FGD: The 2015 NHL Draft, Round 1 (5pm MT, SN West)

Just after 5pm MT tonight, the Edmonton Oilers will select Connor McDavid at 1st overall and the Buffalo Sabres will take Jack Eichel at 2nd overall.

And then all hell will break loose.

Welcome to today’s ongoing coverage of the first of two days of the 2015 National Hockey League Draft. Over the next two days, 211 young players will have their dreams come true as they are selected by 30 NHL teams…and dozens more will likely begrudgingly change addresses as the aforementioned teams jockey for position in an extremely deep draft.

So let’s give you a brief look at where the Flames stand before all the trades happen and this information becomes out-dated, shall we?

CALGARY’S PICKS

Right now, the Flames stand to draft nine times over the next two days.

  • 15th overall
  • 45th overall
  • 52nd overall (from Washington)
  • 53rd overall (from Vancouver)
  • 76th overall
  • 83rd overall (from Washington)
  • 136th overall
  • 166th overall
  • 196th overall

They have all of their own picks (except for their fourth rounder, traded to San Jose for T.J. Galiardi) as well as Washington’s second and third rounders and Vancouver’s second rounders. The extra picks were gained at the trade deadline in exchange for Curtis Glencross and Sven Baertschi, respectively.

If you put a gun to my head, I strongly doubt the Flames are making nine picks.

CALGARY’S CONTRACTS

In addition to picks, the other thing the Flames have right now that makes me think they’ll be busy is money. Even ignoring the downturn of the energy sector lately and various economic factors, the Flames have well-heeled ownership and the willingness to spent to the salary cap.

With the cap for 2015-16 now set at $71.4 million, the Flames have the following players on one-way deals for next season (or the players are waiver eligible). They’re listed in decreasing cap hit order.

  1. D Dennis Wideman – $5.250 million
  2. D T.J. Brodie – $4.650 million
  3. G Jonas Hiller – $4.500 million
  4. D Mark Giordano – $4.020 million
  5. F Jiri Hudler – $4.000 million
  6. F David Jones – $4.000 million
  7. F Mikael Backlund – $3.575 million
  8. D Ladislav Smid – $3.500 million
  9. F Sam Bennett – $3.194 million (includes bonuses; two-way, but waiver eligible and can’t go to AHL due to age)
  10. F Mason Raymond – $3.150 million
  11. F Matt Stajan – $3.125 million
  12. D Deryk Engelland – $2.917 million
  13. D Kris Russell – $ 2.600 million
  14. F Johnny Gaudreau – $1.850 million (two-way, but waiver eligible)
  15. F Sean Monahan – $1.775 million (two-way, but waiver eligible)
  16. F Joe Colborne – $1.275 million
  17. F Brandon Bollig – $1.250 million
  18. G Joni Ortio – $0.600 million

In addition, restricted free agents Lance Bouma, Drew Shore, Josh Jooris, and Paul Byron will all need to be signed to one-way deals if (and when) they get re-upped. In other words, 22 of Calgary’s 23 NHL roster spots appear to be filled.

Well, right now, anyway.

Calgary’s committed cap hit for 2015-16, pending RFA deals, is $55.321 million, leaving them with just a tad over $16 million to work with.

In terms of their 50-contract reserve list, they have 31 players signed for 2015-16 along with 15 restricted free agents (though not all of them will be qualified).

HANDICAPPING 15TH OVERALL

Presuming Calgary sticks with their 15th overall pick, I see things shaking down like this in terms of their team’s willingness to pick a player and/or the player’s availability at 15. Availability chances courtesy our pals at Don’t Tell Me About Heart:

  1. Nick Merkley – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
    Smart, fast, good WHL kid. Not big, though. And right-handed, which is rare in the organization.
    Chance he’s available? 57.45%
  2. Travis Konecny – Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
    Smart 200-foot player with tenacity and leadership. From the program that developed Sean Monahan.
    Chance he’s available? 69.29%

  3. Timo Meier – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
    Smart, dynamic player with great numbers…which may have been slightly inflated by playing with Nik Ehlers. If he’s available, I expect him to go to Calgary. But I doubt he’s available.
    Chance he’s available? 45.08%
  4. Jeremy Roy – Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)
    Responsible defender with underrated offensive upside. Oh, and he’s a rightie, which Calgary doesn’t have a lot of.
    Chance he’s available? 97.10%
  5. Jakub Zboril – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
    Smart, dynamic defenseman. Arguably more offensive upside than teammate Chabot and a bit more dynamic than Chabot.
    Chance he’s available? 87.22%
  6. Thomas Chabot – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
    Another really good Saint John blueliner. Good offensive numbers, projects to be something like T.J. Brodie at NHL level (e.g., great puck-mover who can hustle in both directions).
    Chance he’s available? 81.29%
  7. Colin White – U.S. National Development Team (USHL)
    He’s a center, which Calgary has a ton of, but White’s a longer-term project who’s heading to college. Good size, good hands, smart player with few holes in his game. Headed to Boston College, and it’s not like the Flames don’t trust the coaching staff there.
    Chance he’s available? 65.58%

SUM IT UP

I expect a busy day (and weekend) for the Calgary Flames, given their financial and contractual situation. I also expect the Flames to stay put and draft a player at 15th overall.

    • The GREAT Walter White

      How is today different from “happy Hall day”?
      Or Happy RNH day “? Or happy Yakupov day “?

      Another promising career ruined…..

      More like “happy McGroundhog day” ……

      WW

      • JackB

        YOU DID IT WALTER!!

        YOU SUCKED ME IN!!

        I said I wasn’t here to troll your site . . . AND I’M NOT. (so I’ll be leaving after this post)

        To the rest of you Flames Fans (who don’t live in your mother’s basement) I reiterate, you have got a pretty damn good team, good team management (and now we do too … hopefully) and you really did surprise a lot of people last year. And I’m absolutely convinced that it wasn’t so much a case of having a team full of talent, and more having a group of players VERY HIGH IN CHARACTER, DESIRE and HEART!

        Looking forward to a renewed Battle of Alberta (you kicked our ASS the last few years)

        See you in the Saddledome!

        GOOD NIGHT WALTER

        ENJOY YOUR DAY IN THE BASEMENT!

      • Burnward

        Yeah I’m sure he’d much rather have gone to buffalo to play with David Legwand and Cody Hodgson than play with Eberle, Hall, Nuge, Yak, Draisiatl……..ect.
        SMH

        • Burnward

          I can see you conveniently ignore all of Buffalo’s forward prospects and the making of an amazing def core. But, you are right. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to play with Yak? He is special.

          • supra steve

            Or with Draisaitl, who the Oiler mismanagement figured was better than Sam Bennett! As Draisaitl will be with AHL next year….and Sammy already has 11 NHL playoff games under his belt!

            And who will Oilers draft after McJesus??? Peter Chic’s drafting record has been no better than the Oilers! And he traded a real diamond in Seguin after just 3 seasons with the Bruins….enjoy 3 years with McJesus!

        • piscera.infada

          His dream is to play for the Maple Leafs.. with Babcock there, I guarantee you he will be eventually.. but, whatever.

          I don’t want to rain on your draft day parade “McDavid Day”.. but Oilers fans have a problem seeing past the draft. Super stars don’t win Championships on their own.

  • SydScout

    Has there been any analysis, guesstimation or otherwise on how deep this draft is expected to be? For example, is this years 20th pick worth a top ten in an ‘average’ year, or this years second round deep enough to equate to a late first rounder in a standard year?

    I know it’s not really quantifiable but would be nice to know what to expect from our second and third round picks.

    BT will do well today, he’s learnt well from his Coyotes days on how to maximise value.

      • Burnward

        Undeserved luck? So packing the building for a crappy team year after year means we don’t deserve McDavid ? Say what you want about the poor management of the Oilers (and I’ll agree whole heartily) but the fans most certainly deserve the luck. The best part is no matter what’s say, you can’t break the spirit of the Oiler fan today. Have a McDavid day my friend.

        • piscera.infada

          Don’t give a rip about your day. It’s not about deserving anything. What do you want handouts? It’s the fact that without this there would be no hope , you’d have mac t and lowe steering things.
          Imagine the despair..
          oh well, we’ll still whup your a$$ as usual

        • Burnward

          What ever happens today, I hope the Oilers offer sheet Hamilton… that way in a couple years when the expansion teams come in some one will offer sheet McDavid to a cap screwed Oilers team.

          Enjoy your three years with McDavid lol.

  • JackB

    I hope the flames don’t make any trades today. Every GM overpays for things on days like today.
    Make the calls, drive the prices up and draft your players. That should be the game plan.

  • JackB

    Merkley okay, Konecny okay. .Svechnikov. .I’m now leaning towards We need that Big right handed winger. Load up on d and a goalie if you want with the other 5 top 3 round picks

  • JackB

    Good morning from an Oiler Fan (No I’m not here to troll!)

    I think you guys will do pretty well in the draft. YOU SURE AS HELL MADE A FANTASTIC 4TH ROUND PICK IN 2011 !! (Do you think you could send your scouting staff North for a couple of years?)

    Yes, you will do well in the year’s draft, but I know you will break my heart when you pick at #15 – I’VE GOT THIS WISH LIST ALL PREPARED FOR #16 . . . I think you will break my heart!

    OH . . . and Congratulations on a hell of a year last year. You surprised every so-called “NHL pundit” in the country.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    It would be great if Calgary could move a couple pieces including Hiller and snag another first rounder and/or move up in the first. Please don’t overpay for a goalie.

  • JackB

    Just read a rumour from mark Spector that Calgary may be looking to trade Hudler AND a 2nd for Brandon Sutter….. I call B.S but what the hell is that non sense? Do people think it’s a good or bad trade?

    • piscera.infada

      that would be an awful trade and a huge overpay. Then pens would kill to have someone like hudler to play with Crosby or Malkin. Not that I trust any of the rumors that Spector makes up or hears.

    • supra steve

      Yeah this would make absolutely zilch sense. For the first time in decades center ice isn’t the place where we need high skill guys. And Hudler’s skillset trumps what Sutter provides. And somehow the second round pick in that story moves from CALGARY to Pitt.

      I think this was a fabricated rumour designed to excite Penguin fans.

      I think Treliving starts thinking about it if he gets an offer based around young high-ceiling D that Pittsburgh seems to have.