The final pick of the Flames 2014 entry draft is right in line with the rest of the team’s activity – Austin Carroll is a big, 20 year old winger out of the WHL who has size (6’3″ 215 pounds) and truculence (115 PIMs last year). He was passed over in each of the last two drafts and was actually at the Flames development camp last year as an invite.
Carroll scored 34 goals and 57 points in 70 games for the Victoria Royals this year, so he’s not purely a face puncher. That said, 20-year olds who don’t score at a PPG pace in junior are everywhere are rarely make dent in pro. Seventh round picks are long bombs by definition and my guess is Carroll was one of the only guys left on the board with whom the Flames were actually familiar.
It’s clear the club’s mandate with the rest of the draft was to inject some size into the prospect stable. Bollig, Smith, Mattsson and Carroll are all huge, mean guys. The question is, do any of them actually have any upside?