Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Flames 2017 First Round Targets: An introduction

Welcome to our ongoing coverage of the 2017 NHL Draft as it pertains to the Calgary Flames. While much of the hockey world is buzzing in nervous anticipation of the utter chaos that we’ll see during the expansion draft, the annual entry draft will likely also be a beehive of activity.

The Flames are slated to select at 16th overall in the first round – pending trades, their lowest pick since 2009 – and have five selections in the two-day event – their fewest since 2011. Based on how busy Brad Treliving has been during his three previous drafts as Flames GM, expect the club to be busy.

Who are the players that the Flames could select at 16th overall?

Gone, but not forgotten

As previously noted, there are a few players that will most likely be off the board when the Flames pick. Based on the available draft projections from various sources, the consensus puts that list at 10 players:

Nolan Patrick Nico Hischier
Miro Heiskanen Gabriel Vilardi
Cale Makar Casey Mittelstadt
Martin Necas Owen Tippett
Cody Glass Elias Pettersson

From that point, this draft lacks consensus. Completely.

The tight draft

Depending on what happens in the picks ahead of them, there are roughly 12 to 15 players that the Calgary Flames could conceivably select that would suit their needs to varying degrees. Treliving described the draft on Sportsnet 960 The Fan as “a tighter draft.” He explained that “time will tell but 15-to-20 you might be looking at the same player at 35-to-50.” That means that the lack of consensus in the various rankings you’ve seen may be reflective of the lack of consensus among teams – there’s some chatter that it’s similar to the 2012 Draft in that respect.

In terms of what type of player the Flames could get at 16th overall, Treliving (on the same 960 appearance) had a few thoughts:

It’s not going to be a perfect player at 16, but there might be some opportunity to take some swings for people with really high ceilings. Now they could be flawed, as we’re sitting here when they’re 17, 18 years old, but there’s some risk-reward picks there that we’re playing with. But I think we’re going to get a good player. Compared to the 16s in the past we’ll see, but it’s deep enough depending on how things flow that I think and believe strongly if we stay there we’ll get a real good player.

A look ahead

From now until the event itself, we’re going to be previewing what the Flames may do at 16th overall. Based on history, tendencies and the attributes of the players likely to be available, we’ve handicapped who the Flames will take. We’ll be previewing the players, starting with the ones most likely to be available and chosen and working our way towards the long-shots.

  • Baalzamon

    there’s some chatter that it’s similar to the 2012 Draft in that respect.

    Hopefully it’s not similar to the 2012 draft in other respects… namely the fact that there were so few impact forwards that year.

    Seriously, there’s a very good chance Jankowski will end up being the 5th or 6th best forward from that draft class.

      • Baalzamon

        Oddly it was a great draft for goalies though. Matt Murray, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Frederik Andersen, Joonas Korpisalo, Connor Hellebuyck, Anthony Stolarz, Malcolm Subban, and of course our own Jon Gillies were all picked that year. And that’s just off the top of my head (I mean, I know Andersen was drafted twice and Hellebuyck was a second-time eligible, but still it’s an impressive list).

  • Puckhead

    If I remember correctly, a fairly recent article on FN looked at positional needs of the Heat. I believe it showed that the organization could use more depth at centre and right wing. The club is fairly deep at LW and D.

    So I guess the question is: will the team make a selection based on need or pick the BPA? Hopefully the two overlap and the pick is a no brainer.

  • Newbietwo

    It’s either Lias, Vesalainen or Haque.. I’ve done a fair bit of reading and Suzuki vs Lias mr motorcycle loses and besides how many klimchucks, poirer slash shinkaruks do we need? Furthermore we have Phillips and mangiapani and our second round centre from last year.. the more I look at this I think it’s gonna be Haque

  • everton fc

    I’ve read some things about Foote that also would make me resist. Hague is big, smart, skates well, plays both ends of the ice well, and is a smart person – high academic standards and character. To me, the latter two attributes get under-appreciated. He’s be a good pick.

    I still like Suzuki – remember, there’s no guarantee Phillips ever makes it past the “A”, though I think he will. Also like Vesalainen. Many (most?) scouts are not high on Rasmussen at all. Andersson would also seem to fit our needs.

    Liljegren’s another interesting defenceman. All the guys mentioned above will be around when we pick, except maybe Andersson. For Lind and Vesalainen, we’d be trading down. And I still like Comtois complete game, if we trade down.

  • Jobu

    I don’t know guys. Have you seen the Tolvainen highlights? Finnish Tarasenko? Sold me on him. Id gladly forget a power forward if you instead have a guy who can hammer and snipe the puck like that. Hes exactly what our PP needs.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I have been doing some reading on Robert Thomas and he is creeping into our range. A lot of scouts have ranked him as the best player in the OHL this year….could be a sleeper. We might even be able to trade down and get him.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I Hope we don’t trade our first rounder this year. I can’t think of any goalie that I am confident enough would justify that selection. If it is part of a package then maybe. Calgar’y’s first round pick, 5 th rounder in 2018 and Kjillington for Rantaa and Hayes. The problem is that the Rangers lose 2 roster players but receive a first rounder and a mid prospect that does not need to be protected. The trade is outside the conference so god for both clubs.

    We might be over paying, since Rantaa has not proven himself and Hayes is a third liner. IMO Hayes will never be as productive on the Rangers as he would be in Calgary re-United with his Collega winger….Johnny.

    • freethe flames

      I don’t see the Flames trading their 1st rounder for any goalie. I like Raanta but he is not worth a first rounder unless it is just a swap in order. Remember both Darling and bishop only cost middle of the draft picks and had better resumes than Raanta and Grubauer. it may be cheaper to deal with LV as a broker. Only time will tell.