Busy Flames Improve Their Depth At 2015 NHL Draft


The Calgary Flames were a busy bunch this weekend! They were involved in a big trade that brought in a top-four defender, and then swapped picks around to select twice in the second round, then once each in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

Overall, six players joined the Flames organization this weekend.


The Flames came into Sunrise, Florida with nine picks. Here’s what they did with them.

  • 15th overall – traded to Boston Bruins for D Dougie Hamilton
  • 45th overall – also traded to Boston Bruins for D Dougie Hamilton
  • 52nd overall (from Washington in the Curtis Glencross deal) – also traded to Boston Bruins for D Dougie Hamilton
  • 53rd overall (from Vancouver in the Sven Baertschi deal) – selected D Rasmus Andersson
  • 60th overall (from Arizona in trade for 76th and 83rd) – selected D Oliver Kylington
  • 76th overall – traded to Arizona Coyotes for 60th overall
  • 83rd overall (from Washington in the Curtis Glencross deal) – also traded to Arizona Coyotes for 60th overall
  • 136th overall – selected F Pavel Karnaukhov

  • 166th overall – selected F Andrew Mangiapane

  • 196th overall – selected D Riley Bruce

So instead of making nine picks, the Flames made five and a trade for a roster player. Considering they probably wouldn’t have been able to add a roster player otherwise (or without taking a player from their roster), that’s a pretty decent value.

The Flames still managed to pick twice in the second round, and added three pretty good defensemen with the six picks they came in with over the first three rounds. One of them is 22 and could prove to be a future Norris contender in a couple years (Hamilton), while both Andersson and Kylington have a couple years of pro hockey under their belts in Sweden.


Calgary needed to add to their defensive depth and add some right-handers to their organization. The Flames also felt that they weren’t big enough, and that they were pushed around by Anaheim at times in the second round.

Well, Calgary added four defensemen in the form of Dougie Hamilton, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington and Riley Bruce. Hamilton is big and a puck-mover. Andersson and Kylington are average-sized and good puck-movers. Bruce is big. And the two forwards they added are rugged two-way center Pavel Karnaukhov and skilled (but small) OHLer sniper Andrew Mangiapane. Of the six players they acquired, three of them (Hamilton, Andersson and Bruce) are right-handed shots – something the team has sorely lacked until recent moves have brought a few into the system.

If you judge a draft by how a team identifies and fixes the holes in their organization, I don’t think you can judge this draft too harshly. I probably would’ve preferred going into this weekend if the Flames added a couple skilled wingers to add to that depth, but given the team probably feels like they have more guys on the cusp of the NHL on the forward side rather than on defense, the moves and picks they made make a lot of sense.


If Dougie Hamilton turns out to be even a fraction of what he was in Boston over the next few years, this draft is immediately at last a “decent” one. If either Andersson or Kylington turn into productive NHLers at some point, I don’t know how you can’t call this draft a win for the Flames.

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    • beloch

      The Mangiapane pick is really intriguing. Why was a player with a NHLE of 37.6 still around in the sixth round!? Gaudreau is smaller and only had a NHLE of 32.8 in his 18-year-old season. Mangiapane was on a stacked offensive team, so his numbers are probably a bit padded, but still…

    • Burnward

      Biggest take away from this weekend: this franchise is in very good hands.

      Rejoice fellow Flames fans because this group is building something for the long haul.

      Great times ahead.

      • beloch

        They got a fourth rounder and Brad Ross, who tested positive for steroids and is skipping town for the DEL. Then they flipped the pick plus a crappy centre prospect for Eric Gryba. Gryba from a couple seasons ago would have been a nice upgrade for the Oilers’ blueline. I’m not so sure present day Gryba is. He went from playing first pairing minutes to a much smaller number of easier minutes, but his possession stats haven’t improved. There are a few similarities to Smid there.

        Update: Just looked at Gryba’s WOWY. It’s ugly stuff. He makes everyone worse. Marincin’s WOWY was much more mixed, and Marincin may yet take a step forward. I don’t like this trade. It makes the Oilers older and crappier. It only makes sense if Marincin had expressed a desire for a trade, since he is a RFA right now.

        • beloch

          They said Gryba is a crease clearer and plays a mean game while Marincin has no compete. Not sure if any of that is true but I’ve coached a lot of players who seemed to lack compete until they got their confidence, the game got figured out and all of a sudden they seemed way more assertive.

      • SoCalFlamesFan

        Actually they flipped the pick from TO to Ottawa and acquired Gryba. Get your facts right. Obviously you are very concerned about the Oilers. Don’t blame you.

    • First Name Unidentified

      Battle of Alberta poised to make a comeback, at least on the surface. Great matchup to be seen for years – Dougie vs Connor. Or McDavid-Hall-Eberle Vs JG – Monahan – Bennett. Sounds like fun.

      We should trade Hudler for Alzner straight up. This is Hudler’s contract year, he will shoot the lights out again and command at least 5.5 for 5 years at 32. Where as Alzner is 25, two more years signed and will seek somewhere 4 plus. Flip Wideman, Granlund and Colbourne to LA for Mike Richards (his crappy contract) and Brayden McNabb

      Byron comfortably replaces Granlund and Ferland (full season) replaces Colbourne. This rounds out our top-6 as Brodano and Russmilton and McNAlzner, arguably the best top-4 in the league

      Makes this week exponentially more exciting

      • First Name Unidentified

        I wouldn’t mind one of those defensemen but we need a couple of top 6 forwards. Hopefully Poirier can challenge but probably isn’t ready for top 6.

      • supra steve

        Ya don’t think that other GMs are aware that the Flames are not vulnerable to such offers in the same way that Boston was? I think they only make those offers if they think there is a chance that they may in fact get the player, otherwise they are just pissing off another club/GM. I know that Brian Burke can hold a grudge over such matters, he has in the past (Kevin Lowe), and I’m sure BT could as well. Would be stupid of any other GM to offer sheet Hamilton as a Flame.

      • FlamesRule

        Hey Coiler fan..still sore after 9 seasons of losing hockey??

        If you understand anything about hockey you would know that offer sheets cannot be made until after July 1. He will be long signed by then and you can go back to loserville Edmonton…..

          • piscera.infada

            Ah yes. The annual train coming over to FN, telling us how much the Oilers have “improved”. Don’t worry, I’ll bite.

            I’ll give you McDavid, but this year is it the new backup goalie you have to play as a starter? Is it the new 5-6 defensemen you’re going to polish into top-2 options with that amazing defensive system? Is it the new coach that will “definitely be different than the old coach”? Is it rolling into the season with a new prodigal son expected to jump right in and be an NHL centre overnight?

            That train? Be sure to buy your return ticket. The annual “tuck your tail between your legs, and high-tail it back to ON”, usually comes a lot earlier than you think. Different season, same crap–I’ll believe it when I see it.

            • Canadian Hockey Fan

              Friggin amazing they come over & throw these ridiculous banter. So Gio & Hamilton are going to put us in cap hell :-} Really, I think I see cap hell heading to Edmonton. & they guy they have handling that situation like Mr “I’m On It” Mactavish is the guy that just left the team we scored Hamilton out if because of the Cap shambles he left them in. & then they are going to Offer Sheet Hamilton on us? Seriously, they should be defending themselves & being proactive against the Leafs OS McJesus in 3 years.

    • Sobueno

      Going into next year the defense looks like:

      Gio – Brodie
      Russell – Hamilton
      Englland – Wideman
      Wotherspoon – Nakladal

      I haven’t seen too much written about Nakladal, I know he was highly coveted, so I suspect he came over here with the expectation of playing more than a bit-part player.
      I think Wotherspoon needs to be broken in, we need to see what he has on a more consistent basis, personally I think he’s been a steady stay-at-home d-man, which isn’t a bad think.

      So with that depth, is there a chance one of the Top 6 gets moved?

      • piscera.infada

        While I agree on depth being move (mosy likely Wideman), Nakladal wouldn’t have signed a two-way contract (assuming that interest), if he didn’t actually want to prove himself AHL, or NHL notwithstanding.

    • Sobueno

      Great weekend of trading and drafting for the Flames!

      Just a little curious about Kylington though. Why did a draft prospect fall from top 5 this time last year to falling to 60 or plus (if Flames didn’t pick him up)….did the Flames miss something about his character?

      • DoubleDIon

        He does have questionable character. On a positive note so did PK Subban and Duncan Keith. Kylington could bust hard, bust he skates a lot like those two and dropped a lot in the draft like they did as well because of questions about his character and consistency.

        • DoubleDIon

          what are his reported character defects?

          from what I understand, Kylington bounced around a bunch of different leagues over the course of the season, filling a bunch of different roles. even if he’s a bit of a reclamation project, this is absolutely the organization to make it happen. his upside makes him a great pick at 60 no matter what happens.

          • DoubleDIon

            According to multiple credible journalists lots of teams found him arrogant. I love the pick but let’s not pretend he fell to 61 because they didn’t like his hair or something. He’s a top 10 talent. His tools are better than Hanifins.

            • piscera.infada

              A lot of the issue’s I’ve heard stem from being “selfish”. Generally, that’s usually summed up as trying to do too much.

              Moreover, it sounds like the Flames took a great deal of time getting to know the player (per Kylington, they took him to dinner at the combine–although, I assume this is fairly commonplace for most teams).

              In the end though, it comes down to exactly what you said. Not great value in the first round, but exceptional value in the second. If he ever turns out to be three-quarters of the player his athleticism and skill allow him to be, you’re getting a hell of a steal at 60th overall. Of course, that’s not to say it will happen, but it’s going to take patience from the organization, the fanbase, as well as the player here. It seems like the (relatively) modest investment proves the team is ready, is the the player?

              As an aside, listening to his interviews today, he didn’t sound “cocky” r “arrogant”, as much as he sounds sure of his ability. He seems to have that “surety” that great players in any sport have. Granted, this is a great deal of waxing-poetic about interviews he’s had forever to prepare for, but there has to be something there with this player. Hopefully he proves everyone, except the Flames, dead wrong.

              I mean, the narrative writes itself, doesn’t it?

      • SoCalFlamesFan

        He played some bad international hockey. I noticed in the one game I saw he gave the puck up the center twice in one game (both led to goals) and got out of position several times (that also led to a goal). He also seems to be quite arrogant but can be just my limited opinion.)

        His skills (shooting, skating, passing especially the first pass look good) do seem very good though. Like Treliving said now he a project with a high ceiling.

    • Canadian Hockey Fan

      I meant to post this here, in the most recent discussion, not the Kylington thread. I’m not suprised by the drop in stock. I don’t see it. I wrote in the other thread:

      “Usual caveats apply – 1 game of highlights etc.

      Based on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUxs4ERwHYQ

      Kylington will never make the NHL and be any sort of difference maker without a complete tear-down and restructure of his play without the puck. His two-way hockey sense is brutal, and this may be one game, but I see fundamental flaws. Half the kids in that tournament are long shots, Kylington looks like he’s about 1 in a million to be an NHL regular.

      He doesn’t get the game. At that point, in that tournament, he needs to show that.”

    • DoubleDIon

      Adding Hamilton helps our defensive strength and depth, we now have some options. But for people to say he is the best young defender in the game is a bit over the top: here is a list of very good young defenders: Ekbald, Jones, Ristolanen, Murray, Riley, Lindholm, Trouba, Ceci, Maatta, Larsson, Brodin, Murphy, Gudbranson, Fowler, Hedman, Ekmann-Larsson, Ellis, Kukilov and Leddy. Some of these guys the Flames could have drafted in previous years. Larsson if from the same draft class and is the most direct comparable in my mind and he is RFA as well; could he be open to an offer sheet? Will Hamiltons’ contract or Larssons’ contract impact the other? Who sets the tone?

        • Canadian Hockey Fan

          Nope. What I did was go to the NHL Draft for about 4 seasons and list out all the first rounders who are doing well to give people some names to think about. Brodie is on my list but he was not a first round pick, which gives me hope for both of our second round picks.

    • DoubleDIon

      Speaking of character, I heard Joe Haggerty saying Dougie Hamilton wasn’t the most well liked guy in the locker room. Hopefully, his personality is more lively than what he displayed on his initial interview with the fan960.

      Does anybody else have any concern over character? it could pose a problem signing him.

      • Big Ell

        I read it too and take it with a grain of salt. Sweeney is getting hammered by the fans and the Boston media and Haggerty is a total homer. The Boston media normally backs the home team when players/coaches leave. There are always tons of rumors floated when a coach/player leaves. Similar to the Red Sox when Francona left and all these rumors about pain killer abuse surfaced. Or all the stuff about Seguin after he was dealt. There might be something to it but I doubt it.

      • Craig

        This is the same thing the Bruins organization did with Seguin to try and justify why he was traded for such a low cost. It’s something they do to try to appease the fans who are not happy at all with the organization. That being said, Dougie seems to be a quieter guy with the media, similar to Monohan, TJ Brodie and to an extent Johnny. Dougie is a young highly skilled guy, who on thisFlames team will be playing with young highly skilled guys. Giordano is the voice of that room, and will help make sure he fits into the locker room.

    • Canadian Hockey Fan

      As someone who cheers on all Canadian teams, I love what I’m seeing from the Flames. Hamilton is a great addition to their blue line. With all the young players the Flames, Jets, and Oilers have, hopefully the 3 teams will dominate the West for years to come. Nice to see a young player who has no trouble with being traded to Canada. Would like to see the Flames add Frolik or Williams in FA.

      • SoCalFlamesFan

        Where do you see Reinhart and Gryba fitting in next year? I’ve seen some folks speculate that bringing in Reinhart allows for more patience with Nurse.

        • Canadian Hockey Fan

          I like the Gryba pickup. Solid hitting d man. As for the Reinhart pickup, I’m not a fan of it at all. To give up those draft picks for a defenseman who has very little experience and upside, is questionable.

      • SoCalFlamesFan

        Bang on, I agree completely. These three are clearly trending the right ways.

        I actually think the Jets, and this is obviously debatable, are accumulating the largest stock of young talent among all Canadian teams. The Sens are in my opinion the furtherest ahead in the East.

        But because of McDavid alone, the Oilers have jumped to the favourite (according to betting sites, as the next Canadian team to win a Cup. I think that is a fair assessment but I don’t believe the Flames or Jets are too far behind.

    • MRL

      All this talk about Hamilton potentially recieving an offer sheet is coming from hopeful or jealous fans of other teams who lost out on the original transaction. Treliving met with Hamilton’s agent, J.P. Barry, Friday night to discuss the framework of a deal. “It’s not a concern that we won’t come to a good conclusion,” Treliving said. “I’ve got a great relationship with J.P.” And yes, the common rebuttal to this will be that these management types usually put a positive spin on most situations, dire or otherwise. While there is merit to this, Treliving has shown to be shrewd and well calculated. While Treliving was not permitted to speak to Barry prior to the trade, I’m confident he was able to dissect the necessary information from Sweeney to eliminate any doubt Hamilton would turn down a reasonable contract offer from the Flames. I fully expect a contract to be announced in the next day or two. Moreover, the Flames are in a position to satisfy Hamilton’s conditions even if it means a little extra in one detail or another. The Flames currently have $21.871,000 in cap space and yes, Giordano and Bouma will eat nearlyhalf that this season and Monahan and Gaudreau’s eventual contract extensions following next season have to be considered but it leaves Treliving a year to make the necessary adjustments to his roster. Suggestions that the Flames are heading towards cap disaster are very much exaggerated.

    • MRL

      If Kylington really has all these deep, insidious character flaws people are always going on about… why was he thrilled to be picked at the end of the second round? In his interviews he wasn’t mopey or grumpy or anything. He was personable and even bubbly. Excited.

      Shave those sideburns! People hated on him because it was trendy. There are even several scouts that said exactly that (look at the player profile over on NHLNumbers/Canucks Army. They had him ranked 13th overall). Is he a perfect player? Of course not! Not even close. Will he reach his potential? Probably not.

      But he might. And he’ll almost certainly be better than many of the players drafted ahead of him *cough*Gabriel Carlsson*cough*

      • Canadian Hockey Fan

        Well Said..and i’ll add that turning these young guys into men is all part of the process that team’s take to protect there interest.

        From development leaders like Conroy to asst coaches /captains/ head coach/manager they all play a part in preparing these young guys for success.

        If they fail it will not be from lack of effort.

    • MonsterPod

      Yeah, this Kylington thing is really interesting. I was camping this weekend, struggling to find service, annoying the wife. My buddies texted me about Hamilton and I was jacked. But I couldn’t see round two till I got home.

      When I saw Kylington, I was scratching my head. After last year’s draft, my hockey nerd friend told me this draft would go McD, Eichel, Hanafin, and Kylington. And I said, yeah whatever, that’s a year away. But I remember that name now.

      First off, we passed on him with our first second rounder. That shows our mgmt has the same reservations as others. But then we trade our two thirds in a deep draft to move up and grab him.

      So they like Andersson more, but the scouts wanted to gun for Kylington too. Like I said: interesting. Great to draft three D (+Hamilton) = 4.