The Wish List: Part 2

Earlier during draft week I went through a few prospects I thought might be interesting for the Calgary Flames to look at with their two second round picks.  Well, as it stands right now (and things could change, as we know), the Flames hold the 13th overall pick.  Who might fall to them there?  And who might be a good fit?  I’ve got my ideas as we start wishing away again…

Sven Bartschi, Left Wing, Portland (WHL)

Of the offensively gifted forwards, Bartschi might be the guy to fall out of the top ten, even though many believe he could be gone much, much earlier than 13.  I think there’ s a chance he’s still around when Calgary picks, because there are some who shy away from guys with high numbers on really good teams.  The Winterhawks were a straight up powerhouse, so it’s fair to think maybe a strong team boosted Bartschi’s numbers.  Maybe, maybe not; I still think he’s a very gifted and very skilled forward, who also thinks the game really well.  He may leave some to be desired in his own end, but that’s what development is for…a guy with his kind of skill really intrigues me.

Oscar Klefbom, Defence, Farjestad (SEL)

Klefbom played his regular season among men in the Swedish Elite League, so his numbers as a 17 year old aren’t going to impress anybody.  His coming out party was the Under-18 Championships when he was outstanding, showing his impressive mobility along with his very good frame.  One thing Klefbom needs to do is exert his 6’3, 200 pound frame a little more, because if he did, he’d be even more intimidating.  As it is, I saw him play his angles really well and he has confidence to skate the puck out of his own end under pressure, and do so effectively.  I see Klefbom as a very, very good NHL defender; if he’s still around, Calgary might have to think hard about taking this kid.

Rocco Grimaldi, Centre, US National Development Team (USHL)

Rocco has been one of the most talked about guys in Minnesota, mostly because he’s so damn skilled and so damn talented…but it’s going to be tough for any GM to overlook his pint sized stature.  The dude is just 5’6 and 163 pounds, and it is going to deter some teams from giving him a look where he would go even if he was average height.  In all reality, Grimaldi is as skilled a forward as there is in the draft, and from what I’ve heard, there’s not a more competitive guy you’ll play with or against.  He is a magician with the puck, he makes stupid looking plays at high speed, because he’s also an incredible skater and he never dogs it on a play.  People compare him to Martin St. Louis for a reason, and I hope the Flames don’t pass him over just because he’s small.

Mark Scheifete, Centre, Barrie (OHL)

One thing the Calgary Flames have lacked on a far-too-regular basis over the last few years is a true presence in front of the opposing teams net.  Well, there’s no better player in this year’s draft better at driving, and wreaking havoc in front of, the goaltender of the other team.  A very quick and competitive forward, Scheifete put up 75 points with the Colts last season and was then one of Canada’s best forwards at the U18 World Championships.  I like that he’s an absolute beast when driving the net and is almost impossible to knock off the puck when heading to tough areas; that’s something this team could use an infusion of.

Mark McNeill, Centre, Prince Albert (WHL)

Here’s the guy a ton of FlamesNation readers want to see picked when Calgary goes to the podium at #13, and I can see why.  A very good all round player, McNeill has a lot of similarities to Scheifete, minus the skating ability the former has.  McNeill is a big boy, weighing at 204 pounds on a 6’1 frame, and he plays a power game.  But he can also play it both ways, and in fact is a very adept penalty killer, meaning he fits the bill as a true "all situations player".  It’s not like he can’t score either, as he put up 81 points in 70 games last year.

Victor Rask, Centre, Leksand (Sweden)

Kent and I spoke about Victor on FlamesNation radio Thursday night, and we spoke of him as one of the biggest sleepers in the draft.  As good a skater as you’ll find among these kids, Rask also has crazy good puck skills, something that allows him to seemingly go right through defenders, according to scouts who have watched him play.  He’s a smart player, especially offensively, but scouts rave about the improvement they’ve seen in his defensive game, something that continues to be an area of work.  He may not be the best pick at 13, but if the Flames had another first round pick (oh, say around 16), Rask might be an interesting proposition.

  • Captain Ron

    Pat, let me start this off by ordering you, on behalf of the men of Flames Nation to continue posting pictures of this young woman in various states of undress. We’ll even forgive you if there is no print to follow the picture. Thanks in advance.

  • Captain Ron

    I’m really starting to lean towards Grimaldi, to the point where I might feel disappointed if he isn’t selected. The guy is tiny but his combination of speed, skill, and work ethic is something the Flames desperately need. A guy who never quits and can be as explosive as Grimaldi is well worth the risk.

  • Vintage Flame

    I can’t say I would be disappointed if the Flames were able to get Grimaldi.. But I hope it’s with the 45th pick.

    just can’t pass on guys like McNeil or Bartschi. Ideally I’d love to see the Flames get BOTH these guys at 13 and 16.. *Crossing my fingers*

    • I can’t say I would be disappointed if the Flames were able to get Grimaldi.. But I hope it’s with the 45th pick.

      I can’t see every team passing on Grimaldi once, let alone a few teams passing on him twice though.

  • Craig

    Here’s what I want:

    Mcneill at 13

    Rocco at 16

    The idea that we could have an effective two way centre and a feisty little scorer all on the same day makes me salivate.

    I hate to see Reggie go, but it’s time to inject some youth and excitement.

    I also like bartschi (if i could spell his name)

      • Just wanted to say great show last night Kent and Pat.

        I almost completely agree on this philosophy. I’d say pick McNeill (not Bartschi) at 13. His stats are pretty good, and I know his size is thought to be a large contributing factor, but we also have to remember that he played on the Prince Albert Raiders. They weren’t really a huge powerhouse team like Portland was. That’s why I’d pick him over Bartschi even if Bartschi did fall.

        Then with the 16th, take Rocco Grimaldi. I’m pretty sure some team in the first round will sweep him up in the later teens/early twenties so we need to take him then if we’re going to take him at all.

        All things considered being that we get the 16th for Regehr.

  • Craig

    Bartschi is overated.

    McNeill will play without a doubt, but his offensive upside is more limited than some other picks and right now he’s a beast playing against scawny kids.

    Calgary needs an infusion of pure, high-end, shake-your-head-in-disbelief skill. A player who will bring fans out of their seats. Grimaldi has a smuch talent as anyone in this draft. His work ethic is as good as anyone in this draft. His character as a person is off the charts. Apparently he wants to be a pastor when he’s done playing hockey. The fact that he’s 5’6″ shouldn’t be a reason not to pick him. He never backs away from a battle, wins many battles against bigger players, has a hockey IQ we haven’t seen in Calgary since probably the Magic Man and produces at every level he’s ever been at. He’s also got a very stocky build, a wide stance, very strong legs and is encellent condition and strength levels.

    I’m sick and tied of ‘safe’ picks. This club needs something different.

    Grimaldi all the way!

  • Craig

    The knock on Rask is his character. Apparently he’s a pouter with some stories breaking that his mom called up the club and complained about his ice time.

    If you can satisfy yourself that he’s not a charcter problem and that issues have been exaggerated and that he’ll play for you, then he’s a very solid pick in terms of talent.

  • Jarom

    1st round picks should never go to a guy that doesn’t deserve it. Whiners and pre-madonas need not apply. There are a ton of good players out there to pick from. If Rask is already seen as having character issues, then let him be another teams problem.

  • Mark McNeill should be the target with pick 13. He had an exceptional year in junior on a pretty mediocre team. Bartschi was on a powerhouse and I buy into the concept that his numbers were enhanced by playing with very good players. Grimaldi is an interesting situation, but his dogged that belies his stature.

    Dealing with things as they are at this time of the day (Flames picks not changed), then its highly unlikely that any of the names save Mr. Rask will be around at 45. Joe Morrow is a rock of a defenseman that might slip to that selection or 57 (isn’t that the second second rounder?) and shouldn’t be ignored. Beyond the second round, its a crap shoot.