What Bob McKenzie's Draft Board Tells Us About Flames Draft Targets

Ryan Pike
June 05 2015 03:00PM

Our old friend Bob McKenzie is something of a hockey guru. He was recently chosen by the Professional Hockey Writers Association as the next recipient of the Elmer Ferguson Award, which enshrines him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. One big reason for that is McKenzie is an absolute goldmine of information at draft time.

Case-in-point: today TSN released his Top 75 list for the 2015 Draft. Unlike others, who scout and rank based on their own criteria, McKenzie consults with scouts and general managers when he compiles his list. This means that McKenzie produces as close to a true consensus list as is ever produced.

So what does McKenzie's Top 75 mean for the Flames this year?

(Note: All the links enclosed are to Craig Button's scouting reports for each individual player.)

15TH OVERALL

McKenzie's 15th-ranked player is Ottawa 67's forward Travis Konecny, who is a smaller forward (5'9", 175) who plays an agitating game and is good all over the ice. He was quite good at the Top Prospects Game. Other forwards available at that pick include Colin White (16th) of the U.S. National Development Team, Kelowna Rockets star and Calgary native Nick Merkley (17th) and Cape Breton's resident Russian Evgeny Svechnikov (18th).

Russian junior goaltender Ilya Samsonov is ranked 19th, though I doubt the Flames go for a goalie that early.

In terms of defenders, Saint John's Jakub Zboril is ranked 14th and could fall a spot to Calgary's pick, or the Flames could reach a bit and take one of Tri-City's Brandon Carlo (22nd), Farjestads' Oliver Kylington (24th) or Saint John's Thomas Chabot (25th).

45TH OVERALL

Defender Nicolas Meloche from Baie-Comeau is ranked 44th, while Guillaume Brisebois of Acadie-Bathurst is 48th and Peterborough's Matt Spencer is 50th. All of them have some size, but their individual games vary depending on the qualities one desires from their pick. If you are thinking about forwards, big-bodied winger Christian Fischer of the U.S. National Development Team is ranked 45th, Saginaw captain Mitchell Stephens is ranked 46th and Niagara winger Graham Knott is at 49th.

Czech junior goaltender Daniel Vladar is ranked 47th, though (again) I doubt the Flames go for a goalie that early.

52ND & 53RD OVERALL

USHL import Jakub Forsbacka Karlsson is ranked 52nd. He's Swedish but came over to North American and was a point-per-game in the USHL this season. Also in the mix: U.S. National Development Team winger Jeremy Bracco (who at 5'9" ain't big) at 53rd, Russian junior forward Alexander Dergachyov at 54th, and Seattle's Ryan Gropp at 56th.

In terms of defenders, there's Brandon's Ryan Pilon at 55th and Barrie's Rasmus Andersson (who has been on some rankings as high as the late first round) at 59th. Canadian junior goaltender Callum Booth is ranked 51st, though (again) I doubt the Flames go for a goalie that early.

76TH OVERALL

McKenzie's list ends at 75, but he includes a few honourable mentions who could be snapped up by the Flames at 76th.

Swedish forward Filip Ahl is big (6'3", 211) and the Flames probably like that. Parker Wotherspoon is a defender with a brother who plays with the Flames, though his game is much different than his big brother's. Czech junior Michael Spacek has been seen on some rankings lists as high as the first round, and would likely be seen as a steal in the middle of the third round. And Keegan Kolesar of Seattle is another big body (6'1", 217) named Keegan that the Flames could accumulate, though he plays on the wing.

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Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames since 2010. He's Senior Contributing Editor at FlamesNation, a Senior Writer covering the Flames and the NHL Draft for The Hockey Writers, and a correspondent for the Fischler Report. He's just trying to capture the spirit of the thing.
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#51 Craig
June 06 2015, 06:28PM
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Shoestring wrote:

He could be David Rundblad or Tim Erixon?

Kylington and Eriksson have the same set of tools. That's why I made the comparison. If the Flames want to win a cup they need to take risks. This is one I would take.

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#52 coachedpotatoe
June 07 2015, 07:03AM
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As I have not seen all the players I went and did a statistical look at how the scouting agencies ranked them, I used Mckenzies list, Buttons list, Elite Prospects, Future Considerations, McKeens top 30 and ISS. I only looked up to about the top 20 and then some other names as well.

1. McDavid 6 points 2. Eichel 12 points 3. Hanifin 23 points 4. Marner 27 points 5. Strome 29 points 6. Provorov 38 points 7. Crouse 51 points 8. Werenski 54 points 9. Zacha 65 points 10. Rantanen 67 points 11. Conner 70 points 12. Barzal 72 points 13. Meier 79 points 14. Merkley 94 points 15. Konerny 98 points 16. Svechnivo 106 points 17. Chabot 117 points 18. Zboril 118 points 19. White 120 points Points for anyone wondering is based upon the totals for how each organization ranked them.

Other names that popped up often but did not show up in everyones top 30 included: Kylington, Jeremy Roy and Sprong.

Some of the names I mentioned as targets for the second round have the following results: Meloche ranged between 27-45, Fischer 45-55, Brisebois 34-58 and Karlsson 39-54.

It will be interesting to see what happens June 26 and 27.

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#53 Burnward
June 07 2015, 07:54AM
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@coachedpotatoe

Nicely done.

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#54 coachedpotatoe
June 07 2015, 08:01AM
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Burnward wrote:

Nicely done.

Thanks.I forgot to mention that I intentionally left the top goalie out as I know most of us think drafting a goalie in the first round should be taboo.

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#55 OKG
June 07 2015, 04:07PM
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Craig wrote:

Kylington and Eriksson have the same set of tools. That's why I made the comparison. If the Flames want to win a cup they need to take risks. This is one I would take.

Disclosure: I agree with you 100%.

Last time the Flames took a risk was Jankowski, and Flames fans are still crying about how it was a bad pick. The fanbase lacks patience.

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#56 Ed Wailin'
June 07 2015, 06:50PM
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OKG wrote:

Disclosure: I agree with you 100%.

Last time the Flames took a risk was Jankowski, and Flames fans are still crying about how it was a bad pick. The fanbase lacks patience.

Society lacks patience. The average attention span of someone on the internet is 11 seconds.

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#57 Derzie
June 07 2015, 07:00PM
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mattyc wrote:

BNHLeA "Best NHLe Available" - btw is there a list somewhere with NHLEs?

In all serious (I would like to see that list), I'm not a prospect guru, but Konecny seems like a good pick. Seen his name lots, although sounds like he's a riser, wasn't highly regarded at the beginning of the year and turned it up in the 2nd half.

I did this of my list. I used NHLE expressed as pts/game. What surprised me is that by NHLE, Hanifin is REALLY low. 140th. He must be a heck of a stay at home guy I guess. Eichel is 6th on the NHLe list. Again, surprising. Top 10 NHLEs (applied to ppg) are:

Connor McDavid (C)

Mitchell Marner (C)

Conor Garland (RW)

Dylan Strome (C)

Jack Eichel (C)

Andrew Mangiapane (LW/C)

Timo Meier (RW/C)

Tim McGauley (C)

Yevgeni Svechnikov (LW)

The 3 guys with NHLEs at 15th (Flames round 1) are

Mathew Barzal (C)

Daniel Sprong (RW)

Kay Schweri (RW)

Fat chance Barzal is there on draft day.

Best NHLE D-men are Mitchell Vande Sompel (D) & Ivan Provorov (D).

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#58 Johnny Goooooooaldreau
June 08 2015, 10:48AM
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The GREAT Walter White wrote:

Sounds line something easily coachable.

If that is the only concern....

WW

Unless he is "uncoach-able", or has very little hockey sense. which is quite possibly the major concern, as you mention.

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