Draft picks have been great trade currency for the Flames

Calgary Flames General Manager Brad Treliving loves draft picks. In fact, he’s declared as much in front of the media on multiple occasions since taking the reins of the Flames in the spring of 2014.

Draft picks are valuable in a few different ways. They can be used to select players, which gives teams a chance to load up on assets. They can be used to trade straight-up for current assets, like how the Flames added Dougie Hamilton at last year’s draft. And most of all, they provide flexibility. Don’t have a lot of picks? Don’t expect teams to call you asking about them, which makes it difficult to do much of anything.

Barring trades between now and then, the Flames are primed to head into the 2016 NHL draft with the most picks they’ve had in the Lockout Era: 10, including five picks in the first three rounds.

What relationship has the number of picks had with what they’ve been able to do at the draft?


The Flames went into the draft with eight picks. They sent Mike Commodore to Carolina for an additional third round pick, and used their own third and fourth round picks to trade up in the third round to take Dan Ryder. The Commodore trade was essentially cashing out on an asset before it had a chance to depreciate following the 2014 playoff run, and their pick depth allowed them to move up to take Ryder (a player they valued).


The Flames went into the weekend with nine picks. The pick depth allowed them to package their second round selection with other assets in a trade with Colorado to bring Alex Tanguay to town.


    In stark contrast to previous years, the Flames went into the 2007 draft with just five picks and had to scramble to get more kicks at the can. This resulted in a lot of jockeying around of assets as they moved to accumulate picks early in the draft and then shuffled around to move up in particular rounds later.

    • They traded down in the first round to gain a third round selection.
    • They traded Andrei Zyuzin and minor leaguer Steve Marr to Chicago for Adrian Aucoin and a seventh round pick.
    • They traded up into the fourth round (with two fifth rounders) to take Keith Aulie and into the fifth round (with two sixth rounders) to take Mickey Renaud.


    The 2008 cattle-call saw the Flames begin the weekend with seven selections. They were able to wheel and deal a bit, trading Alex Tanguay to Montreal and acquiring Mike Cammalleri from Los Angeles. The whole affair amounted to them trading down eight spots in the first round, adding second and fifth round picks in that year’s draft, and replacing Tanguay with Cammalleri.


    The Flames went into the 2009 draft with six picks, having traded their third round selection to Florida just a few days prior to grab Jay Bouwmeester’s free agent rights early. (While the Flames weren’t as successful as some had hoped after that move, it was definitely a bold, smart move by Sutter.) The Flames recouped their spent third rounder by trading down in the first round (from 20th to 23rd), and later on they sent a fourth rounder to Los Angeles to trade up in the third round to take Ryan Howse.


    The 2010 draft saw the Flames ship out their picks in the first two rounds before the weekend even began, but they amassed a few in later rounds and ended up going into the weekend with seven picks. They ended up using their later picks and solved an organizational issue (in the short-term) by trading a sixth round pick to San Jose for Henrik Karlsson.


      As with 2007, the Flames went into the 2011 draft with just five picks. They didn’t wheel or deal much that weekend, using their picks and not trading up, down or sideways. They got Johnny Gaudreau out of the weekend, so it probably wasn’t a terrible strategy.


      The Flames had six picks on 2012 draft weekend. They traded down in the first round from 14th to 21st, recouping a second round pick in the process. (They had sent their original 2012 second rounder to Buffalo during the 2011 draft weekend.)


      The Flames went into the 2013 draft with eight picks, including three first round picks for the first time in franchise history. They had a lot of flexibility, but they didn’t move any of their picks and instead simply used them all.


      Calgary had seven picks and used their flexibility a bit, trading a third rounder to Brandon Bollig after making three selections through the first two rounds.


      The Flames went into the draft weekend with nine picks, including a first, three seconds and two thirds. They swapped a first and two seconds to Boston for Dougie Hamilton, then traded the two thirds to move up into the end of the second round to grab Oliver Kylington.


        Calgary is going into the draft weekend with 10 selections, which is the most they’ve had since the draft went to seven rounds after the 2004-05 lockout.

        SUM IT UP

        Year Picks Moves?
        2005 8 Traded away roster player for picks
        Traded up
        2006 9 Traded picks for roster player
        2007 5 Traded down
        Traded away roster player for a pick
        Traded up (twice)
        2008 7 Traded away roster player for picks
        Traded picks for roster player
        2009 6 Traded down
        Traded up
        2010 7 Traded pick for roster player
        2011 5 No moves
        2012 6 Traded down
        2013 8 No moves
        2014 7 Traded pick for roster player
        2015 9 Traded picks for roster player
        Traded up

        When the Flames have lots of picks (especially early in the draft), they have lots of flexibility. In years where they had fewer picks, they either did nothing or got busy and made some ill-advised moves in order to recoup lost draft picks.

        Last year is a perfect preview for this year’s draft, though since the Flames were a bit worse on the ice they have significantly better picks to work with.

        • freethe flames

          The real question is what will BT be able to do with the additional picks? Can he package them and move up for Puljujarvi? The cost will likely need to be more than picks.

          Will he use some of the seconds as currency to get a goalie? Will he use a combination of picks to get a needed top 6 forward? Can he package some of these picks and other assets to get another first? What price are other teams prepared to offer for number 6? Number 35?

          What would the cost of a MAF or an Anderson really be? Are better off keeping the assets and signing a UFA goalie? Time will tell.

          Is the best bet just keep or 10 picks and hope that 2 of them become NHler’s in the next 3 years?

        • RKD

          Picks are currency, I think he’s going to package picks and maybe a player and/or prospect for a goalie However, BT shouldn’t give up the farm if he can land a good player at sixth. Last season it made sense to trade Calgary’s 3 picks for Hamilton, they had the 15th pick not the 6th. This year’s draft is much deeper, it is risky to give up a guy at 6th because he could turn out to be a great player.

            • RKD

              How so? Last season most of the players not drafted very high have not seen any NHL game action and some have signed entry level deals. I think compared to last year’s draft the further down you go there are a lot more players I feel could step into an NHL lineup.

        • Hockey123

          Christian Roatis ‏@CRoatis 1h1 hour ago
          According to @SunGarrioch, the #Flames are looking to move into the 3rd or 4th overall spot at the @2016NHLDraft.

          • Kevin R

            Cant see #4, can’t see Oilers doing us any favours. Although…… the D options are drying up quicker than my spit on the curb on a 32 degree c. day for them. I may be Ok in giving them Wideman & our #6 for the #4 just because Im a nice guy.

            • freethe flames

              Trying to figure out a fair deal between Calgary and Columbus perplexes me. Would 6, Backs and 54 get us 3 and Atkinson.(He’s the only contract that the Flames could really want) But that only saves Columbus bus fare. Would 6, Colborne and 35 get us 3 and Atkinson; they get a higher second an probably $1m in savings.

              Is there someone else on Columbus that makes any sense to anyone else? I would love to read some other deals?

                • freethe flames

                  That’s why I did not include Bobrovsky in my thinking. Columbus would either have to add something else or eat something else. Maybe Bouma’s contract? That would make it 6, Backs, Bouma and a second for 3 and Bobrovsky; I’m not sure I’m loving it. Bobrovsky does not really inspire me as the long term answer.

          • freethe flames

            Does this surprise anyone? Any good GM would be doing the same in the Flames situation. The real issue is what will be the cost? We have discussed this at length a number of times for #3 and again with #4 and Edmonton. Do the Flames have the assets to get the trade done? What does Columbus want/need? An NHL center and cap relief. What about Edmonton? A RH Defender who can play in their top 4 and be a legit top 4 defender.

            • Connor McDaigle

              I would have to assume it would be close, if not enough. The Ducks two big pieces up front are going on 32 this year, so that would bring them in a top prospect. They can make that move and not hurt themselves as they are deep in good young defenceman.

        • freethe flames

          I wonder if the cost of getting number 3 is just too high. A straight hockey deal of 6 and Backs for 3 should be enough.(Not that I want to lose Backs) But with Columbus cap issues there become so many moving parts that quite frankly the Flames can’t add I just don’t see it happening. Can we really afford Hartnell at $4.75 for 3 more years or Bobrovsky at his contract. I just don’t see it. Better in my mind to pursue addition to our top 9 by a little bit than swinging for the fences and over paying.

          Acquiring Hayes or Nichushkyn or even paying a high price for Rantanen might be easier than trading with Columbus at this point.

          • Hockeyfan

            I like this idea of going to 3 with Backs and 6 but, would we rather and able to do so with a forward prospect, i don’t know if Columbus could fit Backs into cap. No to Bobro, too much coin. Would puluarvi? slot in right away? I almost like Dubois better.
            Looks like Tree is talking to Pens about Fleyry, what a great upgrade that would be. GFG!

            • FlamesFanOtherCity

              I was thinking about some options. We want to move up to 3rd. We want a goalie. We need some other complementary players.

              for #3 overall: #6 + Backlund + #54 for Hartnell and #3.
              For MAF: Bouma + #56.
              For Kevin Hayes: Hickey.
              For Armia: 3rd + Stajan ($1m retained)

              Leaves us a little light up the middle, but we would have 2 very good lines.

              Johnny – Monahan – Pulju
              Hartnell – Bennett – Frolik
              Shinkaruk – Colborne – Hayes
              Ferland – Arnold – Armia

          • Rockmorton65

            That’s a great point. And I have total faith that BT & co won’t get caught up and sell the future for the shiny new toy of the day (#3 overall). He strikes me as the kind of guy that will have a half dozen options for each of the Flames issues.

          • Kevin R

            Well, here’s the thing. Try & get into Tre’s mind. Without a doubt he will be going after a name goalie. He cannot go into next year with any questions or doubts in net. So he probably has had talks on 3 goalies. Fleury, Crawford & Bobrovsky. Fleury is 5.75 mill for 3 more years, cost will probably be a 2nd & a roster player like Bouma(used him as an example) or a 2nd & a 3rd rounder. Hawks are in cap trouble, there are winds of possibly moving him, has 4 more years at 6.0 mill. Not sure what the ask will be but I’m sure the price will be a lot higher than Fleury. Then you have Bobrov with 3 more years at 7.4mill. He’s the riskiest of the goalies but the big nugget is that #3. So for $1.75 mill more on the goalie cap, you get the #3. With Backlund going the other way, whoever we plug in to centring that 3rd line will probably be 1.75 mill cheaper than Backlund (Grant, Janko,Agostino) on the 4th & Stajan moved up to the 3rd line. So cap implications are minimal.

            • freethe flames

              Would he not also be discussing the UFA goalies like Riemer of Johnson? If the plan is to give Gilles 2/3 years to develop/prove himself (which is what I am assuming) then you have to look at both the assest cost and cap cost. I’m not saying the big 3 you have mentioned are not the front runners but other discussions are also being had. Fleury who is not my first choice could well be the best option. His salary as with the others scare me and I think we could get NHL average goaltending and be in the hunt if we can upgrade the top 9 forwards.

              • Kevin R

                Problem with Reimer & Johnson is that they really haven’t proven they could carry a playoff team 50-60 games a year. I know you don’t spend assets to acquire them but if you go that route & they crap the bed, would be horrible optics for Tre. If he snagged one of the big 3 that are all capable of being Vezina candidates & they crapped the bed, it sides on bad luck. I would of put Bishop in that category with the other 3 but because he is UFA next year, Tampa can move him at the TDL or end of the season before deciding which one they go long with. Yzerman is patient to a fault.

                • freethe flames

                  For me it looks worse if goes after one of the big three and it flops but that’s just my opinion.

                  I was grappling with the Bobrovsky idea a bit today and came to this kind of conclusion. If we traded the 6th and say Backs and Bouma and 56 for 3rd, Bobrovsky, Atkinson, Josh anderson and they eat $1-2m of the final year of Bob’s contract I might be more accepting of the deal.

                  A deal with Pittsburg for MAF would for me need to look something like this Bouma and the 56th for MAF and the last year Pittsburg eats $1-2m.

                  I just don’t want to have a bad goalie contract in the 3rd year. Neither of these two goalies excite me. I worry that MAF concussion might have a long term impact on his play and with 3 years left he would be a big hit. Bob’s been a lot less consistent than a Vezina candidate and that worries me.

              • Kevin R

                Seeing you & I like posting some of the more stupid trade ideas on here, I wonder if we can’t move up to 3rd, we look at trading the #6 & Wideman to Leafs for JVR, the #30 & the #31. We kill a lot birds with that one. Monahan, Gaudreau & JVR would probably make a pretty nice top line. Having #30, #31 & #35 give us some pretty nice options to move up or scoop some nice picks to stock the cupboards if some of these profiled kids fall. Plus we get rid of Wideman & our cap just got a lot more comfortable.

                • Kevin R

                  Yeah I know but I didn’t think JVR is that bad of a winger & he’s younger than Backlund. Then imagine if Abramov & Mascherin dropped to us in 30 & 31. So JVR, Mascherin & Abramov for Nylander & we get rid of Wideman.
                  I just thought there was merit in a deal like that. Just spitballing, thought it was an interesting scenario.

                • freethe flames

                  It to took me a couple of reads to get what you were suggesting; I think we could get more out of trading number 6 than JVR and two more high end 2nd rounders. But at least we are talking hockey. Our idea’s may be indeed stupid but at least we are having fun with them.

                  Here’s an idea that I have been mulling around in my head. If we can’t get number 3 why not try and get an alternative. Here’s my idea: From Calgary #6, #35 and one of Klimchuk, Poirier, Pollock, Spoon, Kulak, or Kylington to Colorado for #10, #40 and Rantanen. We get a RW who I think is going to be very good(AHL rookie of the year, we keep reasonably good picks; Colorado gets some better picks and either some help in their top 6 defenders(I think both Spoon and Kulak are both very close if not ready to play in the NHL) or a legit NHL prospect upfront or a young defender who might be ready in a year. What’s your thoughts? Have fun poking holes in it. I await your response.

                • cberg

                  Not a bad idea, at least for discussion. You are valuing Rantanen far more than I would, but he did have a great year so who knows? I’m thinking Colorado has to add at least another significant piece/pick to balance it out.

                • freethe flames

                  No idea is without the idea of drawbacks. I may be over valueing Rantanen but I think it is worth the gamble and is not as big of over payment as trying to get number 3. What might that piece be? 66th or 2 of the list I presented. None of us know what will happen but I would love to see us add a goalie and two forwards that upgrade our top 9 and still have a first rounder. Whether it’s this trade or something else it could be done.

                • Kevin R

                  I can see where you want to go but I think Colorado are looking more for a sure thing on the blue line (top 4) of which most teams have potential blue liners that we would be offering in that package. Not sure Colorado would do that.

                • freethe flames

                  I know a pipe dream. The question is how do we improve our top 9 w/o adding something like this. I do think deals are possible to improve our top 9. A simple add is Hayes out of NYR; I think he can be had for something like the 56 and !/2 Wides. It may need to be jigged a little but I think it’s something that could be done. If this was accomplished the trade would pay for itself.

                  Are there other top 9 RFA’a available that could be had? or even UFA’s? BT and his staff will know this.

                  I was looking at NHL stats lines about an hour ago and I was surprised to see that Chad Johnson’s numbers for last year were almost identical to Anderson’s on a far worse team. I wonder if a tandem of say he and Enroth or Kuemper might be good enough? They would be far cheaper than MAF, Bobrovsky.

            • BlueMoonNigel

              To take any of those contracts would be asinine. Two of the goalies are huge question marks that come with huge price tags. Is Crawford a great goalie or a goalie on a great team? Remember Niemi backstopped the Hawks to a cup.

        • Burnward


          I’m really not concerned about the salary cap.

          BT has signed great contracts, made excellent trades and has managed this team better than anyone in recent memory.

          You better be damn sure he’s gone through hundreds of permutations and knows exactly where they are, can be and need to be.

          • freethe flames

            I agree that BT and his staff have done all of this homework and probably spitballed a whole bunch of ideas that they have eventually rejected and some that they hope work out. Indeed he has managed to get some good contracts done and I’m hopeful he gets Johnny and Monny at good contracts as well but not to be concerned about the cap in this day and age is like putting your head in the sand. Do I think they have a plan; absolutely and it probably does not include adding anymore big long term contracts for guys past due.

            One of the reasons I joined FN was to spitball ideas out as none of my immediate friends are hockey crazy as me.(or they are oiler’s fans) Not to be angry when people think my ideas are out to lunch(and I know some really are maybe even most) but to discuss all the permutations and ramifications out there. I do this to have fun.

            BT said at the start of the off season(is there really such a thing for a GM) that you can make your team better by doing little things. (and no I don’t have a link to where he said this) He also showed last draft that he is not afraid to catch the hockey world off guard when he traded for Hamilton so I would not be surprised if he has a big deal in mind.

            I honestly believe when we are examining the moves made at the draft table next week that the Flames will have addressed 3 of their 4 burning issues. They will have acquired either a starting goalie and improved their top 9 by adding an NHL player or 2 forwards and moved one of their contract issues. If they don’t get a goalie via trade then they will sign one of the UFA’s. Plus they will still have a high end draft pick and at least one of their second rounders. Will we all agree with the decisions; very unlikely. but it will lead to many good discussions.

        • BlueMoonNigel

          If the Flames draft at 6th and Tkachuck or Nylander is still on the board, there’s your 6th pick.

          I don’t want either. Tkachuk can’t skate at the NHL level and Nylander is soft. During the Pens series with the Caps, I saw roly-poly Kessel go into the corner with big Karl Alzner to fight him for the puck. It made me wonder if Nylander would do the same thing against the giant Nurse. Probably not was my conclusion.

          If the teams 1 to 5 at the draft load up on forwards and leave all those defencemen for the picking, the Flames would be stupid not to choose one of them. Of course, Bean is the man to take, but I’d much rather the Flames draft a defenceman than a Tkachuk or Nylander.