With the 2013 season looking pretty bleak for the Calgary Flames, it is a great time for the team to take a look at its young talent and future. With trade rumors involving Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester, Mike Cammalleri and even Alex Tanguay swirling, the 2013-14 Flames roster may look a lot different than it does this year. Unfortunately for the Flames, their young talent has not made the most of their opportunity in the NHL this season, adding to an already disappointing year.
Roman Cervenka has skated in 20 games this season, yet has only scored three goals and has just eight points. A goal against the San Jose Sharks on Mar. 6 is his only point in the Flames’ last seven games, quite a letdown after starting the season with five points in eight games. Sven Baertschi has been one of the bigger disappointments for the team this season, with only one assist in 10 games. He had three goals in his first five NHL games last season and had 18 points in 22 games for the Abbotsford Heat during the lockout. The young winger was sent back down to the AHL this week and will likely spend a good portion of the rest of the season there barring and injury at the NHL level.
Roman Horak (pictured above) has seen action in just six games for the Flames this season, scoring a goal and adding an assist. He had 25 points in 51 games for Abbotsford, but has struggled to be consistent when called up the past two seasons. Part of the reason Baertschi was sent down was to clear a roster spot for Mikael Backlund, who returned this week from a knee injury that had limited him to eight games for the season. He had three goals and four points before getting hurt, and has one goal in two games since returning. Backlund has so far proven to be one the Flames’ most consistent and NHL-ready youngsters and has all but guaranteed himself a big role with the team as it rebuilds.
The Flames will no doubt be adding another highly talented player to this group when the 2013 draft rolls around, but there is no reason the current group of top prospects can’t use this time to improve their all-around game and be ready for a fresh start next season.