6 Goalies The Flames Might Target At The Draft

A bit of news dropped yesterday from our friends at Hockey Canada.

Calgary Flames 2014 second round pick Mason McDonald was one of several young netminders invited to Hockey Canada’s summer goalie camp. If you remember, McDonald attended last year’s camp and impressed Flames brass enough that he became the first netminder taken in the 2014 Draft. The Flames also hired Jordan Sigalet following that event, so they had a productive week.

The Flames have many connections with Hockey Canada, not least of all their current assistant general manager Brad Pascall, who used to run the program that produced all these fancy national teams. Based on history and Calgary’s deep connections to Hockey Canada, let’s take a quick look at the six draft-eligible goaltenders that will be attending this camp because there’s a good chance the Flames may take one of them.

Former Flames netminder Fred Brathwaite heads the camp, which goes June 12-14 in Etobicoke, Ontario.

MACKENZIE BLACKWOOD

The starting netminder for the Barrie Colts this past season, Blackwood went 33-14-2 with a 3.09 goals against average and a .906 save percentage. He was 4th in the OHL in wins, and 11th in both goals against average and save percentage, and was ranked 1st among North American goalies by Central Scouting. It’s a coin-toss between Blackwood and Russian prospect Ilya Samsonov in terms of who’s the top goalie in this year’s draft.

Here’s Craig Button’s take:

Blackwood possesses a
very good base of goaltending skill. His mobility and lateral agility is
good and he moves well around his net in reading the play and utilizing
his size to his advantage. At times he gets caught deep in the net,
creating unnecessary vulnerability but is certainly an aspect that can
be developed and allow him to be a very good goalie.

CALLUM BOOTH

Booth had an interesting year. He played 41 games for the Quebec Remparts, but ended up as Zachary Fucale’s back-up when he came over mid-season. That’s despite Booth having better numbers all-around than Fucale. He went 23-12-2 with a 3.05 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. Booth was ranked 6th in goals against average and save percentage in the Q, and was ranked 2nd by Central Scouting among North American goalies.

Craig Button says:

Booth has all the
essential tools to be considered a very good goaltending prospect. His
skills are solid. His technique is solid. He reads the play and looks
comfortable moving around the net. Developing the ‘air of defiance’ in
his play can really advance his overall play and there is no reason to
believe he can’t.

SAMUEL MONTEMBAULT

Montembault had a good season for the Blainsville-Broisbriand Armada, going 33-11-7 with a 2.59 goals against average and .897 save percentage. He actually had better numbers then Zachary Fucale, playing more on a team that wasn’t as good as either of the ones Fucale played on. Goalies are funny that way. He’s ranked 3rd by Central Scouting. His numbers aren’t as exciting as Booth’s or Blackwood’s, but he had a good year nonetheless.

Craig Button’s evaluation:

He has very good skill
and fluidity in his movements. He can move out, across and around the
net well and doesn’t compromise position when he is moving. He has to
improve his awareness of what is unfolding around him so he can get to
better position and utilize his talents. Certainly has the potential to
take his game to a higher level.

ADIN HILL

The Portland Winterhawks raised some eyebrows around these parts at mid-season when they traded veteran goalie Brendan Burke to the Calgary Hitmen. The reason? Calgary product Adin Hill had made Burke redundant. Undrafted coming out of bantam, Hill made the jump to the Dub anyway. In his first full season with the Winterhawks, he went 31-11-1 with a 2.81 goals against average and a very impressive .921 save percentage, which was tops in the entire WHL. He got better as the year wore on, and could be a nice fit for the Flames as a local product. He was ranked 4th among goalies by Central Scouting.

MICHAEL McNIVEN

Playing behind veteran Jack Flinn with the Owen Sound Attack, McNiven played just 24 games this past season, but his numbers were pretty solid. He went 15-8-0 with a 2.79 goals against average and .914 save percentage – actually besting Flinn in both those numbers, while falling just three wins behind the starter. McNiven was ranked 21st among North American goaltenders by Central Scouting.

JORDAN PAPIRNY

The starting goalie of one of the WHL’s most stacked teams, it’s hard to tell exactly how good Jordan Papirny really is. Central Scouting had him 28th, but he had an incredible 44-9-6 record, along with a strong 2.79 goals against average and .910 save percentage. He was quite good and stole games at times, but it’s a question of how much of his stat-line is based on a great team covering him up a bit, or him being one of the reasons the Wheaties could attack so forcefully. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

    • The GREAT Walter White

      Relax WW. This article was written to keep you awake for the draft. — Flames management said probably no goalies this year but you have to look anyways.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    Haha Walter ur too funny man. We wouldnt be able to have the care free attitude most fans have about keeping either Ramo or Hiller if it wasn’t for Ortio, Gillies and to a certain extent McDonald in the pipeline.

    This is the strongest I recall our organizational depth at goal being in 15-20 years…be thankful we’re in 2015 and not 2000 with zero prospect depth at the position

    • The GREAT Walter White

      Walter both the Flames (comments about weak G depth this year, last draft) and I agree with you this year. That said, the Russian-Samsonov looks very good and I might consider him if he drops to one of our 2nd round picks.

      • T&A4Flames

        F no. Given our current depth at G, I’m sure we can skip drafting one this year. All 3 of our G prospects are tracking well, so no need need to add another at this point. Use this strong, deep draft to get as many opportunities at finding top 6 fwd’s and top 3 potential D men as we can.

        • OKG

          Burke said it last year – draft a goalie every other year.

          Every year is just too often for a position like this. Then you just end up trading them away for pennies on the dollar before they even establish themselves (Laurent Brossoit)

    • BurningSensation

      It’s the strongest the organizataion has been in goal, period, but for the lack of an actually elite goaltender (Kipprusoff, Vernon).

      Calgary has been torched by goaltender prospects in the past (from Kidd onwards really), but between Otio, GIllies, and MacDonald, surely to heavens one of these kids will be the real deal.

      I suspect we can take the Mgt team at the word, they intend to draft a goaltender every other year or so, and likely not in the first round, creating a chain of prospects that are two years apart-ish developmentally. Hiller goes, and Ortio is ready to step in. Give him a year or two to prove his worth, and Gillies is ready for his shot. He gets a year or two and by then you know what you have in Ortio, and MacDonald is hypothetically ready for audition, ad infinitum.

      So I’ll put my money on ‘no goalies drafted in 2015’ for the Flames.

  • MontanaMan

    Bit off topic regarding the goalie draft, but wondering if the Flames have any interest in a report that Phoenix would be open to offers for the number three pick. The three spot will bring a great hockey player and one that every team should consider. If the Flames are interested, who do they offer?

    • MontanaMan

      You’re the GM of Arizona. What would you want?

      I would want Bennett or Monahan, nothing less. That will never happen. Sorry, I just don’t see a deal there for Calgary.

      Given Arizona’s situation, I’m not sure why they’d be interested in doing that deal in the first place.

      Curious, what’s the source on the rumor?

    • BurningSensation

      There is no ‘if’ the Flames are interested, they are definitely interested.

      But the Wolf is right, if any combination of words that comes out of the PHX GMs mouth ends up not mentioning Monahan and or Bennett, he should be fired.

      Hanifin at #3 is a beauty, a game-changing defender in the mold of a Doughty or Pietrangelo that you can build a franchise around. Phoneix has Oliver Ekman-Larsson already, and is thin at C (from top to bottom, even at the prospect level where Domi projects better as a winger), so in theory, if PHX is dangling the #3 they will want a C, and I don’t think Granlund, Arnold, Jankowski or Jooris will move their dial at all.

      If Calgary were to make a serious offer not including Monahan or Bennett the next two names out of their mouth would be Brodie and Gaudreau. Does that feel any better? Gadureau for Hanifin? I can’t see it. Phoenix just doesn’t need Gaudreau as badly as they need a C, and Calgary fans would absolutely riot. Brodie for the #3 overall might be a deal, but does anybody feel good about it?

      No, if I was going to try to tempt the ‘Yotes, I’d go with; #15, 2 2nds in 2015 (our best 2), and any prospect outside the future core (Johnny-G, Bennett, Monahan, Gillies, Brodie), say Poirier.

      THAT kind of deal could both set Phoenix up in their rebuild while giving us the young piece for the blue-line that pushes this team into perrenial contender status.

      • Yup & what’s the point? Brodie is already a top pairing D & Bennett & Monahan are the 2 potential top centres this franchise has been missing for eons. & Gaudreau, well just forget about trading that kid. Gaudreau/Brody/Monahan/Bennett are basically untouchable. End of story. I would rather take on Lecalvier’s contract & Luke Schenn’s contract & give up our 15th pick to get their #7 before parting with any of those 4 to get that #3 over all. JMO.

    • supra steve

      Top picks are always “open to offers”, and then they rarely get moved. If another club comes in with a massive overpay then sure, Phoenix could move the pick. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of smoke and mirrors. Same as when Colorado had #1 pick (Mackinnon) in 2013 and were “open to offers”. Feaster was said to have offered #6 (Monahan), #22 (Poirier), & #28 (Klimchuk), and nothing happened. And as of today, I think most of us are glad that deal didn’t happen.

      Looking way back to 1992, Lindros (Quebec/Colorado) traded for a boatload of talent and cash from Philadelphia. Eric was great for Philly, and sold a lot of merch., but in the end….who won the cups?

    • piscera.infada

      Per Freidman, Maloney was asked at a town-hall forum what it would take to trade the #3 overall pick, he replied with something along the lines of “the conversation starts with your first born son”. Does that sound like they’re really open to moving the pick?

      No. Obviously teams will field offers, but that’s because someone might sell the farm. For the Flames, I assume the asking price is Monahan and #15, straight up. Does that put the Flames ahead at all?

      Not really.

      Moreover, Freidman also said that Maloney has long been opining the lack of a true number 1 centre in Phoenix. Strome has the makings of that true number 1 centre. Apparently there’s a great deal of interest there. You aren’t going to move #3, just because “you don’t need Hanifin”–there are two potentially great players there not named Hanifin in Strome and Marner.

      • MontanaMan

        Actually no:

        Craig Custance of ESPN: Coyotes GM Don Maloney said that three teams have called about the No. 3 pick and that they have to consider it.
        “I would say we are in the … not the dating stage yet. It’s more the, ‘Do you like me, do I like you or do we want to go out?’ stage. The dating stage will come in the next couple weeks,” Maloney said. “The serious [talks] will come on the draft floor.”

        If they keep it, who might they be interested in.

        “We have to be open-minded about it. We have a lot of holes,” he said. “We’re not locked in.”

        If they were to trade the pick, they wouldn’t want to move too far down.

        “Would we trade down from three to 25? Probably not,” he said. “Would we be willing to look at some sort of [other] level, absolutely.”

        Not saying it’s true and it might be posturing but you don’t know until you ask. Would a front line player and the number 15 pick do it? I wouldn’t do Brodie or Monahan but I might be tempted by Gaudreau.

        • Tomas Oppolzer

          You’re an absolute moron if you would trade Gaudreau and the 15th pick for that. He put up the kind of numbers last year that are normally associated with 1st-2nd overall picks. He (and Stone) had the most points by a rookie since Patrick Kane