In their third trip to the podium in the first round, the Flames went back to their list and grabbed a hometown boy, in the form of Morgan Klimchuk of the Regina Pats.
The Flames are obviously familiar with Klimchuk, having seen the Pats play in the Dome quite a bit. After the fan (and media) confusion regarding passing on Hunter Shinkaruk at 22nd overall in favour of Emile Poirier, Klimchuk is a completely logical choice. A Calgary prospect, Klimchuk has put up strong offensive numbers for the Pats over the last two seasons – 113 points in 144 games, including being just over a point-per-game this season for the struggling club.
If putting up strong numbers on a fairly thin team isn’t impressive enough, the thing that struck me about Klimchuk’s game during my viewings was that he did the little things. In addition to scoring goals and setting them up, Klimchuk’s two-way game is very good and he’s good at reading coverage. He’s an effective player in his own zone, constantly using his head to check his own team’s coverage and adjust his positioning.
Overall, he’s considered a player that isn’t great at anything, but is pretty damn good at everything.
After the Emile Poirier pick divided the fanbase, Klimchuk wasn’t just a safe pick – he was the right pick. The most important first round in franchise history is now complete. As the immortal poet Meatloaf once wrote: “Two outta three ain’t bad.”