There’s no question that at 6th overall a pretty good player is going to available when the Flames approach the podium in June. We can’t know the team’s draft board, but at 6th at least one of Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan, Valery Nichushkin, Darnell Nurse or Hunter Shinkaruk will be around.
Those are fine options. Nuchushkin and Lindholm are in the conversation with guys like Drouin and Barkov on some draft boards, for instance.
That said, there’s a clear upper tier in this draft class where one is more or less guaranteed a future high-end to elite player: the top four – the aforementioned Jonathan Drouin, Aleksandr Barkov as well as Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon.
As we discussed yesterday, the Flames are flush with assets heading into the draft, ranging from three first round picks to gobs of cap space. In addition, given the team is just now embarking on a rebuild, pretty much any roster player over 24 years old may be up for grabs as well (and probably many of them under that threshold as well).
Which is a long way of saying the Flames have the will and perhaps the wherewithal to move up, assuming price is no object. The teams picking ahead of them are Colorado (1), Florida (2), Tampa Bay (3), Nashville (4) and Carolina (5). The Flames have 6th overall, 21st overall (Blues eliminated last night ) and PIT’s first rounder (25th or higher). They also have some worthwhile roster players (Giordano, Wideman, Hudler, Glencross,
Bouwmeester, Kiprusoff, Tanguay) and, if you want to go nuclear, some quality youngsters (Brodie, Backlund, Gaudreau, Gillies). Finally, Calgary can also accept an ugly salary dump if required (Vinny Lecavalier?).
I personally wouldn’t advocate moving any of the Flames high-end guys under 24 to move up a couple places, but they are nevertheless an option. You can bet if the Flames make inquiries those are the names other teams will bring up.
So what would you do to move up to 4th or better?
Giordano + 6th + 21st?
Brodie + 6th?
Backlund + 6th + other asset?
Baertschi + 6th?
Gaudreau + 6th + other asset?
6th + 21st + accept Leacavalier’s contract?
21st+25th-30th+2014 first rounder+Giordano/Glencross/Backlund?
Submit your best offer in the comments.