Flames Draft Probables

Christian Roatis
June 04 2014 11:15AM

2014-nhldraft

Over the next few weeks we'll be breaking down possible draft options for the Calgary Flames at each of their picks in late June, and although after the first 15 or so players in this draft there's mass controversy where everyone else fits, it'll still be fun to get a gist of what could be coming Calgary's way at the annual event.

Starting at the top, the Flames hold the 4th overall holler - the highest in team history - and are guaranteed (unless they go way, way, way off the board) an elite prospect from it. The consensus top five or six guys have been public knowledge for a long time now, but the order in which they go is an interesting component to analyze. Dale Tallon has publicly been shopping his first overall pick - somewhat aggressively according to Panthers beat writer George Richards. Will the Panthers deal the pick? Could the Flames move up? Tons of intrigue around that situation. 

Talk out of Edmonton is that Oiler brass is in love with Leon Draisaitl and are lining up to snag him a pick before the Flames, at 3. There's endless scenarios that could play out and the only sure thing from a Flames perspective is they're working tirelessly to construct their list, and won't deter from it when they go to select.

The Likely Candidates

Sam Reinhart, C, WHL, (Ranked 4th by FutureConsiderations)

Meandering around the internet, mock draft to mock draft, I'm beginning to see with more frequency Sam Reinhart falling to the Flames. Reinhart is pegged by almost everyone as a Top 2 player in this draft class, but that doesn't mean he'll get selected as such. It's not out of the realm of possibility he's available when the Flames stroll up to the podium, and if he is, there's no mistaking whose name they'll call.

Right off the bat: without a doubt, the best eyes and brain in the draft. No one thinks the game at higher level than Sam Reinhart and the device between his ears is tailored specifically for hockey - and tailored well. He's given us glimpses of his brilliance in virtually every game this season, sometimes making small, shrewd plays, while other times pasting himself on the 'Honour Roll'. That's the beauty of Sam Reinhart. His genius isn't limited to highlight reel plays. He incorporates it into every little piece of his game, making him a dangerous player at all times. He played World Juniors as an underager as a result and performed well, considering the circumstances. 

In 203 career WHL games Reinhart has a solid 254 points, including 105 points in 60 games this year, 36 of those being goals. He's captain of the Ice, one of only three 18 year old captains in the CHL (Ekblad being one of the others), and was named WHL player of the year. Not bad for a kid who's still can't enter a bar in his home province of British Columbia. 

The issue with Reinhart remains for me however, his ability to translate this high scoring offensive to the pro ranks. He will undoubtedly score, but I don't see him being an elite scorer. People will argue, "how can a guy with that kind of vision not produce at the NHL?" My response is this: Reinhart hasn't racked up points by dangling around people or ripping shots past goaltenders. He's done it by simply out-smarting his opponents, not out-skilling them. To succeed as a scorer in the NHL, you need both, and in my humble opinion, only one of those tangibles is elite. A strong two-way center that contributes here and there seems a more likely projection for the youngest of Paul Reinhart's kids.

If the 6-foot-1, 183 pound center does indeed fall to the Flames at 4, party at my house because the Flames just landed a cornerstone.

Potential: 

Top Line Center, although I think he settles into a 2nd center role

NHL Comparables: 

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mike Richards

W hen will/should he play in the NHL?

2015/16 at the latest, but probably next year 


Sam Bennett, C/LW, OHL, (Ranked 3rd by FutureConsiderations)


Well there was a ton of hoop-la over the fact he couldn't do a pull up, but to me that just means his potential to grow is even higher than initially anticipated. As Aaron Vickers of Future Considerations and Calgary Flames.com mentioned on Sportsnet960 yesterday, Drew Doughty couldn't do a pull up either. Bennett netted 36 goals and 91 points in 57 games without the strength of doing a pull up? What will he do when he undoubtedly acquires that strength? I'd personally like to find out right here in Calgary. He's probably one of the most likely guys to end up here come June 27th and I get the feeling Flames fans are more than alright with that prognostication.

Bennett is a pure offensive talent with an excellent shot and deceptive speed. He gets his goals through hard work and determination most of the time rather than flashiness. His primary weakness is obviously his lack of strength, but he's bulked up considerably of late, tipping the scales at 181-pounds, a respectable number for a 6-foot, 17 year old (turns 18 on June 20th). As we've learned though, most of that bulk has probably come from his legs, because the upper body hasn't much to work with. 

Bennett would be a terrific addition to the Flames' prospect core and would continue to solidify that left wing position that already features a wealth of blue-chip prospects including Sven Baertschi, Emile Poirier and Morgan Klimchuk. Bennett can also play center if need be, that'll be up to the coaching staff to decide. He won't pull a Monahan and play next year with his lack of strength and all, but when he does finally arrive, he'll be well worth the wait. 

Potential:

Top 6 Forward, could be top line forward.

NHL Comparable:

Chris Kunitz, Claude Giroux

When will/should he play in the NHL:

1-2 years


Leon Draisaitl, C/LW, WHL, (Ranked 5th by FutureConsiderations)

The 6-foot-2, 210 pound Draisaitl seems to be everyone's new favourite prospect as he's garnered a ton of attention recently between being ranked high by everyone and talk of going 3rd overall to Edmonton. He also scored 38 goals and 105 points in 60 games for Prince Albert. 

I for one still don't buy all the hype. I dislike his skating, I dislike his NHL upside and I dislike his compete level, although it's not as a big a problem to me as some make it out to be. I pray Edmonton takes him so he isn't an option for the Flames, also because a player I don't like going to Edmonton is perfect. 

Don't get me wrong, Draisaitl is a very good hockey player and a quality prospect; I just don't think in 10 years he'll be on same level as everyone else. If he can't dangle through guys at the NHL level he has no fallback characteristics to make him an effective NHLer. If he can't undress defenders standing still - as he's done multiple times in every one of my viewings - in the show, he's toast. 

Essentially if he can't be the offensive force he is now in the WHL, he has no other qualities that will make him a valuable asset, and in my opinion his skills don't have as a good a probability to translate as others do. It's an unnecessary gamble to take for a team that can't afford to miss with this selection. Many disagree with me and he might just turn into a 90 point guy, but that's just my opinion on the "Deutschland Dangler".

Draisaitl's style of play mimics that of Pavel Datysuk almost to a "T" and if the Flames do end up taking him, he'll be fun to watch .... at rookie camp. He can have the puck on a string on multiple occasions during a shift and his quick hands and shifty movements allow this lingering with the puck to occur without issue. Also like Datysuk, Draisaitl posses a tremendous ability to locate his teammates in obscure areas on the ice and feed them the puck through traffic. If the Flames end up taking Leon Draisaitl, I'll mutter things quietly to myself in Romanian. 

Potential:

Top 6 Forward, could be a top line forward.

NHL Comparable:

Pavel Datsyuk, Big German Rob Schremp

When will/should he play in the NHL:

1-2 years


Michael Dal Colle, C/LW, OHL (Ranked 6th by FutureConsiderations)


I've often reffered to Dal Colle as the "Worst Case Scenario" for the Flames at the number 4 selection and I think that's really unfair to the player because, as my press-box buddy Chris Ralph would say, "he's quite good at the ice hockey".

Dal Colle is your stereotypical "offense first" hockey player. He's always looking to make a play and when the opportunity is presented he knows exactly what to do with it. Although some peg him as a shoot first player because of his lethal shot, Dal Colle dishes the puck with more frequency than he shoots it. He's ridiculously fast and at 6'2, 180, he has the lethal speed and size combination NHL teams crave. 

As mentioned, Dal Colle's greatest asset is his shot, with vision being not too far behind. His stick might as well have a trigger because he fires it with the best of them. Hard, accurate and consistent. The feeling from people I've spoken to in the East is he has no real weaknesses outside of strength, although his defensive game could use some refinement as well. Having said that, he doesn't completely ignore those responsibilities and for an offensive dynamo, he cleans up his own end quite impressively. 

Should the Flames take him, I highly doubt he plays NHL hockey next year, with the new philosophy of developing prospects brought in my Treliving and the fact he's just not ready - size wise or play wise. In a few years though he'll likely be an integral part of Calgary's offense alongside Monahan and Co. If he does indeed become the fourth overall pick, I for one won't be complaining. 

Potential:

Top 6 forward with top line powerplay responsibilities

Comparab le:

Patrick Marleau, Tyler Seguin

When will/should he play in the NHL:

1-2 years

The Faller

Aaron Ekblad, D, OHL, (Ranked 1st by FutureConsiderations)

He's been number one on my list - and many others - all season and although the two Sam's (Reinhart and Bennett) have closed that gap throughout the season, 'Ek'; still holds down the top spot. He piled up a remarkable 23 goals and 53 points in 58 games in 2013/14. In addition, he wears the "C" in Barrie - a leadership role he also held down for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka U18 Tournament. To top off a tremendous first half of the season, Ekblad was selected to Canada's U20 World Junior Championship team this winter as an underage defenseman - also a rare feat. He finished his year strong too, leading the Colts to the playoffs, where he added 6 points in 9 games, winning a round. 

Ekblad's man-sized 6-foot-4, 216 pound and showed why he's considered one of the most physically mature prospects in the class at the Draft Combine, performing remarkably well on all the tests. If you've watched any of his interviews, you'll quickly see he's not only physically mature, but mentally as well. He has a cool, calm demeanor and "shoots you straight" as it were. No BS, no dancing around questions, just honest and concise answers. 

Sounds like a pretty good hockey player, right? Well he is. The best in this draft by noticeable margin at this point and that's why he'll probably be long gone by the time Calgary picks, nonetheless, if Seth Jones fell last year, there remains the possibility Ekblad could too. Much like Sam Reinhart, if Ekblad is there at 4, there's no mistaking whose name Treliving calls out at the podium. 

Potential: 

Number One Defenseman

NHL Comparable:

Victor Hedman

When will/should he play in the NHL?

Next year.

Off the Board


Jake Virtanen, LW, WHL, (Ranked 10th by FutureConsiderations)


Craig Button beat the tar out of Virtanen ranking him 43rd in his final rankings (although that's where Jake's been all year on Craig's list) but I think there's no doubt he goes Top 10. The powerful Hitmen forward nearly scored 50 as a draft eligible in the 'Dub this year and alongside his wicked shot has the best skating ability in the draft. Forwards, backwards, with or without the puck, Jake proved he was the fastest of everybody at the Top Prospects Game in Calgary earlier this year. All this at 6'1, 210lbs. That's a "Burke" player if I've ever seen one. 

I've personally witnessed the Flames president at a number of Hitmen games this season and Virtanen seems to perform well when Sonic - err - I mean, Burke, is looking on. The kid fights, scores and plays with all the truculence you could ask for.... about 60% of the time. The consistency in his play and desire is still a work in progress but has come a long way this season which shows he's willing to work on it. Fix that and you've nabbed yourself a hell of a player.

If all 3 of Ekblad, Reinhart and Bennett are gone, I think the Virtanen factor comes into play for the Flames. The kid has all the tools to be the best player in this draft in 10 years (no Jankowski pun intended), all he's missing is that consistency factor. I wouldn't wager anything on Calgary selecting the local enigma, but if there's a wild card at 4, it's him. I'd rather the Flames go a safer route than Virtanen, but wouldn't be terribly disappointed if he ends up wearing the Flaming C come development camp. 

Potential:

Top Line Forward, considerable risk.

NHL Comparable:

Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf 

When will/should he play:

1-3 years

Conclusion

Barring something really out of left field, the Flames will land themselves a high quality prospect come the 2014 Draft who will assist the rebuild in a big way down the road. It's unlikely whoever they select will be ready to log NHL minutes right away - let alone put up Monahan numbers, but the wait for them won't be too long either. 

Now we just sit around and wait in anticipation for the biggest draft selection in this franchise's history since.... last year. 

20eba9f84d9905f9b859288e29c3e0a8
Christian Roatis is a European by birth, Calgarian by heart. Other than writing at FlamesNation, he writes about and scouts NHL Draft Prospects at Future Considerations. Follow him on Twitter @CRoatis!
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#1 piscera.infada
June 04 2014, 11:26AM
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105 points in 6 games for Draisaitl!?!?! Draft that guy!!!

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#2 Dave
June 04 2014, 01:43PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Burke went off the board with Reilly did he not?

maybe I'm naive but isn't this Brad Trelvings draft not Burke's?

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#3 Bikeit
June 04 2014, 04:57PM
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I am very interested in the 4 picks after #4. I believe they are(34,54,64 and 83). This is where they need to mine for gold and could be key to the direction of this franchise 3 years from now. These picks are where BT and Button need to earn their money.

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#4 Walter White
June 04 2014, 07:39PM
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Chambers wrote:

I don't believe you have an understanding of the structure and how it operates. It is a Murray Edwards structure and has been employed in the Oil industry for years. Hats off to Murray as he is considered a leader in terms of adapting this model for the NHL. Many NHL teams are now following.

Brian Burke is accountable for all hockey operations. That includes player movement! Treliving will have empowerment to manage the team but like any other organizational structure you keep your boss informed and obtain his endorsement/support to proceed on hockey trades or other related hockey operations matters.

The overall strategic plan is bought in by Trevling at the interview stage to ensure alignment with the Burke philosophy and the rebuild process going forward.

Make no mistake Burke has overall responsibility and has the final salon all hockey matters but I assume he is astute enough to know he has hired a sharp GM who will have new/his own ideas and overall that will benefit the entire organization.

This is certainly groundbreaking stuff by Edwards: so the boss has final approval on big decisions!.....

It is definitely a lot different from the old model where the boss sits in his office with his feet on the desk.....

Thank you for educating us simpletons on this complicated structure!!!

WW

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#5 coachedpotatoe
June 04 2014, 06:06PM
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I have been having quite a laugh the last couple of days reading the comments about the draft, whom people would trade for the #1. You would think Ekbald is a cross between Scott Stevens and Bobby Orr(yes I'm old). He might not be more than Dion! We just don't know. If he falls to 4 then great but I don't want to sell the farm as they say for him. If we are honest yes our organizational depth is better than it has been but we need everything; we don't have a clear number 1 center, or LW, or RW but we do have a lot of prospects who might be just that. At least on D we have a sound number one pairing that can be together for about 3 more years before Gio takes a significant step back.

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#6 Parallex
June 04 2014, 12:47PM
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@shutout

I have Draisaitl in that top group. If Ekblad and the Sams go 1-3 I want Draisaitl.

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#7 SeanCharles
June 04 2014, 01:19PM
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Ekblad Sam 1 Sam 2 Draisaitl

I can't see us drafting anyone but one of the above!

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#8 Lordmork
June 04 2014, 12:02PM
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I'm really intrigued by the possibility of obtaining the first overall pick from Florida, at a cost that would hopefully not include the 4th overall. Presumably, the price would be very expensive in terms of roster players (as I understand that's what Florida is looking for), but the opportunity to draft both a potential top defencemen and another skilled centre might be worth paying for.

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#9 McRib
June 04 2014, 11:34AM
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@piscera.infada

Not to mention he got better as the season went on he had 45 Points in Final 21 Games (2.14PPG). During the months of November (22 Points), February (26 Points) & March (19 Points) there is no doubt in my mind that Leon Draisaitl was by far the best prospect anywhere.

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#10 Jeff Lebowski
June 04 2014, 03:42PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Would you consider something like Baertschi, Klimchuk, Hanowski and a 3rd?

I doubt that's enough but would you move 2 'A' prospects, a 'C' plus a pick? Keep our 4th, take Ekblad#1, a C at#4 or even consider moving down a couple of spots to get Virtanen +?

I would look really hard at that. As I mentioned earlier, I think BT/BB envision Monahan - Ekblad as the two pillars for this team for years. How is that not enticing? Skill. Strength. Character. Hard to beat.

BUT I think this entire situation has been expertly designed by Tallon to get a HUGE overpayment.

The pyschology of it is going to do some organizations in. Tallon put out the open for business sign so early, that teams have a lot of time to try and out do each other in offers. The frenzy leading up to draft day is looking to potentially land him a windfall.

Just because it's the top pick doesn't mean great player.

It's like free agency to me. If you're the best free agent in a terrible UFA class you're going to get paid because you're ranked high - Clarkson.

I think your specific proposal (getting #1 without trading #4) isn't going to happen because our prospect base (although improved) hasn't developed enough yet - we love em but do others? - and by the time draft day rolls around the price will be STEEP.

Just don't be dumb. And I think the best don't be dumb move is to stay at #4, continue BPA and stock cupboards. At some point Calgary has to move some prospects but doing it now is the wrong time. There is too much overvaluation of draft picks and you are bound to pay too much.

Very hard choices. And this is what GMing comes down to-> decision making.

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#11 aloudoun
June 04 2014, 11:38PM
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What concerns me about Ekblad is that he's so much more physically mature than the rest of the group that it may indicate thats the reson he's so dominant in junior. That may not translate to NHL level.

Im of the opinion the Flames stay at number 4 and hope for the best. Then try to see what you can to get a pick in the 5-20 range.

Im excited for this draft

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#12 Baalzamon
June 04 2014, 11:40AM
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@McRib

Virtanen is certainly a more interesting pick than Dal Colle, no question... but I don't think I could justify taking the Calgarian over the... where's Dal Colle from again?

Yes, that's right. I actually said something that's sort of close to praise about Dal Colle.

I'd still take Draisaitl over either though. He looks like all his weight is in his core... skinny arms, skinnier legs.

All that said, I still think Reinhart is the best fit for the Flames (at least of the forwards).

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#13 Dave
June 04 2014, 02:46PM
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Just because we don't know where BT's standards are regarding prospects doesn't mean we should automatically insert BB's standards. I'm not saying that they different. I just think that BT will live and die by his decisions. He knows that therefore he is going to make decisions on his own . I just don't think it's fair to him (positively or negatively) to assume BB is the decision maker behind everything. I agree there will be talks and opinions, but at the end of the day it all falls on BT. Period.

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#14 BJ
June 04 2014, 05:26PM
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The draisaitl thing is interesting... picking him could be as big of a mistake as passing him over....

Dont forget there are a few GMs who still regret passing over Jaromir... not trying to compare the players... just saying... he is young so to think he wont improve areas of his game is a bit shortsighted.

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#15 Primo
June 04 2014, 06:20PM
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@coachedpotatoe

I agree with CP's comments above. Everyone relax we are in rebuild mode and some patience is required. This is generally a weak draft and if you are going to trade top assets (we don't have many) next year's draft is the time to do that.

I also think all the talk about Sam Bennett not being able to do one pull up should not be a concern. This kid is only 17 years old and has proven enough from a talent/skill/tenacity point of view to be in the top 4. If he is available the Flames will be fortunate! Draft him. Daisaitl is the other probable and is a high skill centre that would be valuable as well to the Flames future!

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#16 BurningSensation
June 04 2014, 08:51PM
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@Walter White

"Thank you for educating us simpletons on this complicated structure!!!"

This is how WW should sign every comment

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#17 shutout
June 04 2014, 11:43AM
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I think that the wild card is more of:

Nick Ritchie - Peterborough (OHL) - Dec. 5/95 - LW - L - 6'2/231 - 39 goals - 74 points

Bigger and stronger than Virtanen and has a much better hockey sense

#16 for Craig Button

#6 for Bob MacKenzie

#9 for ISS

"He's a big, physical, tough guy," Central Scouting's Chris Edwards said. "When he's playing and using his size and strength he's tough to knock off the puck. He goes to the net hard and has that power-forward mentality that's tough for people to handle. He protects the puck and has an excellent shot off the rush."

I like Virtanen in the top ten of prospects, but I think that if the Flames go off the "consensus" board with a pick that it will be for Ritchie more than for Virtanen.

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#18 shutout
June 04 2014, 11:51AM
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I see a few different tiers for this draft:

First tier - Ekblad, Bennett, Reinhart

Second tier - Draisaitl, Dal Colle

Third tier - Nylander, Ritchie, Virtanen, Ehlers, Fleury

Nobody in that third group should get picked at #4. Teams in that 5-10 range will draft on organizational philosophy as much as anything when they look at going skill (Nylander/Ehlers) compared to going power forward (Ritchie/Virtanen).

When you watch the playoffs this year and you see what Kopitar is doing for the Kings it would be pretty hard for teams to not want to take Draisaitl. Similar to Barkov going #2 last year, having a big skilled centerman is what all teams need to have in order to compete.

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#19 SmellOfVictory
June 04 2014, 12:03PM
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I think for comparables, Mike Richards matches up a lot better with Sam Bennett than with Sam Reinhart. Reinhart strikes me more as a Bergeron-style player.

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#20 dotfras
June 04 2014, 07:31PM
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I really hope Reinhart or Bennet fall to us at #4.

Everyone has been talking about trading up for 1st overall, what about the idea of packaging something to get a mid 1st round pick to draft a guy like Nylander, Kapanen, Virtanen, or Tuch, Ho Sang?

*Edit: We would be trading for an additional pick, not including our own in the deal. Draft who falls to us at #4, but then add another pick in mid/late first.

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#21 Back in the Winter of '89
June 04 2014, 12:00PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

105 points in 6 games for Draisaitl!?!?! Draft that guy!!!

17.5 ppg is unheard of! (1.75 aint bad either)

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#22 Mezzo
June 04 2014, 03:14PM
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If Burke/Trelving go "off the board" it would be to either move up or down, they're aren't selecting Virtanen or Richie at 4. Burke may be unconventional at times, but he isn't stupid (never mind its not his draft). Picking #4 is a nice place to be, the tough decisions are practically made for you. Literally, the only decision that may come up is if Bennett, Reinhart, and Ekblad go, does Calgary take Draisaitl or Dal Colle. And honestly at that point I actually am pretty okay with either of them, although obviously I would prefer one of the Sams.

Oh and in regards to Draisaitl potentially not being able to transfer his game to the pros, he looked damn good at the IIHF's on a bad team. He's played with very poor German competition until moving to the WHL and has lots of room to grow and improve. But I do agree, of the guys projected in the top 4, I pray Edmonton drafts him.

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#23 Jeff Lebowski
June 04 2014, 12:38PM
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I think that offensive ability (hockey IQ, shot, skating, puck skills etc) is scarce in the NHL.

Quite honestly, that's the number 1 quality (1A being work ethic/character) I would try and draft (size, truculence only considered after) as you can pick up everything else on the cheap via other avenues (UFA).

With #4 Calgary has to get the player with highest offensive impact - elite skill -

On the other hand, I completely agree in the team construction mindset (C's and D's) as there are certain positions that are more important towards long lasting success.

A chance at Ekblad is understandably hard to pass up. In the past, I've argued about BPA then trading for depth. Well this seems like just such an opportunity.

If we have a surplus of smaller, skilled players shouldn't you trade some of it (especially) for a cornerstone D?

Ekblad's value SEEMS rooted in defensive/physical play, meaning that's what he's known for. The offense came this year only. Is it developing or did he just age into it (he got older and was able to make more plays because the competition was younger/weaker)? Will his physical advantage end in NHL and he becomes a reliable defender but that's it?

I'm sure these questions have been asked by hockey ops. So, I can only trust their apprasial (what else? - we have NO control over which route is taken)

I'm hoping for elite production - that could be Ekblad for all I know.

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#24 Baalzamon
June 05 2014, 09:59AM
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shutout wrote:

Ryan Leslie @theryanleslie ·

Burke on the draft: we might take a Nick Ritchie because we need a big winger.

Way to hand-pick a quote, bro. He also said this about Bennett:

Burke: on Sam Bennett: this kid's a mean little bastard. I don't give a s*#t if he can do pull-ups

— Ryan Leslie (@theryanleslie) June 5, 2014

He also said he likes Draisaitl.

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#25 McRib
June 04 2014, 11:19AM
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Nice piece on Virtanen I would actually probably rather him over Dal Colle after hearing that he played injured (interview with Vancouver Province) for the entire second half of the season and the U18s where he was the most offensive player despite his shoulder regularly popping out!! He is the best skater and has the best shot hands down in the draft and even playing injured for half a season he managed to score 45 goals (tied for tops of all prospects with Fabbri who played on the first line of the deepest team in the CHL). I think the kid is going to score 55+ goals in his sleep next year in junior, as Mike Williamson had him on the third line some nights this year. I understand he only has an average Hockey IQ, but lets face it if he had a great Hockey IQ he would be the clear cut first overall pick this year. Absolutely worse case he reminds me of Max Pacioretty a guy that is going to score 35-40 goals for 10-15 plus seasons. Best case like you said Ryan Getzlaf or even a Steven Stamkos Lite.

Although I am a little doubtful the Flames draft him as Craig Button's brother as we all know is our Head Scout... Is Craig trying to down grade him for us or something (that 43 ranking is insane)?!?! I don't buy it though maybe they just don't like him... Craig Button is certainly doing no favours for the Flames in helping us get Travis Sanheim in the second round that's for sure, just ranked him 8th in his final rankings!!

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#26 Dave
June 04 2014, 03:35PM
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@T&A4Flames

I didn't mean to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I just keep seeing references to Burke this and Burke that regarding typical GM responsibilities. I get that Burke will have some sort of impact on decisions. I just think the reason Brad Treliving was hired was to make those final calls. Since there has been no history (or public history) of his influence at drafts it will be very interesting to see how this draft goes. I for one hope that he trusts the current scouting staff because they seem to have done a fabulous job over the past few years (especially in the later rounds).

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#27 piscera.infada
June 05 2014, 09:47AM
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shutout wrote:

Ryan Leslie @theryanleslie ·

Burke on the draft: we might take a Nick Ritchie because we need a big winger.

If that happens (which I very very very much doubt), can I be in charge of rounding up the angry mob to march on the 'dome?

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#28 piscera.infada
June 04 2014, 11:43AM
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@McRib

In all seriousness, I like him as a prospect, but not more than Reinhart or Bennett. I won't go as far as Christian, as when I saw him it wasn't his "dangling" that stood out to me. His vision was exceptional, his passes are crisp and he was an absolute beast on the powerplay. That said, he was completely lost in his own zone, to the point where he was just pickin' cherries for the majority of the game. Perhaps it was because his team was getting beat pretty bad, or perhaps that's just what his focus was from the coach. It still gives me pause though. Don't get me wrong, if he's there at 4, I think he's a great pick (like any of the "top-4"). He's just going to need some work to really thrive in the show - but none of these prospects really strike me as much different in that regard. I've just always been partial to draft-eligibles who can at least find their own zone on a map.

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#29 SmellOfVictory
June 04 2014, 04:03PM
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CDB wrote:

If Button, the guy who drafted Brent Krahn, doesn't like Virtanen, that should buoy our confidence in selecting him. Maybe that's why Craig is so sour towards Virtanen, trying to steer his brother clear of the wasted of a high pick the last time the Flames picked a Hitmen in the 1st round

Virtanen has the physical tools of a top 6 NHLer and a head full of rocks. I wouldn't pick him until the 2nd half of the first round.

If the Flames went off the board, I'd be pretty choked unless it was Ehlers or Nylander.

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#30 Austin
June 04 2014, 06:28PM
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I'd like to find out more about Nylander. Seems to be the most dynamic player in the draft, except with less of an edge than Bennett. I feel like he is a bit too much of a boom or bust to take him as high as 4 though.

If Ekblad, Reinhart, or Bennett fall into our laps, we take any of them. Passing on Draisaitl scares me because he could become the next Kopitar, or he could simply bust, either way he still scares me a bit too much. I'm not really a big Dal Colle fan. If none of the "top 3" are there at #4, I'd like to see us trade down to say 6-8 and pick up one of Nylander or Virtanen. Who cares If button has him 43rd. I like the kid. And I bet you that Burke is pretty much in love with him

As long as we don't take Ritchie come draft day I'll be a happy man.

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#31 BurningSensation
June 04 2014, 08:50PM
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dotfras wrote:

I really hope Reinhart or Bennet fall to us at #4.

Everyone has been talking about trading up for 1st overall, what about the idea of packaging something to get a mid 1st round pick to draft a guy like Nylander, Kapanen, Virtanen, or Tuch, Ho Sang?

*Edit: We would be trading for an additional pick, not including our own in the deal. Draft who falls to us at #4, but then add another pick in mid/late first.

This!

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#32 SmellOfVictory
June 04 2014, 09:23PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Head full of rocks? Where do you get that from? In his interview he seemed pretty sharp and well spoken. I mean, we certainly aren't talking about Dion the caveman Phanuef here.

Watching him play. He may be well-spoken, but he plays like he has no idea there are 4 other skaters on his side to whom he can pass the puck, and he's an absolute turnover machine. His tunnel vision is so bad that I think it represents a lack of hockey sense that will limit him to a bottom 6 player. Imagine a slightly (slightly) better version of Blake Comeau.

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#33 Franko J
June 04 2014, 10:21PM
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Bikeit wrote:

I am very interested in the 4 picks after #4. I believe they are(34,54,64 and 83). This is where they need to mine for gold and could be key to the direction of this franchise 3 years from now. These picks are where BT and Button need to earn their money.

Whoever the Flames draft at #4 should have an impact in the Flames lineup for years to come. Like yourself, I am always interested in who the Flames draft after the first round. Maybe I'm wrong in my thinking but I think the Flames drafting overall from rounds 2 to 7 is pretty decent. Over the past few drafts the Flames scouting staff I feel has become stronger and are really working hard and smarter in drafting good players who can be developed for the NHL. And who will contribute to this team now and in the future. With the potential of having 5 picks in the top 100, I feel can only improve our prospects pool even further.

The team needs to improve the depth on the RW and RD and in this draft there is plenty of potential there to check off a few more of those so called "boxes".

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#34 Azim
June 05 2014, 09:40AM
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I'm all in for Sam Bennett. Love his compete level and general "I'm going to do whatever the **** it takes to win those battles" attitude.

My only concern; I see he's listed as a LW as much as a centre. BPA is obviously the way to go; but I think his value goes down a bit if he's not a natural centre and encounters some problems playing that position as a pro. Can anyone that has seen him play a lot comment on his ability to play centre?

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#35 T&A4Flames
June 04 2014, 03:01PM
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Dave wrote:

Just because we don't know where BT's standards are regarding prospects doesn't mean we should automatically insert BB's standards. I'm not saying that they different. I just think that BT will live and die by his decisions. He knows that therefore he is going to make decisions on his own . I just don't think it's fair to him (positively or negatively) to assume BB is the decision maker behind everything. I agree there will be talks and opinions, but at the end of the day it all falls on BT. Period.

I agree with that. That being said, the Flames do use a consensus method of management. The final call will be BT's and by no means am I trying to undermine his role. I believe Burke's opinion will be no bigger than anyone else. I want trying diminish BT, I was simply making a comment. Apparently some people took that a little far. I do recognize Trelivings as the GM, not Brian Burke. But I do stand by my comment that we don't know yet what Treliving is. Not saying he will, but he could very well prove to be a puppet to BB. We don't yet know.

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#36 T&A4Flames
June 04 2014, 05:03PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Virtanen has the physical tools of a top 6 NHLer and a head full of rocks. I wouldn't pick him until the 2nd half of the first round.

If the Flames went off the board, I'd be pretty choked unless it was Ehlers or Nylander.

Head full of rocks? Where do you get that from? In his interview he seemed pretty sharp and well spoken. I mean, we certainly aren't talking about Dion the caveman Phanuef here.

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#37 Chambers
June 04 2014, 07:01PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

I agree with that. That being said, the Flames do use a consensus method of management. The final call will be BT's and by no means am I trying to undermine his role. I believe Burke's opinion will be no bigger than anyone else. I want trying diminish BT, I was simply making a comment. Apparently some people took that a little far. I do recognize Trelivings as the GM, not Brian Burke. But I do stand by my comment that we don't know yet what Treliving is. Not saying he will, but he could very well prove to be a puppet to BB. We don't yet know.

I don't believe you have an understanding of the structure and how it operates. It is a Murray Edwards structure and has been employed in the Oil industry for years. Hats off to Murray as he is considered a leader in terms of adapting this model for the NHL. Many NHL teams are now following.

Brian Burke is accountable for all hockey operations. That includes player movement! Treliving will have empowerment to manage the team but like any other organizational structure you keep your boss informed and obtain his endorsement/support to proceed on hockey trades or other related hockey operations matters.

The overall strategic plan is bought in by Trevling at the interview stage to ensure alignment with the Burke philosophy and the rebuild process going forward.

Make no mistake Burke has overall responsibility and has the final salon all hockey matters but I assume he is astute enough to know he has hired a sharp GM who will have new/his own ideas and overall that will benefit the entire organization.

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#38 Byron Bader
June 05 2014, 10:24AM
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Here's what Burke had to say about the big 4:

Ekblad - Very rare that there's only one dman in the top ten, so lots of teams want him. He's very smart, a big horse with a massive shot. Going to play 20 years in the bigs.

Draisaitl - Big strong centre with a huge ass. Protects the puck well. He's going to be a real good player. Also said he was impressed that he came over from Germany to play in PA at such a young age just because he wants to make the NHL.

Reinhart - The Einstein of the draft. Smartest player of the draft. His hockey IQ is off the charts.

Bennett - Dougie Gilmour clone. He plays with an edge and he's a mean little bas****, just like Dougie. Also stated, as you'd expect, that the pullups thing is a non-issue. He gives not one crap about how many pull-ups a player can do.

He also mentioned Ritchie - Big mean winger with skill. Almost talked about him enough to think they might reach and take him (I hope not. Really hope not).

No mention of Dal Colle, Virtanen, Nylander, Kaspanen, Ehlers, etc.

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#39 Jeff Lebowski
June 05 2014, 06:43PM
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Byron Bader wrote:

Here's what Burke had to say about the big 4:

Ekblad - Very rare that there's only one dman in the top ten, so lots of teams want him. He's very smart, a big horse with a massive shot. Going to play 20 years in the bigs.

Draisaitl - Big strong centre with a huge ass. Protects the puck well. He's going to be a real good player. Also said he was impressed that he came over from Germany to play in PA at such a young age just because he wants to make the NHL.

Reinhart - The Einstein of the draft. Smartest player of the draft. His hockey IQ is off the charts.

Bennett - Dougie Gilmour clone. He plays with an edge and he's a mean little bas****, just like Dougie. Also stated, as you'd expect, that the pullups thing is a non-issue. He gives not one crap about how many pull-ups a player can do.

He also mentioned Ritchie - Big mean winger with skill. Almost talked about him enough to think they might reach and take him (I hope not. Really hope not).

No mention of Dal Colle, Virtanen, Nylander, Kaspanen, Ehlers, etc.

There is an interesting dynamic, I've noticed in public comments from Flames hockey ops:

-Different people have different favs. Conroy said BT has a fav, Conroy has his fav. I'm sure Burke has his fav and what about Button?

To think, one person -> Burke gets to make the call since he is POHO is an easy target. Too easy.

I was skeptical about Burke but he is smart. I can't deny it once you parse his comments.

So, BT gets the final say and I'm sure he's got his opinion of himself as a talent evaluator. Make a firm stand and impression by demanding his guy? I just don't think decisions are made that way - totalitarian style.

I think the favs are:

Conroy: Reinhart Burke: Ritchie BT: Ekblad Button: Bennett

I think this is what preciptates the comment from Button about looking at 8 guys.

There are 8 favs in hockey ops AND they are going to work that order right up until draft day.

The different names are going to come out each day and people are going to react.

I never considered Dal Colle because I just looked at who media pumps as top 4 but who's to say Dal Colle isn't top 3 (great passer AND pro release?!?)

Again, the org pays scouts well to do their job, the pay mgmt to make the decisions. Just have to trust they aren't going to be really dumb.

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#40 jeremywilhelm
June 04 2014, 11:47AM
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I'll be upset if anyone besides Reinhart gets called.

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#41 CDB
June 04 2014, 12:30PM
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If Button, the guy who drafted Brent Krahn, doesn't like Virtanen, that should buoy our confidence in selecting him. Maybe that's why Craig is so sour towards Virtanen, trying to steer his brother clear of the wasted of a high pick the last time the Flames picked a Hitmen in the 1st round

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#42 T&A4Flames
June 04 2014, 02:19PM
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@Dave

It is but there will always be influence from above. Besides, nobody knows Trelivings standards yet, as brought up in the blogs yesterday. Who knows where he is valuing these players. Bottom line is, CGY should have the best book on Virtanen. If they do take him, I will be supremely confident they know they are getting a very solid prospect.

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#43 CTibs
June 04 2014, 06:31PM
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Great article, but I think Nylander deserves a bit of a mention. I've heard people say that the Flames could (very slight chance) go down that route, but I'm not sure what to think of him. He didn't light it up in the SHL (7 points in 22 games), and the only glimpse we have of him against other top prospects is his performance at the WJC (16 points in 7 games). I wouldn't spend a high pick on a kid based on 7 games.

Also the Leafs are rumoured to be trying to trade up to #1, with the deal being Phaneuf + Kadri + 8th overall for 1st overall and Jovanovski. If nothing works there, does anyone think that the Flames might be involved in a trade?

In other interesting news, the Flames' website is now publishing their own mock drafts. http://flames.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=721635

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#44 Burnward
June 04 2014, 07:17PM
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@coachedpotatoe

Guess it all depends how highly you covet Ekblad.

I think the kid is a stud. I'd take my chances.

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#45 Chambers
June 04 2014, 08:08PM
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Walter White wrote:

This is certainly groundbreaking stuff by Edwards: so the boss has final approval on big decisions!.....

It is definitely a lot different from the old model where the boss sits in his office with his feet on the desk.....

Thank you for educating us simpletons on this complicated structure!!!

WW

My information is primarily for your info WW as it is obvious you lack intelligence.

If you don't agree go back to your posts and read them all. (if you are able to read)...moron!

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#46 Dave
June 04 2014, 10:13PM
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I suppose that's what happens on a hockey blog when you're team isn't relevant

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#47 Daves Waves
June 04 2014, 11:53PM
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Not sure where to ask this, but does anyone have any insight regarding Reid Duke from Lethbridge Hurricanes? CSS has him at 137, wondering if anyone has any opinions about his potential fit in Calgary

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#48 JayD54
June 05 2014, 06:56AM
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The Flames are likely to retain their draft order selection at number four rather than deal it to move up or down.

With that selection, taking either of the two Sams would fit the re-tooling of this organization. While I have had the chance to witness Reinhart in person (and as a result would lean more to his selection), Bennett is one of those players whose scoring abilities appear complimented with an edge.

In a very limited opportunity to see Draisatl, my own opinion as expressed to a buddy at the time is that he reminds me a bit of Pavel Brendl in that he seems to play in spurts. A large body, I know its been said on here that his skating is suspect. I wouldn't go that far, but I do think he would carry a larger risk than the two Sams.

With the voiced willingness to move their pick by Florida, figure that this will be a less predictable order of selection at the top end, not too unlike last year although for differing reasons. I am very much looking forward to the draft and those 5 picks the Flames have in the first three rounds, providing the opportunity to enhance what is already much improved organizational depth.

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#50 BurningSensation
June 05 2014, 09:56AM
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Daves Waves wrote:

Not sure where to ask this, but does anyone have any insight regarding Reid Duke from Lethbridge Hurricanes? CSS has him at 137, wondering if anyone has any opinions about his potential fit in Calgary

Saw him a lot this year, he has some nice skills but the Hurricanes were really epically bad (mgt on down), so he may have untappe upside. Our 2nd 3rd rnd pick might be too high to take him.

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