Flames First Round Targets 2013: The Other Guys


We’ve previewed a bunch of possible first round targets for Calgary to pick at 6, 22 and 28 over the last few weeks and now we’ve reached the stretch drive – mere hours from the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. But before we let the festivities begin, let’s run down a couple other possible targets for Calgary in the first round.

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Anthony Mantha

Describing Anthony Mantha as a hockey player is simple: pure goal scorer. The six foot four, 190 pound menace sniped 50 goals for Val d’Or of the QMJHL this season. He also added 39 assists for 89 points – all this in 67 games for an impresasive NHLE of about 32.

The most prominent of Mantha’s strengths is obviously his shot, which is already considered by many scouts to be an NHL calibre. Mantha also terrorized defenders with his blazing speed. Future Considerations described Mantha at top speed as being "amongst the fastest players straight line in the QMJHL". Quick feet is a big time attribute to have when you’re as big as Mantha is (6’04", 190). Ranked 18 by FC, he sits 22nd on Corey Pronman’s ranking, saying this about him:

Mantha  picks up speed quickly, with a certain smoothness in his skating technique. That skating ability, combined with his 6’4" frame, makes him an intriguing physical package. He does possess some skill, but he is more of a good thinker than a fancy puck handler. He can slow the game down, and he exhibits good calmness, often finding the right plays to make with the puck. He shows above-average ability as a passer. He is a top-end finisher, possessing a bullet shot. When he gets an opportunity to one-time a puck, he winds up high, delivering a lot of weight through the shot. He could use some work defensively, as he is not the most physical of players, but he will bump opponents along the boards.

Mantha has all-star potential – he’s a big, fast sniper. Sounds a lot like what Jay Feaster and Co. have been saying they need to add to the team. Mantha could surprise many people and make the jump to the NHL next year – after all he has the size, skating and skill to do so but it’s generally a good idea to give freshly drafted prospects at least a year to refine their games in a lesser league. Nonetheless, Mantha would be a solid selection for the Flames at 22 and would be an absolute steal at 28 if he lasts until then.

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Adam Erne

Erne is another guy that fits into the "scoring power forward winger" niche that Calgary is no doubt looking to fill. However, there’s a couple of redflags that pop up with Erne for me. First of all, although I wasn’t able to run the numbers, Erne showed considerably less during the stretch of the season that saw his Quebec Remparts absent of top line center Mikhail Grigorenko due to the Buffalo Sabres going about their business handling him poorly. His dependency on an elite teammate (elite at that level that is) is difficult to prove but it doesn’t exactly look pretty at the surface.

Ignoring all that, the six foot one, 200 pound winger scored 28 goals and 72 points in 68 games (NHLE of 26), so that’s decent. The problem with Erne lies in his offensive potential and transition at the NHL level. Many question his creativity and just plain ability to create offense when the competition gets stiffer. In fact, Copper&Blue published a very interesting article comparing Erne to other players in a similar goals per game rate (between 0.37 and 0.45), points per game rate [between 0.92 and 1.13 (90% to 110% of Erne’s production)], who were selected somewhere between 8th and 18th overall. The results are interesting:


 When you then look at how those players faired in the NHL any optimism you may have had about Erne, quickly dissolves: 


Of course, just because it happened to these guys doesn’t mean it will prove true for Erne, it just adds a little perspective. He’s an option at either 22 or 28, but I’d advise Flames staffers to stay away from this one. 

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Morgan Klimchuck

The Flames need some feel good stories with all the crap that’s been happening and grabbing a good ol’ Calgary kid would be a great one. Morgan Klimchuck will go from ripping up AAA hockey in Calgary to stepping up on the stage at the NHL Entry Draft on Sunday and I would not mind it one bit if it’s a Flames jersey he yanks over his head.

Although a little slight at 5’11", 180 pounds, Klimchuck has electrifying speed and world class agility that allows him dodge any issues that may come with being undersized. Great vision, tremendous stick work and a rifle for a shot make him a great offensive threat – almost a carbon copy of Sven Baertschi minus the ‘nicknameability’ (yes I made up that word) of his name and the number 2 ranking on our top 15 Flames prospects board.

Klimchuck’s shot is so impressive, it leads Future Considerations scout Zenon Herasymiuk to call it on of the best in the draft – heavy and accurate. Klimchuck sits 21st of Future Considerations ranking and while they agree with everything I mentioned about his offensive skills, they’re quick to point out he needs work in the defensive zone. He doesn’t necessarily lack effort or ability on D, he just doesn’t make an impact on the game in a major way on D. However a take-away here and block shot there can patch that up in a jiffy. Corey Pronman is not nearly as generous when ranking Klimchuck, dropping him out of the first round and dropping him off at 33rd overall, saying this about him:

Klimchuk put up good numbers with not much offensive help in Regina. He has the ability to play a high-energy game, with good puck possession elements. He is also a very agile player, and he picks up speed well. Klimchuk can control the puck effectively on the power play; he has been used on the point as well as in a distributing role. He projects as a quality player with the man advantage. He possesses a plus shot, with the ability to score from a distance. Klimchuk is a bit undersized at 5’11", but he works hard in battles, and he will drive the net.

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Good numbers indeed – Klimchuck’s 36 goals complimented the 76 points in 72 games he scored this year. While he’s not overly big or heavy he is fast and assuming Calgary picks one of Sean Monahan or Elias Lindholm at 6, it’d be nice to flank them with not one Sven, but two.

Andre Burakowsky

Judging by the Mark Jankowski bombshell last year, the Flames aren’t afraid to swing for homeruns at the draft. Well they’ll get another shot at one this June with Andre Burakowsky. The slick 6’1", 179 pound Swede has been regarded by many as the homerun swing of the draft. He has all the tools – skating, skill, grit – to become a high end NHLer one day but is marred by a couple of common issue attributed to high-octane offensive forwards: greed and lack of defence.

Burakowsky can get caught in "his own world" dancing with the puck and completely ignoring his teammates at times and on defence can show complete lack of interest. Ranked 13th by Corey Pronman, Burakowsky earned rave reviews from the Hockey Prospectus scout:

He gains efficient power from his stride, and he has a great top gear. His skill level allows him to regularly make above-average to high-end dekes and passes. He has the look of a skilled puck possessor with every shift. The extra element of his game is his grit, and one NHL source described his work ethic as equal to his skill level. He has the ability to impact the possession game with his skill and smarts, and he has a knack for pressuring the puck away from opponents. In order to fulfill his potential, Burakowsky will have to get stronger. There are also significant question marks around his decision making, as some scouts indicate he can be a bit of a puck hog. There are some kinks to correct, but his game has great upside, and he can be a top-line player at his peak.

Pronman – again – mentions Burakowsky’s lack of team play at times, turning into a "puck hog". Future Considerations, who ranks him at 25, echos much of the same, raving at his offensive skills and upside but expressing concern in regards to his vision and defensive commitment.

Burakowsky earned four goals for 11 points in 47 games playing in Sweden’s Allsvenskan (NHLE = 7) –  basically a tier down for the SHL – which doesn’t seem too impressive for a guy who’s bread and butter is racking up points, but his lack of ice time early in the year can be blamed for that.

All in all, Burkowsky would be an intriguing choice for a Flames system that really lacks elite prospects, but he’s a much bigger question mark than some of the other options given his low ice time, point totals and incomplete game. He could come over in a couple of years should he add some muscle to his frame and could turn himself into a solid scoring winger in the future. Or, of course, wash-out completely.


The possiblites for Calgary are virtually endless at both the 22nd and 28th position. While I hope and pray they don’t go too far off the board, we’ll just have to wait and see how the ‘Most Important Draft in Calgary Flames History" plays out Sunday in New Jersey. 

Flames First Round Targets

  • BurningSensation

    There was one thing about Mantha not related in the above review of him, that the scouts HATE his lack of ‘heart’. Kyle Woodlief over at Red-Line Report took a massive dump on Mantha for lacking anything like a ‘compete level’.

    To which I say ‘meh’. The kid can score. I don’t care if he makes it look easy, or if his skating stride is so smooth it doesn’t look like he is working hard.

    The kid can flat out score – if he’s there at #22 I would adore taking him at that spot.

    Monahan/Lindholm + Mantha + Klimchuk = AWESOME draft

    • supra steve

      Ryan Howse could score too, but his heart…just doesn’t seem to be involved in his hockey career. No idea if Mantha has similar issues, but if he does, then they can’t just be ignored. This draft is too important for the Flames to pass on someone like Petan, as an example, to take a big skilled player that is just not committed. Some players with crazy skill just never give all that they have to their game. My old standby extreme example is Pierre Turgeon, all the skill but no heart and no championships. He did win the Lady Byng, though.

  • supra steve

    I hope like hell the Flames don’t pick Klimchuk with one of their picks. He’s highly over rated and a greedy bastard on the ice.

    The only reason he was successful in AAA is because he played a lot of minutes against a weaker league that year.

    Against bigger, faster, stronger defencemen in the NHL he’ll find it very tough and he doesn’t have the fortitude to prevail.

    • supra steve

      Certainly worth thinking about, but in the end it depends entirely on who is left and the value that the Flames have placed on each of these young players. The Sabres may also have some input into the situation as well.

      Only one more sleep!

  • Truculence

    Trying to be reasonable, 3 of any of these: Monahan, Lindholm, Domi, Zadorov, Ristoulainen, Zykov, Klimchuk, Hartman, Wennberg.

    Find Hagg, Santini and Horvat overrated.

    • Truculence

      I like your selections. That being said, Horvat`s ceiling is that of a Bergeron, and his floor is that of a Bolland type. He will be a useful or very useful NHL player based on the Memorial games I watched.

  • Truculence

    Anyone else hear that Fox Sports in Boston is reporting the Flames trying to trade 6th overall and Gaudreau for Seguin? Not a fan of this…turning two of our best prospects into one injured one, no thanks.

    Also separate deal to trade our 6th to Philly for a package including Matt Read….

    So much for not trading down. Seems like Feaster is doing everything he can to unload our 6th overall… I’ve been looking forward to this draft for almost a year now and all of a sudden I’m terrified. Why can’t we just keep it simple stupid, make our picks and &@#%*ing be done with it?

    Oh and also we’re interviewing Vinny tomorrow morning…. That’s a good idea. Shoot me now.

    • everton fc

      I too have mixed feelings about the rumored Seguin deal but I think you are over-reacting and being a little dramatic.

      It is only a rumor and Feaster is not doing his job if he doesn’t at least investigate any potential deal for a top player. I doubt very much that Feaster is “doing everything he can to unload our 6th overall”.

      But if a team is going to overpay and offer up a deal that he can’t turn down then he at least has to consider all options.

      Still it is just a rumor… a week ago a comment made by Roger millions created a whole bunch of Cammy to Ottawa rumors.

      And a couple days ago another stupid loaded question from Roger Millions (that Feaster dodged by not publicly trashing Lecavalier the day after he was bought out. Of course Feaster is not going to publicly call Lecavalier a “Post Apex Player.”

      Interviewing Lecavalier is a good move. We should try and make contact with all the top UFAs if for no other reason than to survey the market. The more knowledge we have going into this next week will help us make the best decisions for the team.

    • TheBear64

      Seguin’s not going anywhere. The Bruins would be absolutely nuts to deal him. It’s just a few teams have been sniffing around him, and Bob MacKenzie has been sniffing the naptha again.

      • supra steve

        BOS currently has 5.1 million in cap space. That is with no NHL goalie under contract. So no Rask, Horton, Pandolfo, Ference, and other lesser lights to sign. Seguin would be hard to part with, but if they can get a great prospect or two, it just might be something they have to do to stay cap compliant. That may turn out to be the value in all the cap space that Feaster has built up. BOS can probably compliance buy-out Savard to gain some room, but that only gains 4 million in space.

        Agreed, it sounds crazy, but with the cap as it is, we live in crazy times.

        • TheBear64

          Horton is gone, he’s said he’s going to try the free agency market. The Bruins have already said they are not going to sign Ference, Pandolfo and Daugavins. They can also place Marc Savard’s contract on LTIR (you can’t buy-out an injured player) if they have to, which would free up another 4+ million in cap space. One (or possibly even both) of Rich Peverly or Chris Kelly’s contracts will be either dealt or bought out.

          The only one the Bruins need to sign is Tuukka Rask, and it will get done. The cap space is not a concern; the Bruins have lots of good young players that are ready to step in next season and fill the holes. Trading Seguin for cap space reasons makes no sense whatsoever. They don’t need to do it, nor should they even consider doing it.

          This is a dynamic young player who has improved every season and is just starting to come into his own. He was one of the best Bruins players in the last two playoff series, worked his ass off and lifted his linemates, who were basically pluggers without him, to the point where they were the best line the Bruins had vs the Blackhawks. He played with grit and determination and showed he’s learning some real leadership skills. To give up on him now when he’s progressed so far for what is essentially a gamble would be utter folly.

  • everton fc

    Apparently, reports say Horton might be available for a 3rd round pick… Or a prospect. Would he sign here? And Ference… You have to think he’d want to come “home”?

  • MC Hockey

    “Why can’t we just keep it simple stupid, make our picks and &@#%*ing be done with it?”

    Yup, if the Flames want to get creative, it should be by way of adding picks, not subtracting them. Contenders aren’t built through shortcuts. Use Gio + to go after Philly’s pick and trade for DiPietro for their 1st. Best draft in a decade and a realistic chance to have 5 1sts. Nail those picks and the Flames are set up for the next dozen years.

    • everton fc

      Could get the same return by:

      Moving Gio for Carolina’s pick after –

      Moving the #6 and a roster player (not an all-star, which we no longer have anyways) for Seguin. Or Gaudreau. But it’d nice to hold onto Johnny G – unless a romour’s out that he may not sign with Calgary, when the time comes…

      Then you get Seguin, and one of the top 5 picks.

      If you move Gio, you have to get rebuild on defence. Grabbing Morin somehow (Isles #15 pick?) could be the start.

      And yes, Seguin and Lecavlier is a very interesting duo down the middle. Stajan as a 3rd line centre w/those two also doesn’t look too bad.

      • everton fc

        “And yes, Seguin and Lecavlier is a very interesting duo down the middle. Stajan as a 3rd line centre w/those two also doesn’t look too bad.”

        Why has everyone suddenly forgotten about Backlund?

        • everton fc

          Good point. Oversight.

          How about this quad, down the middle:

          Seguin Lecavalier Backlund Stajan

          That’s a pretty decent scenario to start the season.

          All that said, I still find it odd the Bruins are so willing to dump Seguin. If he has lifestyle issues… And we want character and all that… Why bring him in to potentially poison our young guys, his peers??

          O’Brien has a similar rep, does he not? In fairness to the often spouted (spewed?) “Intellectual Honesty”….

  • MC Hockey

    Just got home from the movies (WWZ). About a 6 out of 10 flic. Came home fully expecting major moves! Dissapointing! All the GM’s just crying wolf I guess!

    • everton fc

      The “drama” as you say is exciting stuff. I don’t want to do something for the sake of doing something, but if Feaster can make some moves, I’m all for it.

    • RexLibris

      And 6 of those have NTCs, if I recall correctly.

      I have a lot of respect for Shero as a GM, but a few of these decisions lately are making me wonder about him.

      For instance, some word out that Edler is being shopped. Now Edler is no Letang, but I wonder if he explored Letang for Edler? Even straight across it would be of a net benefit to the Penguins on cap savings. Throw in a pick in either the 2nd or 3rd round and they could be better off.

      Letang for Schneider? Gardiner? It just seems there might have been options to explore there.

      I felt the same way when he did the Morrow and Iginla deals, they looked like good acquisitions. Then there was the Douglas Murray trade…two 2nd rounders for a Hal Gill replacement? Just seems out of step with other indications of ability.

      • RexLibris

        It is surprising after they were manhandled by Boston. Boston wins by committee, none of the very top echelon of players, but lots of great and good ones. Lucic and Chara to make everyone on the opposition think twice. Seems like they are setting themselves up for the same fate next year with a pretty underwhelming supporting cast.

  • everton fc

    Did Letang get a NTC? If he didn’t, I’d shop him signed, to see if anyone bites. Philly’s the arch-rival, but also hurting. What is there to lose, Letang’s loyalty? He made it clear when he played hard-ball it’s all about him and the money. So be it.

    Are there any teams who’ll have the available cap space to take on such a contract as Letang’s?

  • TheBear64

    Sean Monahan is by far the best choice for the Flames at #6. If he’s gone than I hope the Flames could get Barkov.

    I would really, really like to see Curtis Lazar still available at #22 and see the Flames draft him. He’s an awesome player and would be a great addition to the Flames. I doubt that’s going to happen though, because I think Curtis will be gone before then.

    I think maybe it would be a good idea for the Flames to trade down on the #28 pick and gain a second round pick.

  • TheBear64

    Pens signing Letang puts them in a position of icing an allstar unit and 2 AHl lines. Shero must be under the belief that the A squad of Sid,Geno, Letang,Neal and Kuntz along with The Flower compensate for the cardboard cutouts they will have as second through fourth units. bizarre unless the cap goes way up in a season or two.

  • RexLibris

    Putting myself in Feaster’s position, here is what I think would be in the best interests of the team for today: don’t move any picks unless it involves moving another veteran like a Cammalleri and means a pick of greater value returns.

    Take as many picks as you can and try to use the trade mania to pique interest in some veterans.

    I don’t think the Flames should necessarily be hoarding picks in excess of ten for this year, but if they could somehow improve their draft position in a few rounds it might help.