Training camp is almost here, so we’re taking a trip down memory lane and checking out previous Calgary Flames draft classes. Which picks are doing well?
Which are doing poorly? And what are reasonable expectations for their
performances this coming season?
We close out with the 2016 NHL Draft class! (NHLE calculations from the most recent Hockey Abstract revisions.)
First round selection, sixth overall in 2016.
(Draft year NHLE was 49.3.) The big question is this: is Tkachuk going to be in the NHL next season? If he is, I’d expect his production to drop relative to last season due to the challenge of the transition. If he’s in the OHL, expect him to tear things up and his numbers to climb even higher.
Second round selection, 54th overall in 2016.
(Draft year save percentage of .921.) Unlike his London Knights teammate Tkachuk, there’s zero chance that Parsons plays pro this season. That means he’ll be in the OHL and unless his game falls apart or London decides to forget how to play hockey, his save percentage numbers should remain in the same general ballpark.
Second round selection, 56th overall in 2016.
(Draft year NHLE was 22.5.) Dube had a good year in the Dub, playing at a point-per-game pace. Kelowna isn’t going to be worse next year and Dube will get a lot of ice time with good teammates. Expect a slight uptick in his production.
Third round selection, 66th overall in 2016.
Fox was nearly a point-per-game player for the U.S. National Development Team. While there’s no universally-accepted NHLE conversion for the USHL, that’s pretty damn good. He’s headed to Harvard, and Fox’s production this season should be a good benchmark for how he does on a team that isn’t crazy stacked. Over a 40-game season, being in the teens points-wise would be a solid start.
Fourth round selection, 96th overall in 2016.
Lindstrom was a point-per-game player in the Swedish junior league. He’s playing in the Swedish Hockey League this season. Given he won’t get a ton of ice time, getting a point every five games would be pretty solid for a first full pro year.
Fifth round selection, 126th overall in 2016.
Mattson was a very productive high school player who played a bit in the USHL and had two points in 21 games. He’ll be a USHLer full-time this season, and you’d hope he can increase his points-per-game a bit. A point every four games would be a decent start.
Sixth round selection, 156th overall in 2016.
Tuulola bounced between the Finnish junior league and the SM-Liiga last season, and he’ll be with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips this season. A 30-point year as a rookie would be a fine start, and anything around 40 points would be great. Everett doesn’t have a ton of offense, so if Tuulola can light the lamp he’ll get to play a ton.
Sixth round selection, 166th overall in 2016.
(Draft year NHLE was 23.4.) Phillips was a very productive player last season, helping drive the bus offensively on a pretty good team. Victoria didn’t lose many key pieces and Phillips is a year older, so expect his numbers to improve slightly.
Seventh round selection, 186th overall in 2016.
(Draft year NHLE was 14.5.) It’s hard to estimate what Falkovsky’s production will be this season, as it’s not entirely clear where he’ll be playing. If he’s playing pro, his production will probably crater a bit given he’s a defenseman and offense seems not to translate readily in the first year of pro for blueliners.