flames signed him to his entry-level deal, he could go there for the rest of this year, but for next season, it’s Chilliwack or Calgary, and unless something pretty damned strange happens, it’ll be the WHL. He had a very nice year, though. I don’t think he had much help on that team, so the assist numbers aren’t too big an issue, IMO.

    • Arik
      April 1, 2010 at 8:53 am

      Re: assists
      Those are my thoughts and hopes too. On the subject of AHL eligibility, Howse played 5 games in 06-07, I wasn’t sure if that counted towards a year in junior or not. Someone mentioned that it did and I ran with it. He’s got kind of an awkward birthday month.

      • Robert Cleave
        April 3, 2010 at 11:08 am

        Sorry for taking so long to get back to this, Arik, but the benchmark for a full season that the AHL follows for CHL players is 25 games. Howse has only completed 3 full years under that criteria. Here’s the url for Rich Hammond’s explanation when this subject came up in the case of Thomas Hickey:


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