WWYDW: Move on up?

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!


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? 


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!  

  • Baalzamon

    What would I do? I’d stay put. The cost of moving up is always prohibitive, especially so early in the draft, and there isn’t enough difference between Nylander and Tkachuk (if indeed there is any at all) to warrant the cost.

    I’m also against moving down. Too risky. What if the player you’re targeting gets snagged by one of the teams you traded past?

    • Bananaberg

      There aren’t enough comments around pushing hard for a deal with WPG to get Laine, a sure-thing Top 6 scoring winger with superstar potential. To be clear, you “overpay” to move up to that pick, but man, BT got us overpaid on some of our trades during the season and we can afford to use those picks we got (Russell, Hudler) to pay up.

      Travis Yost wrote a good article recently about valuing draft picks based on expected games played for each spot. Teams nowadays definitely consider this, and we’ve seen the “trade down for more picks” playbook work out pretty well in the NFL (ie. Belicheck/Patriots). Based on Yost’s findings since the 2000 season, CGY has plenty of value to offer. Here’s one example of a significant overpay for Laine that WPG would be foolish not to consider strongly:

      6th overall (1st) + 35th overall (2nd) + 95th overall (4th)
      2nd overall (1st)

      Basically, CGY offers up about 450 expected games for 340 (2nd overall pick). This is significant. And very tempting. CGY wins the deal because we have greater need for a top 6 scoring winger than WPG (and have some good D prospects). WPG wins the deal by getting Nylander (ie. NHL-ready in 2-4 years), plus two more picks.

      BT can round out a quality lineup that has a much better chance at the Playoffs by also adding:

      Fleury/Reimer/Andersen (for starting G)
      Versteeg (for 3rd line LW)
      Helm (for 3rd line RW)
      Schlemko (for #5-6 D)

      And subtracting:

      Wideman (retain salary if need be)
      Colborne (avoid his arbitration contract)
      Bouma (buyout)
      Stajan (buyout)

      • cberg

        Sounds interesting, but not sure WPG will see it that way as they likely see #2OA as a Superstar versus just a Very Good #6OA.

        Personally I only have interest in moving up to #2/#3 OA. If BT can work something out I’d be ecstatic, especially if you can do so by giving up only picks or guys outside our current core.

      • EhPierre

        I wish the Jets would fall for something like this but in all honesty, the Jets are in the position to draft the next Ovechkin (according to a few people, Laine has the shot and skill to be like Ovi). You don’t pass that up, especially for unproven abundance of picks.

        It’s quality over quantity and when you have the chance to have Laine in your already young and talented roster which the Jets have, you don’t pass that up unless your getting an even better deal.

  • Derzie

    I’d rather be in tier 2 than tier 1.Look who is excelling in the playoffs right now. Players with skill that play like that are who we want. Players who play in Europe are less acclimated to that style of play. They may be just fine but then again, maybe not. We are in a good spot. if Vancouver or the Oil go off the ranch and draft a d-man we may avoid Nylander. He plays in NA and his highly skilled but no reports on him talk about his compete or character. That is a risk area.

  • Backburner

    If the Flames could do it for throwing in two 2nd round picks, why not?

    I think it’s obvious that Tkachuk and Dubois are slightly better than Nylander, and play more of the Power forward role that Treliving and Burke desire.

    Dubois and/or Tkachuk would be a great fit for Bennett in the future. I wonder if Nylander would be physical enough?

  • First Name Unidentified

    I still think Edmonton should trade their #4 pick to Calgary for #6 and Wideman. Calgary retains half of Wideman’s salary.
    On the surface it looks like a ridiculously bad trade for the oilers but think about it. They can still draft either a pretty good winger or a D prospect. In addition, they get a right hand shot D who can eat up 22 mins a night, QB the power play and instantly become top pairing D. A big hole on their D gets filled now and helps them win now. THat’s my pitch if I’m treliving

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Your pitch is a gopher ball.

      Why would the Oilers drop down 2 picks just to get Wideman when I am pretty sure they can get him for nothing anytime Wideman waves his trade clause? Oilers are not a cap team, so the idea of the Flames picking up half his pay isn’t much of an inducement. Even if Wideman gets traded to that new KHL team in China, the Flames will be paying a chunk of his salary.

      If the Flames want to swap draft spots with the Oilers, they would have to make a much better pitch.

      • First Name Unidentified

        OK, what else are the Oilers getting for their #4 pick this year? nada. There is really no major interest in trading for this year’s 1st round picks after the top 3. Do the Oilers stay put and pick Dubois or whoever? Sure. How does this pick help them today? it will become another shiny toy in their closet like several other first round picks.
        Are they going to get Hamonic for their #4? not a chance. Do they get Drouin? lol

        The immediate biggest need for the Oilers is a top pairing defenseman who is a right hand shot to play with Sekera or Klefbom. Wideman fills that need for them today! Plus pretty good chance he can get another 40 point season on the top PP unit.

        The Flames can throw in another couple of side shows with Wideman but that’s all they’ll get for it this year.

        Why don’t you suggest a “much better pitch” if you’re so critical of this one?

        • BlueMoonNigel

          I already pitched when I said the Oilers could get Wideman for next to nothing. They don’t need to swap draft picks to get Wideman. Flames will gift wrap him and pay a chunk of his salary when the financial crisis hits this summer.

          I don’t disagree with you that Wideman could help the Oilers but I don’t think they’ll have to pay anything more than a very late draft pick or a 25-year-old “prospect” for him. Remember Wideman has a no-trade clause plus he is in the last year of his contract, which makes him harder to sell and possibly more difficult to buy.

          By the way, Donnie Henderson is still a bag of Pablum as a result of the hit. Talk now is not if he can resume his career but if he can resume a normal life.

          One thinks it might be best for Wideman if he is dealt as far from Calgary and Alberta as possible considering the Henderson’s deep roots in this province. Caps’ defense was horrendous in the playoffs. Why not ship him there. Islanders’ PP was a horror show in the playoffs. Wideman couldn’t hurt it.

    • Backburner

      This makes the most sense. I could see Edmonton doing it for Wideman, and two 2nd round picks. I could be wrong, but did the Oil lose their 2nd round pick this year?

    • Stu Cazz

      Exactly my thoughts…In fact I think the pitch will come from the Oilers at which time we exchange Wideman and 100% of his salary..Oilers get Wideman and pick top D available at 6….

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      Edmonton doesn’t need Wideman .unless he plays a 3-4 role or lower .He is not better than Klefbomb or Sekera so he is not going to be a top pairing Dman. You guys can keep him and live with that contract.

      Edmonton is looking for a legit #1 dman ,not some teams castoff.
      Chiarelli is gonna make a big deal for a top dman and if that includes top players going the other way then so be it.why would Edmonton help Calgary out by giving them a chance to draft a future power forward like Dubios or Tkachuk?
      You team is going to end up with Nylander

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      You are right about one thing. It’s a bad bad trade for Edmonton..All you guys have done in the past few years is try to run Wideman and his contract out of town . No thanks

  • OKG

    Depends on how Columbus feels about moving down. If we can move up to #4, and then use that to move to #3, I’m all for it. Puljujarvi is worth it.

    I don’t think DUbois or Tkachuk are worth it and it’s possible one of them will be there at #6. Even if they’re not I think Nylander, Keller, and Brown are all going to be pretty good.

    • Backburner

      I’m pretty sure those first three picks have zero chance of getting moved.

      I could possibly see maybe Arizona making a splash for Matthews, but that’s about it.

  • The Fall

    The big issue is trading with close rivals in EDM and VAN. I don’t see either of them accepting a ‘fair’ deal with The Flames…

    Also, EDM and VAN are near the top of all established players ‘No Trade’ destinations. It’s going to be hard to move those picks for anyone who has a NTC in their contracts.

    Stay at 6 or aim for Columbus’ pick.

  • KH44

    Nope, stick at 6 and hope one of the Oilers/whoever gets that pick and the Canucks pick a Dman, giving the Flames the choice of whoever is left out of the second tier. If at least one of Dubois, Tkachuk and Nylander is going to fall, and you have a shot at two, why bother?

    Hell, maybe two of them fall and the Flames can use those 2nd rounders, Arizona’s new wunderkid thinks the Coyotes have enough forwards and dropping down is worth it, and the Flames pick sixth & seventh. Not going to happen, but still, fun to think about.

  • Prototype369

    If the Oilers are very keen on dealing their pick for an established top 4 dman, do you think its a good chance they will be able to? What team other than Nashville or St. Louis is hoarding good young dman that would be interested in picking up one of Dubois, Tkachuk or Nylander, or refilling the hole with Chychrun?

  • The Fall

    Chiarelli also wants to get bigger… JoCo, Wideman, and a 2nd.

    Flames pick 4 and 6.

    … jump forward five years: both those picks are top 6 forwards and Canucks pick at 5 is a dud and they still haven’t made the playoffs…

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      They really need players from the GlenX mold. Send ’em Bouma + Wideman + Spoon for the pick. Trade a 2nd for Yak.

      Oilers get a depth defender, a top 4 D-man that can run the PP, and a heart-and-soul player.

      The Fans will hate it, until Wideman starts putting the puck in the net. When the injuries mount up, they will appreciate a steady defender like Spoon.

      The above trades makes them better this season, except for losing Yak. They just aren’t getting anything great for him.

      • Greg

        I would like to trade someone a $5 bill and some Blackberry stock for a solid gold bar too, but generally speaking, people don’t exchange hot garbage for objects of value.

        • FlamesFanOtherCity

          Oiler fans always over value every single piece they have on their team. What do you think you are getting for a #4 pick? A top 2 D-man? Dream on. Yak isn’t worth much either; ruined by Oiler “development”.

          Sekera’s best last year was 30 points. He must be real garbage. And he is your top D-man, unless you consider Klefbom your #1.

          Call Wideman garbage if you like, but he would become a top 4 (if not 2) player on the Oilers.

          • Greg

            Just because Wideman would be a top 4 on the Oilers doesn’t mean he actually is a top 4 D. I don’t think he’s garbage, just over paid. Cut his salary in half and he’s ok. But still an old, declining asset that isn’t going to interest a young team like the oilers. They’d get what, 3 or 4 more years out of him at best. In exchange for a top 5 pick? With Bouma’s $2.2M contract and Spoon thrown in, who’s probably going to top out at a reliable bottom pairing defenceman?

            Think of it this way, how much do you really value those 3 assets? Enough to give up a top 5 pick to get them?

            As a general rule of thumb, if you are putting a package together on a trade proposal, you have to be willing to include some pieces you want, not just pieces you don’t want. The more you want the asset you’re getting back, the more painful the package you’re offering needs to be. Otherwise, it’s not even worth posting online. 😉

          • I agree with this guy (Greg) though. You are not moving up with adding Wideman. I don’t mean to insult you so I hope you don’t take it that way but it is a ridiculous proposal considering that the Flames would be happy to pretty much just dump his contract. Never happen.

  • piscera.infada

    Completely off topic, but I think we all need to take some time and acknowledge the Mayfield choice in the header–well done Taylor (I never felt Kayne did that song justice, but I guess that’s neither here nor there…).

    That aside, I don’t really see “moving up” being all that palatable for the Flames unless Chiarelli completely loses his marbles and decides he never wants to be an NHL GM ever again (ie, horrible trade to your biggest rival–which will never happen). Getting into the top three is prohibitively expensive (as it always is), and the “second tier” of players doesn’t seem overly distinguishable aside from a few minor traits.

    I feel as though the biggest splash that could be made in the 4-6 range this year would be picking a defenseman–not that I advocate it for the Flames, but just in general. If you “hit” that pick, and really do pick the best defender in the draft, you could have a huge leg up on those that went forward. If you don’t “hit” though, you would have been better trading down.

    Stay at six and pick the remaining forward, all things being roughly equal**. If someone ahead of you feels they know about a defenseman, then you get your pick of two forwards, and that’s probably the best case scenario.

    **Edit: I should have been more clear here. I (personally) think you pick the remaining forward. However, if the Flames scouts feel extremely strong about one particular defenseman, I have no issues with them going that direction. Long term though, it just really has to be the right defenseman. There is no such thing as too many young, top-4 defenseman. They will always, forever, be at a premium, and there will always be teams looking to give up quality assets to acquire one. It’s just imperative that if you draft a defenseman this year in particular, at six overall you pick the right one–I’m not sure I can stress this enough (it’s just a tad risky for me, were I the one making that call).

  • Greg

    Some crazy over-valuing-your-own-player trade suggestions going on in this here thread… I’d love to live in the alternate reality where Wideman is still considered a top pairing defenceman. In the reality I’m aware of, he’s a salary dump at best, not a chip that helps you move up.

    Given we’re talking dealing with rivals, neither of whom would be keen to bet on playing against the prospect they just passed on for the next 10 years, moving up 1 or 2 spots is going to start with #6 and #35, and probably go up from there. I personally wouldn’t want to pay that much, but don’t know enough between “the other 3” to really say, so if the Flames brass really thinks 1 of those 3 are that much superior, I’d defer to their judgement.

  • freethe flames

    The big question for me is what is the level of difference between this second ledge and the next ledge of players. It seems to me that the difference between the first ledge and the second ledge is like beef tenderloin and NYstrip loin or rib eye. If the second ledge and the third ledge is the difference between NY and Rib eye it’s preference thing; but if it’s a difference to flank steak then you have to stay at six.

    The truth is we have to trust the flames management and scouting staff to pick the BPA(Best Player Available) and the BPA(the best prospect available who will help your team in 2-3 years). With the last pick in the second ledge we don’t have much choice; I don’t want to overpay for 4 or 5.(anything more than Wideman and one of Kulak, Spoon or Culkan is an overpay IMO) Having looked at a variety of player rankings and Mock drafts(from reliable sources) I have seen these 3 go from anywhere from 4th to 10th. Who knows maybe the Flames list might have someone else at 6. All three bring something different to the table and could be a good fit with Bennett but they all will likely need another year. Although I think Dubious is physically closer than the other 2.

    Would people consider moving down to get someone who is ready now and a later 1st rounder? Is it a pick you would use to get a starting goalie? I suspect that these are all things BT and his staff are discussing as we get closer to the draft. I suspect that the decision will be made on the draft floor and not before. BT is not afraid to think outside the box and last year he caught us all unaware when he got Hamilton and then later added both Andersson and Kylington for what seems like a bag of magic beans.

  • Baalzamon

    A continuation in my % of team offense calculations:

    1. Alex DeBrincat: 41.2%
    2. Vitali Abramov: 39.4%
    3. Alexander Nylander: 39.1%
    4. Matthew Tkachuk: 38.1%
    5. Pierre-Luc Dubois: 36.3%
    6. William Bitten: 35.9%
    7. Tyler Benson: 35.4%
    8. Michael McLeod: 34.5%
    9. Adam Mascherin: 33.8%
    10. Logan Brown: 32.3%
    11. Noah Gregor: 29.3%
    12. Nathan Bastian: 29.1%
    13. Taylor Raddysh: 27.8%
    14. Dillon Dube: 27.5%
    15. Brett Howden: 27.2%
    16. Julien Gauthier: 25.1%
    17. Boris Katchouk: 23.2%
    18. Max Jones: 17.4%
    • Greg

      That’s what makes me nervous about trading “up” to avoid being “stuck” with Nylander. I think he’s the consolation prize, but There’s a non-trivial chance he ends up being the best of the three.

      Now, if the oilers actually do want Wideman, and are willing to take him plus the 6th and retaining 50% of his salary, for the 4th, I’d be all over that. But I’d be tempted to trade down from 4 to 6 to clear half his cap space too, so that’s a no brainer for me (and probably for Chiarelli to decline too).

    • 24% body fat

      good attempt for analysis. problem is if a player makes his teammates better they get points and his overall percentage goes down.

      a really good number for this is individual points percentage. when a player is on the ice when his team scores, how often does he get a point on the play. there are minor holes to this but in your method you are penalizing a player if his team scores when he is taking a breather.

  • BurningSensation

    Nope. I see no reason to prefer any of the 4-6 enough to pay for the priviledge of picking #4.

    I did see a suggestion from Friedman(?) that Clb might move down, and if that is possible we should pursue it.

      • EhPierre

        Jackets don’t necessarily need another defensemen seeing as how they have Murray, Johnson and Jones. Trading for Brodie, Dougie, TJ as good as they will be for the Jackets, they’re all expensive contracts for the Jackets to take back.

        I think if a trade were to happen, it can include the 6th pick and Backlund. If the Jackets were to ask for Mony, JG, Bennet you know Tre would just hang up the phone.

        The trade could be the 6th, 2 2nds, Backs, Shinkaruk/Colborne? All low contract hits that will actually help the team

        • freethe flames

          You are probably right, but again I think their ask begins with Monny or Bennett. I doubt Backs get’s it done. You suggested a trade the 6th, 2 2nds, Backs and either Shinkaruk/Colborne; would you do it? Is it enough to get it done? So props for yes, trashes for no.

          • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

            I think you may have to consider a guy like Bennett if you want this deal. A guy like Laine or Pulijarvi look pretty good 18 and 6’4 210 lbs with a tonne of skill. They say any of the top 3 can step in next year. I think Columbus keeps the pick unless you blow their socks off.

          • EhPierre

            Backs would be a key piece going back because no way Tre would be giving up Mony, Benet, JG hoever, the 6th overall pick and Backs won’t be enough for CBJ’s pick which is why I offered the seconds which I believe would certainly be part of the trade. Perhaps instead of Shinkaruk/Colborne the Jackets want Frolik (% salary retained) instead?

            I think if you want the Jackets pick you’re gonna have to add extra since we’re not giving them back our top three players

    • T&A4Flames

      Did he (Freidmann) suggest what they’d be looking for? I know they could really use a C. People will laugh but I have heard/read that GM’s were still somewhat high on Jankowski. If Kekkalainen is one of those GM’s, perhaps their is a basis for trade talk.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    Wow Schultz looked like crap out there tonight, I can’t believe he was the Oilers #1 D this year…..

    I also can’t believe he could easily win a cup this year….


  • freethe flames

    Let’s be honest it’s unlikely that the 6th and Wideman get it done. The Oiler’s are hoping that the 4th will nab them a legitimate top 3 defender and who can blame them. What they will likely get is the rights to sign one of the highly rated RFA’s that are out there. As for the Flames I suspect they will not be prepared to pay to high of a price to move up 1 or 2 spots. Who knows maybe the guy they really want will fall to 6, stranger things have happened. Again I don’t expect much to happen until draft day.