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Flames make four selections to close out 2019 NHL Draft

The Calgary Flames added four players to their organization on the second day of the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver. Speaking with the assembled media after the conclusion of the draft, general manager Brad Treliving and head amateur scout Tod Button broke down their work on Saturday.

Ilya Nikolayev

The Flames selected Nikolayev at 88th overall.

“Nikolayev’s a solid two-way center that played with the 10th overall pick and they were really good together and they had different left wingers the whole year,” said Button, referencing Nikolayev’s time with Vasili Podkolzin on the Russian national team. “But he was sort of the hub, he’s the guy that connects the defensemen to the wingers. Solid play-maker. Smart. Competitive. We’re very happy to get him where we got him.”

Lucas Feuk

The Flames selected Feuk at 116th overall.

Treliving credited Swedish scout Bobbie Hagelin for Feuk’s discovery. He praised the player’s competitiveness, something that both he and Button emphasized they liked in all the weekend’s picks.

“He’s competitive,” said Treliving, responding to Feuk being top 20 in both points and penalty minutes in SuperElit. “And some versatility. Plays center, plays wing, plays both wings, actually. And a competitive guy. I think it’s pretty easy to get a penalty in Sweden, I think, so it fluffs up those PIMs. Responsible guy, but competitive.”

According to Button, Feuk is still filling-out as a young man.

“He’s a little bit under-developed at this point, physically,” said Button. “So he’s got a lot of room to grow. But the competitive nature of the kid and his hockey sense were the things that our Swedish scout really liked about him.”

Josh Nodler

The Flames selected Nolder at 150th overall.

After grabbing several USHL players a year ago, the Flames grabbed one they were familiar with due to a former scout, Pierre-Paul Lamoureux, being part of the Fargo Force’s coaching staff.

“He raved about his work ethic, how he is in practice and everything,” said Button. “We actually had Feuk and Nodler really close and we had to make a decision on which guy we were going to take and then we had to wait another round for the next guy… Another smart, play-making guy. In the zone center ice man. Good vision, good hands, needs to work on his skating, that needs to pick up.”

Nodler is headed to Michigan State University. By sheer coincidence, Flames scout Jim Cummins is an MSU alumnus so the Flames have some level of comfort with the coaching staff there.

Dustin Wolf

The Flames selected Wolf at 214th overall.

Button summed up Wolf’s situation in a rather concise manner.

“The only knock on him that anybody’s had in our organization isn’t a goalie ability knock, it’s that he’s shorter than the traditional goalies now,” said Button. “But he’s really smart, he reads the play well, he gets into position early and he’s got really sound fundamentals.”

Treliving and Wolf shared a quick conversation when the netminder came to the team’s table, where Treliving noted that he’s just like the other players who were drafted. The Flames GM reiterated how pleased the team was to get him late in the draft.

“He was pretty emotional, which is great,” said Treliving. “Long day for him there. The thinking behind it, he’s a really good goalie. If he’s probably this much taller, he’s going a lot earlier than what we had him. Tremendous numbers, I think he had the top save percentage in the Western League. He put up numbers you don’t see very often as a goalie. Not, let’s call it the modern today’s goalie of six-four, six-five, but ultra, ultra competitive and very athletic and the results speak for themselves. At that spot, for sure, I feel like we got a real solid player and a really, really good kid.”

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  • Garry T

    Well the drafting is done and we might get a couple a players out of the five.
    I have decided to quit being a winer and take a positive outlook with this team. I hope they are still on the phones touching base with a few of the boys who did not get drafted. There has to be a couple diamonds in the rough out there.

    • freethe flames

      Hopefully they invite a number of 19 year old defencemen to camp and they show well. This organization needs to find some D prospects for the Heat. I wonder where one would find a list of the undrafted 19 year CHL players?

  • Puck Head

    It was good to see the club put so much emphasis on character, heart and hard work. Win or lose, these are personalty traits I want see for guys wearing the flaming C.

    • The GREAT WW

      This is what separates us from the posers that the Oilers pick.
      We don’t have a prime first round pick every year like the Oilers.
      We are winners, we have to work for it…..

      WW

      • Garry T

        Unfortunately, they did a helluva job with their picks yesterday and today.
        The ship has been righted by the new management up there and we are not going to be able to heckle them any longer. We had better be on our game effective immediately via players and management. they are moving very quickly towards the feared oilers of old. Trust me, In two years or less from now, the battle of Alberta is back on and the temperature will only rise.. So Tre, bigger, faster, better and more competitive soon or we will be the ones in the dumpster. Vancouver did well the last two days and Western Canada will be the force.

  • meat1

    We didn’t have a pick until the fourth round last year…only five picks this go around…I want more kicks at the can. I think our scouts are very capable. Stop trading picks and lets accumulate them.

  • Flamesforever

    I was surprised we didn’t add some picks this year, 4 last year and 5 this year is just not enough, even if our scouts do a good job in finding guys. I hope/expect us to trade a roster player (Brodie) for some more bullets in the chamber next year. We need it. As for the draft itself, I like Pelletier but he is a carbon copy of the type of players we already have. I think Nikolayev could be the sleeper this year for us and/or Dustin Wolf, he looked crushed he fell all the way to the 7th round. Kids got a fire burning, wouldn’t it be something if he’s our goalie of the future. GFG 🔥

    • Puck Head

      If Tre trades players for picks it will send fans and players the wrong message. If he intends to go for it now he needs a top 6 player or two (preferably) in return.

      • Puck Head

        So the trashers want to accumulate picks and not do anything to help the team in the short term? If we enter the next season with the same lineup we are screwed. I don’t care what the team does as long as they commit and do something with the goal of building a contender – find the pieces we need to build a contender now or do what needs to be done to build for the future.

  • oilcanboyd

    Posted on The Athletic by Scott Wheeler:
    “I have traditionally liked the Flames’ approach at the draft in recent years so I was waiting for them on Day 2 to take someone I really liked at No. 88 with their first pick then they plucked Ilya Nikolayev, who ranked 26 slots higher on my board. Nikolayev hasn’t quite put it all together but he’s also really young in the context of the draft (he hasn’t turned 18 yet) but the talent level is there and I have faith that he’ll figure it out. If he does, he’ll be good.
    Mix in a swing on my second-ranked goaltender, Dustin Wolf, in the seventh round and I think the Flames’ scouting staff may have done a lot with a little.”

      • oilcanboyd

        Wheeler’s comments on the Flames first pick:
        “I’m a big fan of Jakob Pelletier’s, and he fits right in with the Flames’ established willingness to draft small, talented forwards. Pelletier is among the most creative players in the draft, has excellent puck skills and makes his linemates better by getting them involved before they expect it and finding them in dangerous areas for scoring chances. The Flames are committed to just out-skilling teams up front, and that’s exactly what Pelletier does. He’s going to terrorize the QMJHL next year and was one of the only available forwards with true second-line upside, even if I think Bobby Brink or Suzuki better fit the mould of what they were going for.”
        For comments on all teams read The Athletic…

  • everton fc

    I obviously like Pelletier, if you read my posts. So I’ll move on to Nikolayev ranked #9 boy NHL Central Scouting for European skaters. All other rankings have him in the “20s”, only one outside the 20s, at #43. I think we may have found another 3rd round gem, like Dube.

    Feuk – his name alone will be problematic, if he plays North American hockey. But he seems a good risk in Round #4 – all I could find on him, however, is in this link below – scroll down a but to find the write up on him, but it’s a good one;

    https://www.eprinkside.com/2018/12/15/blog-a-look-at-2019-draft-eligible-swedes-from-j20-superelit

    I listened to the Nodler interview. Sounds like a good kid. Time at Michigan State will prove what/who he is. Could be another Mitchell Mattson, or a diamond in the rough. His stats are much better at the same age, in the same league, over Mattson’s.

    I like the Wolf pick. A lot. I imagine his size may also keep him from being as injury-prone in the hips, like bigger goalies. One scout said he might be the second goalie off the board, so many scouts like this kid – but not enough to take the risk, due to his size. I think this was a very good, low-risk pick. This quote below, from a kid who pulled a 100% average in Grade 12, playing WHL hockey (61 games) at a high level – you gotta love the potential here:

    “My biggest strength is staying calm in the net. I just try to stick to my routine every day and come to the rink, putting my best foot forward.”

    I think you can over-analyze these drafts as if we, the fans, “know better”. I don’t like BT’s free agent resume. In fact, it stinks. But he’s drafted well. I like this draft class, but wish we could have added Kaliyev, to our stable of forwards.

    • oilcanboyd

      I think that Tre did really well considering what he had to work with(his own doing, of course). I like Wolf numbers too. Played 61 games and he looks like a 157 lb weakling: so he has the stamina. Looking forward to see how he develops. WHL next season? Flames prospect goalie bin is overflowing, but no one has really stepped up…

      • Albertabeef

        Actually now that I think about it I hope I can get tickets to see him play against the royals here in Vic. My friend is considering season tickets next season so I may encourage him more now lol. In fact he might be worth a passport and a trip accross the Fucing Straight(Juan de Fuca Strait lol). Hard to resist a ferry travel joke here. FYI I live pretty close to the Seattle Ferry terminal for those who have never been to Victoria.

    • freethe flames

      This is a draft class we will have to wait on. For the next 3-5 years we will see how all of these kids develop. The day for us Flames fans was anti climatic b/c BT did not get any deals done; hopefully he planted the right seeds and he can get some more deals finished. If as “Wheeler” says the Flames plans are to out skill teams up front to win them BT still needs to a number of skilled forwards and at the moment he does not have the assets in players or cap space to get the job done.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    I can’t toast or roast any of Tre’s picks as I haven’t heard of any of the draftees. That the 1st rounder is a shrimpkin doesn’t bother me in the least as he and the others Tre selected are more than likely a minimum of 3 to 5 years away from receiving an NHL paycheque, so who knows what the Flames’ roster will look like if or when JP plays here.

    As for Tre going silent at the draft for the first time, he wasn’t alone as virtually all the GMs remained in a holding pattern presumably awaiting word of what the new cap ceiling would be. Additionally, with the rumour that there could be rare offer sheets tendered to some of the RFAs come Canada Day, it was no surprise that the few deals made during the draft involved teams that had to shed salary. I am curious to see how the new week will play out as it too might be quieter than usual with most GMs hanging fire until Canada Day.

    • freethe flames

      For the Flames to be involved in a offer sheet they need to do a few things; 1. clear some cap space by either trading a few guys or buying out a few guys and 2. Get their own guys signed. As for who they should target with an offer sheet I would suggest some of the middle guys and not the top guys.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        I don’t see the Flames involved in any offer sheet hijinks for the reasons you cited and the possible negative optics it might have any on Tkachuk’s impeding deal. Hard to believe Chucky will take one for the team with a sweetheart deal just so the big bucks he leaves on the table can be thrown in the direction of some other team’s UFA.

        • freethe flames

          If the Flames could clear TJ and Frolik’s cap space and only bring back picks (2nd and third rounders) then they would have the cap space to sign Tkachuk and still go after a RFA that could help this team. But as I said you want your own work done first.
          Here’s an offersheet that could go against the Flames: Bennett for the most part we think Bennett is going to get about $2.5m from the Flames but lets say a team loves his playoff grit and thinks he is worth going after and offers him $3.5-$4 x4.22 would the Flames be willing to match this? The compensation is only a second rounder. What would you do as Flames management?

  • freethe flames

    Teams have until Tuesday to get in their qualifying offers; it will be interesting to see who shakes free. Maybe there is a project worth trying to save.

    • Rockmorton65

      That could also account for the lack of trades/movement. Why trade for an asset when a similar talent may not be qualified? Tre’s been known to be very opportunistic in that regard.