June 16 2016 08:00AM
Matthew Phillips, the ultimate darkhorse, stands 5'6'' and weighs 140 pounds. He is the smallest draft-eligible player of the WHL and likely the entire draft class. His numbers aren't elite like DeBrincat which means, given his size, he will go somewhere between rounds three and seven, if he goes at all.
June 16 2016 07:00AM
My friends, I am here, today, to bestow the Nation's praise onto a fine group of fantasy hockey heroes. This group of fantasy heroes opened up their wallets for a chance at glory and prizes, and today is the day where we announce the winners of the NationDrafts playoff pool!
June 15 2016 12:00PM
Over the course of history, it's seemingly natural for players to become associated with another. For instance, Hunter Shinkaruk was forever linked with Emile Poirier by virtue of his hometown Calgary Flames opting to select Poirier when both were available at the 2013 NHL Draft. (A similar scenario happened with Mark Jankowski and Olli Maatta in 2012.)
At the 2014 Draft, general manager Brad Treliving made another life-long pairing in his first draft as a GM, selecting Mason McDonald as the first goaltender instead of Thatcher Demko.
Especially because of Demko's brilliance on the college level and his prominence in the plans for the rival Vancouver Canucks, it's likely that Flames fans will be scrutinizing the McDonald selection for a long time. Aside from hip surgery, Demko has been superb at the college level and will turn pro in 2016-17. McDonald hasn't enjoyed the dominance of his counterpart.
The 2015-16 season was fairly typical of McDonald's post-draft experience.
June 15 2016 10:00AM
Aside from goalie, the other area of glaring need for the Flames heading into next season is RW. With the loss of Jiri Hudler, Calgary's most established and highest scoring right winger is (left handed) Michael Frolik. If Joe Colborne's career season prices him out Calgary's plans (entirely possible), the club's depth gets even more scarce on the starboard side. To whit:
- Michael Frolik
- Josh Jooris (RFA)
- Daniel Pribyl
- Emile Poirier
- Hunter Smith
Yikes. It seems Colborne's agent has a bit of leverage in upcoming negotiations.
Of course, the Flames have the option of converting some of their LWs to the other side, but even then the depth chart starts to thin out pretty quickly. After Gaudreau and Bennett (if he plays LW), the Flames have Micheal Ferland, Lance Bouma, Hunter Shinkaruk, Mason Raymond, Brandon Bollig and... this is starting to get depressing.
So unless Treliving miraculously manages to draft Jesse Puljujarvi to play with Monahan and Gaudreau (which doesn't look likely), he'll be on the look out for the RW options on the market this summer.
Here's a list of some of their potential trade options.
June 15 2016 08:00AM
In the lead up to the draft, we've talked a lot about potential forward prospects. It makes sense: not only do forwards make up the bulk of a team's roster, but high-impact forwards are the number one area of concern right now regarding the Flames' prospect pool. There are only so many goalies one can have in the system at any time, and after the 2015 draft, defence doesn't seem as dire anymore.
But there will still be good defencemen available. With that in mind, let's turn to Cam Dineen: a 5'11, 182 lb. defenceman who was second to only Alexander Nylander in OHL scoring. He was originally committed to Yale, but went to the Noth Bay Battalion because he felt it would be better for his development - and so far, it certainly seems to be paying off, as his defence improved under Head Coach Stan Butler, while his natural smarts blossomed.