Weekend Open Thread: Draft Week Scenarios

Lads and ladies, we are now less than one week away from the Most Important Draft in Calgary Flames History*.

*- Well, since last year’s.

There’s a LOT of chatter in hockey circles about movement at the top end of the draft order.

So what happens? I can, with absolutely no insider info, speculate three main scenarios.

FLAMES DRAFT 1ST AND 4TH

Calgary utilizes organizational assets (later picks, prospects, roster players) to trade with Florida in exchange for the 1st overall pick. Calgary drafts 1st and 4th, in a similar manner to the Vancouver Canucks in 1999 Draft selecting 2nd and 3rd. Brian Burke and Brad Treliving are seen by TSN cameras high-fiving, Flames pick Aaron Ekblad and Sam Bennett and the rebuild is fast-tracked. Edmonton weeps.

(There’s also a version of this where they trade down to 10th or so and use the assets they get for trading down to get 1st overall also. They draft Aaron Ekblad and one of the second tier guys like Nikolaj Ehlers, Haydn Fleury or Nikolai Goldobin. Edmonton weeps.)

Likelihood: Low.

Why?: The price tag to get 1st overall straight-away would be steep. We’re talking next year’s 1st rounder and/or a high end roster player. And Sven Baertschi. And other stuff. To get both Sedins, Brian Burke sent Bryan McCabe (who was good then) and a future 1st rounder to Chicago for 4th overall, then flipped that pick with two 3rd rounders for the 1st overall pick, and then traded down to 2nd on the condition Atlanta wouldn’t take a Sedin. That’s ridiculous, and I’m not sure it can be pulled off again, nor am I sure the Flames have the stomach to part with the assets required to do it.

FLAMES TRADE UP

Calgary takes their 4th overall pick, add a prospect and/or roster asset (Hudler?) and trade them to Florida in order to move up to 1st overall and get Aaron Ekblad. Edmonton weeps.

Likelihood: Low to moderate.

Why?: The price would be lower, and Florida would get a Flames roster player or prospect, as well as one of the top four guys in the draft. Everybody wins. Calgary’s defense gets massively upgraded for the future. I’m not 100% sure Calgary does this, though, as the interest around 1st overall may bid the price above what Brad Treliving cares to give. “Hudler and Baertschi and 4th overall? Screw it, we’ll see who’s left when we pick 4th.”

FLAMES STAY PUT

Calgary makes no trades, drafts 4th, picks whoever’s left from the vaunted top 4.

Likelihood: Moderate to high

Why?: They don’t give anything up and they gain an asset. The bidding war for 1st overall may become stupid, causing the Flames to “settle” for 4th and one of the Sams or Leon Draisaitl.

FLAMES TRADE DOWN

Calgary accepts an offer from a team drafting below them that wants one of the top 4. They get an asset, most likely a second or third rounder, to drop in the draft order.

Likelihood: Moderate

Why?: Remember the bidding war? Well, Calgary could be a beneficiary if someone a team below them covets falls to 4 and that coveting team makes a stupid big offer to get them to move down. And Colorado gave Calgary a second round pick for marginal NHL goaltender Reto Berra, so let’s not pretend it’s not possible. The Flames’ management have mentioned a “top 6” rather than a top 4, and likely they have a liking towards someone like Jake Virtanen, Nick Ritchie or Michael Dal Colle. While they probably like Sam Reinhart more, if somebody gives you a chance to add to your prospect depth and give your scouting and development staff more kicks at the can, you can be convinced to “settle” for Virtanen and a second (for example) rather than Bennett or Draisaitl.

Teams often make foolish decisions when they’re on the clock and have their Draft Goggles on.

What do you think is the most likely scenario next weekend?

  • mk

    I like all the options where ‘Edmonton weeps’. I generally enjoy this happening. I’m actually kind of hoping that Edmonton trades up to #1 overall and then the kid flat out refuses to sign with them.

  • MonsterPod

    This all depends on what the management wants. The phones ring between picks. If the Flames keep their pick and both Sams are gone, they may not want Draisaitl and decide to pull the trigger on someone’s offer to drop down — flip picks with Toronto perhaps and take Ritchie/Virtanen/Fleury.

    But if Edmonton is in love with Draisaitl and one of the Sams is there for us, then maybe we take him. They will not trade the pick until they see how the chips are falling. Did anybody in the draft world expect to see Seth Jones drop to #4? Maybe a drop to #2, but certainly not #4.

  • Craig

    I’m worried about management going off the board with the #4, just to add size. At the same time, I would love to see some flamesnation draft profiles on guys like Dal Colle and Nick Ritchie to see if their underlying splits (EV/PP team scoring %) point at them being much worse than the consensus top 4.

    I just don’t see Edmonton taking Draisaitl over one of the sams, that leaves us picking between: Draisaitl, Dal Colle, Ritchie, maybe Virtanen. So I’m definitely most curious to see a profile on them so I can start hyping myself up for one of them instead of lamenting the loss of a Sam.

  • T&A4Flames

    If the 1st scenario played out, would CGY look to drop down from the 4th OA and regain assets as well as a later top 10 pick.

    Kent’ slog yesterday speculated BT was trying to acquire another top 10 pick. What realistically would it take to get the 5th OA from the NYI? Hudler/Wideman + later pick?

    What teams in the top, say, 12, are more interested in immediate improvement instead of patience through drafting? What’s Francis’ plan with CAR?

    • piscera.infada

      Mentioned it before, apparently Nashville is looking to get immediate, established help for #11 overall. Look at their forwards, either of Hudler or Glencross would be an immediate upgrade in their forward ranks (that team was just horrible). They’re over a barrel too, if they don’t start winning immediately, no one wants to come out to their games, so they likely (and reportedly) don’t care too much about prospects. They want a bona fide NHL player. Toss in a second, a third, or two, and make it happen.

      That is my most likely scenario. Get another pick at 11, if they want too much don’t do it. But that should be the mantra from management – if they can acquire a pick without giving up a lateral asset (ie. Baertschi, #4 overall), then do it.

      • DragonFlame

        Trading Hudler or Glencross to gain another pick would be fine, I suppose, except the Flames still have to replace one of these players salaries and add even more salary just to get to the cap floor. Any other year (when some truly decent UFA’s hit the market), I think it would be a great idea, but this year’s UFA crop looks awfully bleak.

      • Jeff Lebowski

        I think NSH is a place 20 would waive NTC for. Just because 20 is a cowboy!

        If BT inks Vrbata as replacement. At trade deadline I think 20 for a first is doable (if Quincey nets one) but wondering if it happens at draft (draft pick at its highest value compared to lower at trade deadline).

        20 has been at around 30 goal pace …

        11 + Hudler + 3rd rounder for 1OA or 2OA or 5OA?

        • piscera.infada

          Sorry guys, I just don’t see the logic in trading for the #1 pick. You lose Hudler and Glencross, this team is going to be even worse than it looks now – not to mention with more gaping holes, as well as even less spent to the cap. I can see a Hudler trade because he has term, a reasonable cap-hit, and is coming of a strong season.

          If you go into the draft with #4 and #11 you’re laughing (think Reinhart/Bennett/Draisaitl and Virtanen/Fleury for example). Quite simply though, the cost to move to first overall is going to have to be a whale of a package for what could be great or what could just as easily not be great.

          As I said earlier, I’m not a fan of acquiring any draft pick if it means a lateral exchange. Why give up Baertschi and a 2nd or 3rd (and possibly more) to be able to draft 7th – 11th? You’re hoping that prospect can do what Baertschi has done in his short time as a pro (remember, this was his second year as a pro between the AHL and NHL).

          Personally, I make the trade with Nashville if I can give up a player that will help them now, but unequivocally won’t help us long-term – if you have to throw in a later pick to make it work, that’s fine. This simply means that trading away real talent for prospective talent (ie. the move to first overall), just seems like a waste that is sure to backfire.

          Moreover, if they do in fact, end up trading the world to Florida for the first overall pick it will confirm one thing to me: that the BB/BT experiment is more about optics than it is about building a contender. It would be one thing to sell the farm for the chance to draft a player with known generational upside, but none of the players in this draft look like that at this time (that not to say no one will end up that way). It’s fine to make a splash, but it needs to be a calculated move so it doesn’t end up an unmitigated disaster.

    • Byron Bader

      The Islanders gave up their 1st next year. Unless they’re moving up I’d say they are off the table as a trading partner for their 1st. The deal would have to be astronomical for the Islanders to move that pick. Hudler, Baertschi, 2015 1st type category. Not worth it.

  • RedMan

    It’s Burke that is the wild card here… he clearly does not like to sit on his hands, and prefers to make things happen. All the rumors and speculation around Ritchie has me nervous as well… not because it makes any sense, but because he is Burke’s kind of player, and when Burke is dialed in, he will do what he thinks is best.

    The issue with trading picks plus players is the salary floor… if we start dropping salaries, we will need to pick up even more salary. Which would mean that a trade involving a higher end roster guy (Hudler, Wideman, Glencross, Cammy) would also need to include the signing of an expensive replacement… a Spezza or ROR type at least.

    This would not be a big stretch or surprise with Burke at the helm – to see a series of trades fall quickly like dominoes. this is really his M.O. Move up in the draft and pick up a high caliber player.

    Makes it more curious as to what the heck Colorado is doing with ROR – they definitely are playing hardball with him and not playing nice at all, but you can’t blame them as ROR has been pretty demanding and self serving himself. But hey, it’s a business and you can’t blame either side for looking to maximize their options and opportunities.

    Back to Burke – I would be most surprised if he takes the route of doing nothing and going with 4th pick and stands pat as is, no tinkering.

  • Hacker

    I hope BBBT stay the course. If the flames pick top 4, it looks like they’ll land a very good player. With the prospects the Flames have in their system, they should be good soon. Obviously more picks in the first round would be awesome. I just hope Baertschi isn’t in play though. It appears that Burky isn’t high on him, but I think he is too good to give up on yet.

    • RedMan

      I just ~HOPE~ BBBT stay the course, but I certainly wouldn’t bet on it, given Burke’s track record and dislike for sitting on his hands or treading water.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Will Nick Ritchie be our Tyler Biggs? I think many are getting worried about this.

    I’m not. For 2 reasons:
    1- I really think the decision is a BT / TB call. I think they are zeroing in on highest offensive impact. Ritchie is a blend, a hybrid – does many things well but much of his appeal doesn’t directly impact scoresheet as the top 4 does.

    2- So what if they do pick Ritchie? We have no control, why let it bug you?

    Besides, Button has done well of late. If he genuinely likes him ( and not because BB likes him) then he might just be a helluva player.

    Also, it’s blasphemous to take Ritchie seemingly ONLY because the sources people use to form opinion haven’t put him there. Who cares? What do they REALLY know? Just look at some past redraft scenarios. Things change.

    If Lucic’s draft was done over – where does he go? Where would Bowman, Lombardi and BT/BB slot him? Top 3,5,10?

    • Reidja

      I really think Flames fans should heed this post above. Not because I love Ritchie, truth be told I’ve never seen him play live (like many of you, I suspect), but because none of you have that knowledge of the player. Ostracizing an 18 year old because you liked one of the other 18 year olds who you also don’t know much about, other than regurgitated scouting reports and YouTube videos, is bad armchair GM stuff. I love the speculation and hope that somehow we can wrangle one of the Sams or Ekblad too but this is really the time to let the guys who get paid, do their job. Should we take Ritchie, tell me he will be a bust 3 years from now when you have expirience to back up the opinion.

      • BurningSensation

        There is no ‘bad’ armchair GM stuff, because there is no ‘good’ armchair GM stuff.

        Just enjoy it for what it is.

        That said, I agree that people should chill a little with the panic over Ritchie potentially being our pick at #4. I don’t see it, but at least one team’s scouts had Ritchie as the top player in the draft per Boomer in the morning.

        The red flags for me;

        – wasn’t a ppg
        – late bloomer
        – older prospect
        – only took off offensively when he was with an elite linemate

        But maybe the kid turns into a goalscoring young Todd Bertuzzi, and at #4 that’s about the best you could hope for.

        • Reidja

          I disagree that trashing an 18 year old’s career on the public record is not “bad” armchair GMing. It’s at best petulant and at worst shameful. I have no time for posters who would treat a kid like that. Folks should show some common sense and at least acknowledge their limited repotoire of live viewings of the kid (i.e. likely none) and thier ability to divine the future (zero) when posting troll-level negativity about a player who has yet to play a single pro game. End of rant.

          Boy would I be stoked if Edmonton somehow let one of those top 3 guys slip to us. I almost feel like the rumour that thier managment like Driasaitl over the Sam’s was a plant to get Flames fans hopes up! It’s a Lowe blow if you will. Ah ha haha ha.

        • MonsterPod

          Neutral armchair GM here, like you said…

          I can’t help but think people are being a bit hypnotized by Ritchie’s size. I still feel Virtanen would be a better pick at 6,7,8.

          We’ll see what Van and TO think next weekend.

          The knock on Ritchie is his skating, and according to reports, Virtanen is an excellent skater. Size AND speed in a sniper? Sign me up.

  • Lordmork

    Obviously, the Flames should do whatever nets the team the most/best assets.

    I wonder if we’re talking to Toronto about Gardiner/Kadri. I keep hearing that Toronto is, if not actively shopping them, then floating their names as trade bait.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    I could see BBBT making a play for the Leaves pick at 8 if Virtanen is still available. Not sure what it would take, but maybe BB can pull one over on Nonis.

    Edit: Virtanen or Ritchie.

  • Colin.S

    I’ve seen Sportsnet now rate Bennet as the #1 prospect on their draft list. Hopefully with the little bit of negative press that Reinhart got along with all the heaping praise Bennet is currently getting I somehow hope that Reinhart falls to four.

    I think that’s a perfect test of management. If he falls to four and we don’t pick him, something is seriously wrong.

  • supra steve

    My ideal scenario would be Either Sam R or Sam B or Ekblad and another top ten ish pick used on Virtanen or Nylander, Maybe package the 2 2nd rounders plus a prospect or roster player maybe both hopefully less and fleece Toronto?

  • supra steve

    I just hope that any deal involving the Flames moving their 2015 first rounder is OFF the table (barring an obscene overpay). The reported strength at the top of that draft just seems way more valuable than what the pick might get them in next weeks draft.

  • Colin.S

    The only thing that scares me about the possibility (apparently very real) of Reinhart falling to 4th is that the Canucks probably go hard after that pick. I’d rather the Flames just kept it with Treliving announcing Reinhart’s name on the podium with Burke making this face at Benning & Linden.

  • A scenario not mentioned here is the Flames keeping #4 and acquiring a lower 1st round pick. It’s not the most likely scenario, but it’s still something to consider. There are plenty of teams with mid round picks that want to move down, and the Flames could take advantage of that for an inexpensive price.

  • RedMan

    Great speculative post!! I would love having the Flames get first but I’m sure there is someone else willing to pay more than Hudler+a prospect. I would rather have us just try and add an extra first rounder (top 15) , and keep our 4th overall. I could also see us trading down to somewhere in the 7-10 range and then take Virtanen, because I feel like Burke is in love with the guy! I’d much rather have Virtanen over Ritchie. Either way, it’s gonna be an exciting draft!