So the Flames didn’t get a lottery pick. I hope we have all made peace with that by now and picked our respective flukey win throughout the season to blame for our misfortune at the hands of bingo balls. Personally, I have decided to blame Johnny Gaudreau. Yup. It’s his fault. Why did he score SO many overtime goals and bring me such happiness? Doesn’t he know the point of hockey is to acquire young, tall, Finnish right wingers? What an inconsiderate child he must be.
But, I digress. Today, we are going to talk about whether or not you think it would be worth it to move up in the draft to the fourth or fifth spot, so let’s get into it after the jump!
WHY DO IT?
I suppose the answer to the question “Why do it?” is “Because we have a really good reason to!” And that means that Flames management has decided that one player in the 4-6 range is head and shoulders above the others. I am not so sure this is the case but it is certainly possible.
It is essentially carved in stone that the first three picks are Matthews-Laine-Puljarjaskaoviuwebveyy (why bother learning the spelling? He’s been banished to hockey-relevance Siberia, Ohio). However, after the top-three, there is some room for discussion.
For example, I assume you all are OHL experts and have been following the London Knights this season. As such, it is no surprise to you, oh informed reader, that they have been going all older-brother-dunking-in-driveway-basketball on the entire league for most of the season and are packed full of intriguing draft eligible players this season including Olli Juolevi, Max Jones, and Matthew Tkachuk.
The final name on that list is easily the most tantalizing for most Flames fans, though it also seems the most outlandish in terms of his availability at pick number six. However, if the Flames became certain that he was their guy, would there be a deal that makes sense for the Flames to move up? Especially given that it would entail trading to a division rival?
Maybe American cheddar isn’t your style. Maybe you prefer Oka? Maybe you prefer Couche-Tard to Circle K? Maybe you like French-Canadian cars to American ones? Have a gander at Pierre-Luc Dubois, 6’3 center who just scored 99 points in 62 games last season for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles?! SCREAMING EAGLES! (Real name, triple checked, I endorse.) The Flames could sure use his mix of size and skill and you can never have too many centres.
A more likely scenario is that Tkachuk goes to Edmonton or to whomever the Oilers ship the pick to for the Sheldon Souray 2.0 they inevitably acquire. What then? Would you want to snap up Dubois from the Canucks?
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Given that the teams picking ahead of the Flames (Edmonton at four and Vancouver at five) are a little hard to predict given Vancouver’s stated desire to acquire a defencemen and Edmonton’s stated desire to… well… deal the pick, it’s exceptionally hard to imagine what will be left over for the Flames at number six.
The nation’s own prospect whipper-snapper Christian Roatis already has touched on the ‘Draft Ledges’ in this upcoming draft, essentially arguing that there is a reasonable consensus surrounding picks 1-6, with 4-6 being Tkachuk, Alex Nylander, and Pierre-Luc Dubois. We all trust Christian with our lives here at Flames Nation so I see no reason to doubt this assertion.
Because dealing in hypotheticals is a) fun and b) what the internet is for, let’s imagine that Vancouver decides that moving down just one pick is not the end of the world and the Oilers draft Tkachuk or trade the pick to someone who does, is it worth trading up to snag Pierre-Luc Dubois as opposed to Alex Nylander? What would an appropriate cost be? If by some insane turn of events, Tkachuk is available at five, is he worth jumping the queue for?
Let me know if it would be worth it in the comments!