The 2010 NHL Entry Draft is just four days away and although the Flames don’t currently possess a top-60 pick, Darryl Sutter has historically been very active on draft day in the past. As such, there’s little chance that the Friday/Saturday action will not include Calgary, especially given the Flames urgent need to shore up their prospect ranks and dump some salary.
Flamesnation will endeavor to cover the draft from every possible angle, starting today through till the end of the week. Today we begin with the basics – a Flames draft primer.
Since 2003, the Flames have concentrated their drafting efforts almost exclusively in the Canadian Junior leagues, with the WHL in particular leading the way. The OHL has been the second league of choice while most of Europe has been altogether ignored.
WHL – 13 (38%)
OHL – 8 (23%)
Sweden – 5 (15%)
Finland – 2 (6%)
US HS – 2 (6%)
QMJHL – 2 (6%)
USU18 – 1 (3%)
USHL – 1 (3%)
Despite heavily favoring the WHL, the Flames have only yielded two NHL players from the dub thus far: Dion Phaneuf and Dustin Boyd. Both guys were traded this season. On the bright side, Mitch Wahl (Spokane Chiefs) and Ryan Howse (Chilliwack Bruins) may improve that record within the next few years.
Brandon Prust is the only OHL graduate for the Flames (also traded this year). Greg Nemisz and T.J. Brodie will be turning pro this September and are both top 10 prospects in the organziation.
Sweden has claimed 2 of the Flames last 3 first round picks in Mikael Backlund and Tim Erixon, both of whom figure to be centerpieces going forward.
The Flames boast a host of solid prospects on the back-end. Matt Pelech, John Negrin, Keith Seabrook, T.J. Brodie and Tim Erixon all have potential NHL upside, with Erixon likely being the pick of the litter. Aside from Pelech, most of the Flames blueline prospects are of the mobile, puck-moving variety.
There’s a general lack of legitimate, offensive talent up front. As I covered extensively in my organizational depth post, the Flames haven’t picked very many forwards inside the top-60 under Sutter (4 in the last 7 years) meaning the scoring depth is puddle deep. The aforementioned Wahl, Nemisz, Howse and Backlund bring some hope for the near future, but the truth is none of them are sure-fire bets to contribute at the NHL level.
Flames 2010 Draft Picks
Round 1 – none*
Round 2 – none**
Round 3 – #64 (via CBJ for Anton Stralman)
Round 3 – #73***
Round 4 – #104 (via NSH for Dustin Boyd)
Round 4 – #108
Round 5 – #133
Round 6 – #163
Round 7 – #193
*Flames first rounder was traded to PHX in exchange for Olli Jokinen
**Flames second rounder was traded to
TOR with Wayne Primeau in exchange for Anton Stralman CHI for Rene Bourque.
***The Steve Staios trade involved the Flames 2010 or 2011 third round choice.
Darryl Sutter will be looking for offensive talent off all stripes, but particularly down the sides owing to the orginzations dearth of scoring options at either wing. The club will also be looking to move up in the draft if at all possible and will no doubt dangle one of their extra blueliners or heftier back-end salaries. Cory Sarich, Adam Pardy and Ian White are all likely draft day trade fodder.
What We Can Expect
Given what we know about Sutter’s habits and the Flames situation, here are some educated guesses for what we can expect to see come Friday/Saturday
– At least 4 draft picks to come from the WHL and OHL
– At least one pick from Sweden
– A high risk/high reward offensive forward in the third round
– A solid push by Sutter to move up into the second or first round
– At least one Flames blueliner to be dealt