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.
“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.”
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.”
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.
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.”