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.