Markus Granlund, Re-Introducing Your Calgary Flames


Mar 5, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Markus Granlund (60) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Markus Granlund is one of 5 Calgary Flames forwards listed under six feet tall.  Aside from Jiri Hudler, each “small’ish” player is currently in the “prospect” phase of their young careers.  Paul Byron, Sven Baertschi, and Johnny Gaudreau are the others.

Markus Granlund was the AHL’s leading goal scorer among rookies with 23 when the Calgary Flames called him up in late February to make his NHL debut.  Granlund’s debut game was on February 27, 2014 against the Los Angeles Kings.  Granlund’s  first NHL point came in his third game, fittingly against the team his brother Mikael plays for, the Minnesota Wild.  Granlund would score a goal in each of his next two games.  Then on March 10th, on this innocent enough looking play, Granlund’s Calgary Flames season came to an end.

Markus Granlund did return to play for the AHL Abbotsford Heat’s final two games of their regular season (April 17th and 19th) collecting three assists.  Granlund also played in the Heat’s four playoff games collecting two goals and three assists while blasting 17 shots.

Here is The Hockey News breakdown of the 21 year old Mr. Granlund:

"Assets: Like older brother Mikael, he oozes creativity and offensive upside. Also displays plenty of two-way acumen. Makes his teammates better around him as a general rule.Flaws: Doesn’t have ideal NHL size, so he will need to add significant bulk in order to prove he can play a scoring role at the highest level. Isn’t an elite goal-scorer, either."

Physically and mentally, playing for the Adirondack Flames of the AHL makes the most sense for Granlund.  After all, with Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan, and Matt Stajan the Calgary Flames already have three pencilled in starters at center.  With his reported BFF Joni Ortio likely starting 2014-15 in Adirondack, the focus can stay on the fact that Mr. Granlund is not only entering his second year of AHL/NHL action but also only his 2nd year on North American soil.