We’re just shy of five weeks out from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and six weeks out from the Calgary Flames annual development camp. With no World Championship games today, why not take a glance at how things are looking overall?
The Flames presently have seven picks at the 2014 Draft. They shake down thusly:
- 1st round – 4th overall
- 2nd round – 34th overall
- 2nd round – 57th overall (from Colorado)
- 3rd round – 64th overall
- 3rd round – 86th overall (from Pittsburgh)
- 6th round – 178th overall (from Anaheim)
- 7th round – 184th overall
I’d imagine the Flames would love to recoup some mid-round picks, but the question is “What do they have to move to get ’em?” I don’t think much, so I’d be surprised if they get a fourth or fifth back. But five picks in the top 90 is exciting.
The NHL announced their scouting combine invitees, which can give an idea of what players may go in the top 100 or so. The 75 top-ranked players from Central Scouting’s list were invited, along with roughly 45 players decided on by the NHL teams themselves. Based on this (and my gut), names you might hear (e.g., names with buzz and one or two attributes the team might want):
- 1st round: Sam Bennett or Sam Reinhart or Michael dal Colle
- 2nd round: Reid Gardiner, Connor Bleackley, Chase de Leo, Thatcher Demko, Ville Huuso, Brett Pollock, Aaron Haydon, Brett Lernout, Travis Sanheim or someone else
- 3rd round: Daniel Audette, Aaron Irving, Keegan Iverson, Alexis Vanier, Ben Thomas, Mason MacDonald or someone else
We’ll obviously get into the hows and whys of why the Flames would want any of these guys – the first round discussion will be vested in “because they’re the three best guys left at 4th overall” – but the rest will be a fun thing to debate. Also, do the Flames draft a goalie? And when?
The Flames have quietly amassed a pretty diverse prospects group, and have largely done so by drafting different types of players, but primarily from the WHL and the Eastern United States. For a glance, here’s the players likely being invited to development camp – it’ll show you where they’re thin, too. Players with league in brackets aren’t pros.
- G: Jon Gillies (NCAA)
- D: John Gilmour (NCAA), Rushan Rafikov (MHL), Keegan Kanzig (WHL), Eric Roy (WHL), Tyler Wotherspoon, Patrick Sieloff, John Ramage, Brett Kulak & Ryan Culkin
- F: Morgan Klimchuk (WHL), Tim Harrison (NCAA), Matt Deblouw (NCAA), Mark Jankowski (NCAA), David Wolf, Johnny Gaudreau, Bryce van Brabant, Bill Arnold, Kenny Agostino, Markus Granlund, Josh Jooris, Corban Knight, Sven Baertschi, Emile Poirier, Max Reinhart, Michael Ferland & Turner Elson
One goalie, not a lot of skilled puck-moving defenders, and the forward group remains high on two-way forwards, but light on high-end skill and also on crash-and-bang.
Hopefully the draft fills some of those holes.