Taking Stock of Calgary’s Draft Picks And Prospect Depth

The Calgary Flames are (shockingly) within spitting distance of a playoff spot, but considering that we’re just a few months shy away from the 2016 NHL Draft, let’s focus on the future a little bit.

While a bunch of outlets have been chugging along and churning out draft rankings, it’s probably about time to take stock of the picks the Flames have and the holes they have in their organization looking forward.

THEIR PICKS

Here are the picks the Flames presently have in the 2016 NHL Draft.

  • 1st Round Pick
  • 2nd Round Pick
  • 3rd Round Pick
  • 4th Round Pick
  • 5th Round Pick
  • 6th Round Pick
  • 7th Round Pick

(All picks are Calgary’s own.)

    In terms of conditional picks, the Flames most likely will gain a pick from Nashville through the Max Reinhart trade. They sent a conditional 7th round pick to Colorado for Freddie Hamilton, and most likely the conditions on both those picks are based on games played targets. For conditional picks, typically there’s a higher pick awarded if the targets are hit and a lesser pick awarded if not. They also acquired goalie Kevin Poulin from the Tampa Bay Lightning for future considerations, which could impact their draft picks going forward.

    I’m expecting the Flames to have an extra mid-round pick for Reinhart, but I’m not sure if they lose this year’s 7th rounder or not.

    THEIR ASSETS

    What do the Flames have and need right now in terms of young players? To give a glimpse, here’s what amateurs and entry-level professionals they have on their reserve list right now.

    GOALIES (3)

    • Jon Gillies (21)
    • Mason McDonald (19)
    • Nick Schneider (18)

    McDonald either joins the entry-level system next season or returns to the QMJHL as an overager.

      DEFENSEMEN (14)

      • Rasmus Andersson (19)
      • Riley Bruce (18)
      • Ryan Culkin (21)
      • John Gilmour (22)
      • Brandon Hickey (19)
      • Keegan Kanzig (20)
      • Brett Kulak (21)
      • Oliver Kylington (18)
      • Kenney Morrison (23)
      • Jakub Nakladal (27)
      • Adam Ollas Mattsson (19)
      • Rushan Rafikov (20)
      • Patrick Sieloff (21)
      • Tyler Wotherspoon (22)

      Morrison, Nakladal and Morrison are finishing their entry-level deals this season. Andersson is able to go pro next season. Gilmour is done college and could go pro next season, whether or not it’s with the Flames organization. Hickey may go pro but can return to college. Ollas Mattsson’s contract in the SHL reportedly expires this season, so he could come over. Rafikov is reportedly under KHL contract for one more season.

        FORWARDS (14)

        • Sam Bennett (19)
        • Austin Carroll (21)
        • Matt DeBlouw (22)
        • Johnny Gaudreau (22)
        • Markus Granlund (22)
        • Tim Harrison (21)
        • Garnet Hathaway (24)
        • Mark Jankowski (21)
        • Pavel Karnaukhov (18)
        • Morgan Klimchuk (20)
        • Andrew Mangiapane (19)
        • Sean Monahan (21)
        • Emile Poirier (20)
        • Hunter Smith (20)

        Gaudreau, Granlund and Monahan are graduating from the entry-level system after this season. DeBlouw and Jankowski are done college this season and will probably go pro. Mangiapane could go pro (he’ll be 20) but hasn’t signed a deal yet.

        THEIR NEEDS

        Goaltending seems fine, for now. Schneider’s extremely young but has room to grow, while McDonald will get World Junior experience and potentially can go pro next season. The Flames could have two really young, raw goalies with upside in their entry-level system next year, which could be huge.

        Andersson and Hickey are easily the best Flames prospects on the blueline not already in the entry-level system. There’s not a lot of high-end depth behind them, but as you can see, the AHL squad will probably be STACKED on the back-end next season – especially if both Andersson and Hickey go pro.

        The forward ranks are arguably thinner at the top end. Karnaukhov is good but he’s a secondary prospect, while Mangiapane is probably the only high-end player that’s not a pro already. They’re gonna have to accumulate a lot of bodies in the draft just to re-stock the cupboards in that respect since they’ve had high-end picks in 2013 and 2014 go pro right away and thin out the herd, as well as their tendency in recent years to grab older players in the later rounds that go pro after a season rather than in two.

        WILD CARDS

        The big X-factor for the Flames are their many pending UFAs: Jiri Hudler, David Jones, Kris Russell, Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller and Jakub Nakladal. Particularly in regards to Hudler, Jones and Russell, the Flames could easily recoup more picks – particularly high ones for Hudler and Russell – if they decide to trade those players.

        My expectations? The Flames move both Hudler and Russell and gain back some picks. I figure the Flames will go into the 2016 Draft with five picks in the first three rounds, like they did last year. But this year, I figure they actually use most of them to draft players given how shallow their talent pool is outside of their entry-level system.

          • CofRed4Life

            I like our depth in defensive prospects. We did a good job this past summer of stocking those cupboards.

            Forward depth is a little sparse though. I’m hoping the Flames target forwards for the first few rounds, then hopefully a good goalie in a later round (4th or 5th); after that is a crapshoot anyway.

              • Kevin R

                I thought both Arnold & Gaudreau sign ELC’s together & they both played that last game against Vancouver. Agostino also played on the Flames a few games, so wouldn’t that mean he had to have had an ELC?

                • OKG

                  Since Arnold is a year older than Johnny, he only signed a 2 year ELC not a 3 year like Johnny. The last game in Van in 2013-2014 burned a year off both their contracts, and the next year in the AHL burned the 2nd year of Billy’s ELC. We qualified him this summer on a one year deal iirc.

          • sathome

            Arnold only signed for two years (compared to three for Gaudreau), based on his age. Burned the first year with that game, second year last season. On a standard, one year contract this season.

          • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

            Not for nothing but it sure is interesting to think about how trading draft picks away impacts you. Giving up a 1st and two 2nds for Hamilton is a trade you do every time but think about how different our forward prospect depth might look right now had we not. Again not saying it was mistake more just musing on how damn important the draft is now….

            • piscera.infada

              No doubt. We’d probably have at least a Barzal in with our forwards–which I would have been over the moon about.

              But then we wouldn’t have a young defenseman with a legit top-2 ceiling, right? As you said, you take that deal every. single. time.

            • BurningSensation

              Yeah a Mathew Barzal would make a nice addition to the core of prospects, but I tend to think we got two guys (Kyilington + Andersson), who in a redraft would have both gone in the late first.

              I mean it’s almost like we didn’t move picks at all and got Hamilton for free.

            • Tomas Oppolzer

              I would much rather have a guaranteed player in Hamilton than a potential top 6 forward in Barzal. This trade also happened at a time where we had little to no high end defensive prospects ready to step in and people were thinking we were going to take konecny or merkly with our pick. That’s why I hate the what if scenarios because what if we kept our first round pick and Boston took Barzal or we drafted someone else then we would have left the draft with neither Barzal nor Hamilton.

              Speaking of potential top 6 forwards, I know that Poirier has not turned out to be the offensive stud we hoped he could be but I still believe that he has time to be a really good top 6 winger which would help solve some of our right wing issues.

              • Tomas Oppolzer

                Poirier’s 7 pts in 16 games this season obviously isn’t as impressive has his 42 pts in 55 games last year, I’m still optimistic though. He’s been getting really good chances and it just hasn’t been going in for him (or the whole team for that matter)

          • KiLLKiND

            I’m really happy with Calgary drafting Kyllington, but all his issues are defensive and it sounds like he shouldn’t be playing defense. Personally I think he would do far better as winger. with his speed he could blow by the other teams D and not have to worry about his issues playing defense as much. Which leads me to the next point would Calgary be willing to move him to RW and hope that he does succeed there?

            • aye

              I oppose this for a lot of the same reasons I oppose playing Bennett on the wing. Defensemen (and centers) are more valuable than wingers. Kylington has been playing defense his whole life. His upside as an offensive defenseman far exceeds his upside as a scoring winger.

              Besides, he hasn’t even been in the system for one year yet. Far too soon to talk about him not being able to make it at his natural position, wouldn’t you say? Especially considering the progress he’s made even this season.

              Kylington isn’t anywhere near as bad in his own end as Derrick Pouliot was when he was drafted (and he’s better in the offensive end too). The Pens still haven’t moved Pouliot to forward, and probably never will.

            • aye

              I don’t think playing him on the wing is a good idea, he would end up like Mason Raymond, all the speed in the world, but useless otherwise. Doesn’t forecheck, doesn’t hit, questionable decision making… so, it’s better to develop the weakness in his defensive game, and see if we can turn him into a Klingberg.

          • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

            We have great depth at D. We need to shore up G
            temporarily through free agency. In terms of forwards, there will probably be three changes in the off season. Porier, Hamilton and Agostino are all ready to move to the NHL. Beyond them, there are four or five more guys who could come up and make an impact. We are doing fine with our draft these days. We have
            four or five more forwards coming in the 16 draft on top of the last two drafts.

            There are numerous first and seconds who were picked over the last three years by other teams who cannot crack their lineups yet remain valid players. We could peruse what is available and pick up people that way if necessary. Things are looking good post Darryl.

          • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

            Oilers fan here. Edmonton local. Weighing in on this. The player on this list who will become your best player is Brandon Hickey.

            Incredible skating ability, excels through raw athletic ability – instead of overdeveloped hockey skills for his age (kids who excel at junior/college level though highly specialized hockey skills or size have red flags for regression as pro), even stronger character.

            No one who knows him personally underestimates him. So angry you drafted him.