In the run-up to the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft, we heard all kinds of crazy rumours about the Calgary Flames. In short? The Flames had been connected to basically every team, pursuing every goalie, and were going to trade everything to get everything else.
What ended up happening was a lot less scary, and much more befitting the poker player that is Flames General Manager Brad Treliving: they used their first round pick to grab Matthew Tkachuk and traded their best second round pick to St. Louis to land themselves goalie Brian Elliott.
They needed a starting goaltender and some additional high-end forwards. They got a starting goaltender and a high-end forward. Now they turn the page towards the second day of the NHL Draft (which begins at 8 a.m. MT).
After trading away the 35th pick, the Flames can probably slide in a bit later in the second day – and the fans can grab some waffles before logging on to FlamesNation to find out about the newest prospects.
Here are the Flames remaining picks:
- 2nd round, 54th overall (Florida’s)
- 2nd round, 56th
- 3rd round, 66th
- 4th round, 96th
- 5th round, 126th
- 6th round, 156th
- 6th round, 166th
- 7th round, 186th
They have eight kicks at the can left. I’d anticipate at least one trade, if only for the scouting staff to zero in on a specific player (like last draft’s trade-up to grab Oliver Kylington).
ROSTER & CAP SPACE
After adding Brian Elliott’s $2.5 million cap hit for next season, the Flames have 16 players with one-way deals (or that are Sam Bennett) for next season:
- G: Brian Elliott
- D: Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Wideman, T.J. Brodie, Ladislav Smid, Deryk Engelland, Jyrki Jokipakka
- F: Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund, Sam Bennett, Mason Raymond, Matt Stajan, Lance Bouma, Brandon Bollig, Micheal Ferland
And they have a baker’s dozen of restricted free agents (including Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Joe Colborne, Josh Jooris and Joni Ortio).
Cap-wise, they have $19.133 million to fill seven roster spots (presuming they go with 23 bodies). If Monahan and Gaudreau combine for $14 million between them – and that seems probable – then that doesn’t leave very much money for them to re-sign existing RFAs or pending UFAs (like Derek Grant or Jakub Nakladal) or to head into free agency.
LEFT ON THE BOARD
There are a few really interesting prospects still on the board as the second day of the draft begins.
The Flames don’t really need a goaltender, having added 18-year-old Nick Schneider last fall as a free agent, but a lot of interesting names are still on the board after zero were taken on Friday night: Filip Gustavsson, Carter Hart, Zach Sawchenko, Evan Fitzpatrick, Tyler Parsons, Jeremy Woll… they’re all still up for grabs.
On the blueline, smooth-skating Samuel Girard and Victor Mete are still around, as are puck-movers Adam Fox, Frederic Allard and Kale Clague, and stay-at-home maven Libor Hajek. Up front, all sorts of interesting players are still up for claim: Rasmus Asplund, Pascal Laberge, Tyler Benson, Dillon Dube, Adam Mascherin, Taylor Raddysh, Carl Grundstrom, Cliff Pu, Jonathan Dahlen and Linus Lindstrom lead the remaining pack.
I’d suspect the Flames skew towards more forwards than anything else given the organization’s depth at defense and the handful of good young goalies in the system.
In regards to Calgary’s next pick and available players, FlamesNation colleague Christian Roatis and I made a wager late in the first round:
- If Adam Mascherin, Vitalii Abramov and Alex DeBrincat are all gone by the time the Flames draft at 54th overall, Christian owes me a beer.
- But if ONE of those three players are available at 54th overall (regardless of if the Flames take them or not), I owe Christian a beer.
Considering that 23 picks will be made before the Flames get back on the clock on Saturday, I feel pretty good about my chances.