The Wish List: Part 1

On the horribly uncomfortable plane ride from Calgary to Minneapolis, I finished up doing my research on prospects for the coming 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and I put together my wish list specific to the Calgary Flames.  With three picks in the top 60 this year, for the first time in what seems like eons, the Flames have a real opportunity when it comes to this draft.  Calgary picks 13th in the first round and then twice more, 45 and 57, in the second round.  Kent’s done a great job with potential targets, and here’s who I’m hoping Calgary looks at with one or both of their second round picks.

Scott Mayfield, Defence, Youngstown (USHL)

It’s a long shot he’ll be available at 45, but if he is, this is a no-brainer to me.  Mayfield is a great defence prospect that could go a long way in filling the void in all our hearts after the departure of Tim Erixon.  Now, Mayfield and Erixon are different players, but they both possess shutdown skills and they’re both very good skaters.  While Erixon has more offensive upside, he doesn’t come with the full physical package like Mayfield does; he’s a guy who has a big frame already and the potential to pack more on to his 6’3, 197 pound body.  I like his defensive instincts and I like how tough he is to play against, and if he’s still around at 45, he’d be a great pick for the Flames.

Zach Phillips, Centre, Saint John (QMJHL)

Again a long shot for the mid-second round, but guys fall, and Phillips is a guy who draws different opinions from scouts I’ve talked to.  There’s no question he’s one of the most offensively gifted players in the draft, but some scouts wonder how that will translate to the next level, especially with questions about his overall game.  What you can’t deny, however, is the vision Phillips has from the offensive blueline in and boasts some impresive versatility, being able to play the right side in addition to playing down the middle.  Phillips would definitely be a project-type player, as his skating needs some work, but scouts say it’s progressing.  A few offensively gifted projects wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Calgary Flames system.

Phillip Danault, Left Wing, Victoriaville (QMJHL)

I’m starting to get a little worried; two Q players and one US player on this list, which is something Darryl Sutter would never stand for.  I’d be fired immediately!  What Danault brings is a crazy good work ethic and a crazy good compete level, something a few players on the big team could use a little more of.  What this guy lacks in high end skill, he makes up for by always being around the puck and always being involved in the play, usually in a positive manner.  Yes, this guy falls under the "character" banner in some ways, which was a hallmark of Sutter drafts, but this is a player who projects to be an NHLer…something that wasn’t always a hallmark.

Dmitri Jaskin, Right Wing, Slavia (Czech Jr)

This is a player who we don’t know a whole lot about, becuase most people haven’t seen him play a ton, but there’s a pretty high ceiling.  The number one strength of Jaskin is his tenacity and hard nosed style of play, as scouts point to his ability to cause turn overs and force bad decisions on the forecheck, but he’s also got plenty of offensive ability.  There is a lot to be desired in his two way play, which forces Jaskin into the "project" category, but there’s the potential of a possession driving forward in this player.  Feaster hasn’t shyed away from drafting overseas in the past, so it wouldn’t be a complete shocker if Jaskin was picked by Calgary.  It also wouldn’t be a complete shocker if he’s taken a whole lot higher than 45.

Xavier Ouellet, Defence, Montreal (QMJHL)

The last two guys I chose are high in the skill department, but a little less well rounded than some other potential top 60 picks.  However, when looking at the Flames system, an infusion of skill can only help, and Ouellet has no shortage of skill.  He’s aggressive and good at moving the puck up the ice, which is a big reason why he was able to tally 43 points with Montreal last season off the blueline.  Ouellett is a very strong offensive defenceman who’s seen his all round play improve, but there’s still a lot of high risk, high reward associated.  A safe pick with one of the second rounders and a riskier pick with the other might be the way to go if you’re the Flames.

Daniel Catenacci, Center, Sault Ste Marie (OHL)

One of the best skaters in the draft, Catenacci is a high energy player with some offensive upside.  While he’s lacking a little in size (5’9, 176 pounds), he certainly makes up for in tenacity and intense play.  The guy has really good playmaking ability and he does things at a million miles a minute, making him a potential nice fit with the way Brent Sutter likes his team to play.  Good skating doesn’t always translate into lots of NHL points (just ask Matthew Lombardi), but having the speed and work ethic of Catenacci does give you a good shot at the show.

I’m live at the Draft until Sunday, and Kent gets down on Thursday night, so we’ve got plenty of live coverage for you here on the site and with our friends at Sportsnet Radio FAN 960.  Listen in for our live show on Thursday and keep checking the site for more exclusive content as we get closer to draft day.

  • Derzie

    I know Feaster has said in previous interviews that he isn’t drafting from specific positions, but I think we need at least 1 defenseman picked in our top 3 picks. Preferrably, one of our second rounders. Mayfield sounds like a pretty good fit. Hopefully he makes it all the way to 45th.

    • @icedawg_42

      I think there are some decent NHLers in the Flames system on the blueline, but nothing that screams impact player right now. Both Chris Breen and Gord Baldwin look to be guys who will play at the next level, and will probably be serviceable…but in terms of a true impact guy, Brodie is probably the best candidate and it drops off from there.

      Erixon truly was the best option to fill that role.

    • @icedawg_42

      I think there are some decent NHLers in the Flames system on the blueline, but nothing that screams impact player right now. Both Chris Breen and Gord Baldwin look to be guys who will play at the next level, and will probably be serviceable…but in terms of a true impact guy, Brodie is probably the best candidate and it drops off from there.

      Erixon truly was the best option to fill that role.

  • icedawg_42

    Hey Thanks for doing this Pat – we’ve had plenty of talk on what to do with #13, but the second rounders are even more of a crap shoot. Heard plenty of talk already about using #13 for Phillips – would be nice if he fell to 45. Have fun in Minny…getting excited for the draft, if nothing else it should be very interesting!…and as for the pic…OH.Hell.Yeah! Kent – I think Pat is pulling ahead on the awesome pic category, sorry man, but the Pardy one and this one are putting him over the top.

    • Canucks Suck

      I’m with icedawg_42. Thanks for all this. I’m not interested in knowing what you may or may not have said during a call-in show last November.

      Now, back to the matters at hand. When I initially started posting about the draft on FN, I thought that the Flames should aim for an “impact” forward (preferably a centre) with their 1st round pick. I’d be happy if one of the top 2 defence prospects drop to us but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

      I’m getting the sense that the Flames will be trading down. The problem will be whether they can find a dance partner given that there’s probably another 10 teams taking aftr them who want to do the same thing. I really like the players you’ve identified, although I’m not sure I’d use our 1st round pick to select Phillips like TSN and the Herald say we should/will. Hopefully, we can pick up another 2nd/3rd round pick through a trade.

      • Now, back to the matters at hand. When I initially started posting about the draft on FN, I thought that the Flames should aim for an “impact” forward (preferably a centre) with their 1st round pick. I’d be happy if one of the top 2 defence prospects drop to us but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

        I’m getting the sense that the Flames will be trading down. The problem will be whether they can find a dance partner given that there’s probably another 10 teams taking aftr them who want to do the same thing. I really like the players you’ve identified, although I’m not sure I’d use our 1st round pick to select Phillips like TSN and the Herald say we should/will. Hopefully, we can pick up another 2nd/3rd round pick through a trade.

        If Murphy were to drop to 13, I’d be all for the Flames picking him, if they still had the pick. Not likely though.

        The two guys I point at are Bartschi and McNeil. I think they both have a lot of offensive upside, and one or both should be available at 13. I think I’d lean to the former if there was a choice, but either would be a solid pick IMO.

        • Matty Franchise Jr

          Pat,

          Just to be clear, does your “not likely” refer to the Flames trading the pick or McNeill not being available by that time or, I suppose, both?

          On that note, are you hearing any rumours bout the Flames making a move? I keep hearing that they need to move salary out and the Regehr and Bouwmeester are in play.

  • icedawg_42

    Yeah Austin – I actually looked at the D core on the roster and in the minors today. It’s unusual to think “the cupboards are bare” on the back end in this organization..but after Brodie – there’s not much there.

    • I quite honestly don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about. From early on in the preseason I’d been talking about him as a really nice player.

      Did I see him being that much of an impact player over an 82 game stretch? No! I don’t know anyone who did…that’s why we use the terms surprise and revelation when talking about his play this past season.

      If you’re trying to twist my words on the air when a caller once asked if he’d be good on the powerplay and I said I don’t know if that’s the best move, then I guess you can twist away.

      Furthermore, I’m not drafting, who cares if I have a good eye for talent? I do my research and watch guys play…if I’m wrong I’m sure you’ll tell me allllll about it.

      • Sure Pat,
        I’m twisting your words around, really. Okay buddy this is just like you on Overtime playing all sides and never sticking to your guns. Sometimes I might agree with you and sometimes I might play the other side just to get a reaction from a caller.

  • I’m still skeptical about the skill of those drafting and determining talent. The Flames have Button, who consistently has proven he doesn’t have an eye for talent (even before Sutter got here) and Feaster, he’s said, he’s not a hockey guy. Boggles the mind. You have in Detroit, nothing but hockey guys. Guys who grew up in the game, study it, here the Flames have, a guy who was hired by his brother, and another guy who failed miserably drafting in another organization. (Stamkos aside but a monkey would have picked him) I’d like them to keep that 13th and pick the best available player. Keep one of the 2nds. Maybe package one 2nd with a player on the team for cap space or for a second 1st rounder.

    Side Note: Pat you have to go to the 5-8 Club for a Juicy Lucy. Its to die for. (It’s also a burger)Boom may like it.

    • Matty Franchise Jr

      Tod was here before craig.

      Love to get Phillips in the second round. I think he’s one of those guys who isn’t the best skater, but his deficiencies have been exaggereated.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    My opinion on drafting for position is that you should usually take the best available player regardless of position.

    If you’re only dropping a couple of spots on your depth chart to draft for a position, that makes sense because those couple of spots probably don’t represent a big loss in talent. But if you’re dropping 10 spots on your depth chart to draft a D instead of a more talented and available F, then I think you’ve made a mistake.

    Draft the best available and worry about filling positions later. That’s what trades are for.