The 2018 National Hockey League entry draft will not be business as usual for the Calgary Flames. Because of some wheeling and dealing at last year’s draft in Chicago (which included acquiring Travis Hamonic), the Flames head to Dallas for this year’s event in a position they’ve been in only three times: they don’t have a first round pick.
The probable philosophy
The Flames selected five times last year. At the time, amateur scouting guru Tod Button explained the thought process behind their 2017 picks:
We wanted to add skill and ceiling. With five picks, knowing that it would be hard to get any more, we wanted to get as much talent as we could. Sometimes, when you get to the fourth, fifth, sixth round, that means untapped talent. That means projecting players, guys that you think still have untapped offensive potential.
The Flames don’t have a pick until the fourth round of this year’s draft, so given those circumstances and the success of their philosophy last year – they landed Adam Ruzicka in the fourth round and D’Artagnan Joly in the sixth round – it seems likely that they’ll repeat that approach. The theme of the 2018 Draft will probably be “untapped offensive potential.”
The Flames 2018 picks
Here are the Flames’ four selections in this year’s draft:
- 105th overall in the fourth round
- 108th overall in the fourth round (acquired from Florida in the Jiri Hudler trade)
- 167th overall in the sixth round
- 198th overall in the seventh round
For the curious, their first and second round picks went to the New York Islanders in the Hamonic trade, their third round pick went to Arizona as a condition of the Mike Smith trade, and their fifth round pick went to Arizona as a condition of the Michael Stone trade.
Treliving’s draft tendencies
Over four drafts, the Flames have made 25 selections since Brad Treliving became general manager. The positional breakdown is two goaltenders, eight defensemen and 15 forwards – they’ve taken a goaltender every second year (2014 and 2016) but otherwise stick to a mix.
In terms of feeder leagues, it’s probably not shocking that they’ve stuck primarily to the Canadian Hockey League – 17 of their 25 picks have been domestic. But you can kinda tell which scouts have gotten results for the organization by which leagues have been most commonly chosen from: the Ontario Hockey League (9), the Western Hockey League (6) and Sweden (4). For what it’s worth WHL scout Rob Sumner and OHL scout Fred Parker were promoted to assistant directors of amateur scouting last summer, likely as a result of the club’s success in drafting from those two regions (and probably a sign that the organization wants to keep doing so).
A look ahead
Given the Flames’ selections, history and anticipated drafting philosophy, we’ll be taking a look at some projected fourth and fifth round selections in the coming weeks.