The Flames went through day one of the 2019 NHL Draft in a fairly quiet manner. Calgary didn’t make a trade Friday in Vancouver and ended up using their 26th overall selection on Moncton Wildcats winger Jakob Pelletier. With day two of the draft ready to go, I’ve got three things to watch from the Flames later on today.
Do they make a trade?
This is the question fans will be most eagerly asking as Calgary goes through the second day. The Flames were quiet on the trade front on Friday, which was very much the story across the league. Only one trade was made during the first round and that deal didn’t include an active player.
“I’m not surprised,” general manager Brad Treliving told me following round one. “There’s a lot going on in the league right now in terms of some cap pressures in a lot of spots. The volatility of the first round as you got probably past five…I think a lot of people felt…just stick in their hole and they may get somebody that squirted loose on their list.”
For those hoping to see Treliving pull off a signature draft weekend trade, all hope is not lost. Both last year’s blockbuster with Carolina and the Travis Hamonic trade in 2017 were consummated on Saturday, which means there’s still plenty of time for big things to happen.
“I know everybody wants things to happen on the Friday,” Treliving said. “I think the level of talks leading up to the weekend were extensive, and I’m not just talking with our team but I think throughout the league. I think we’ll see some activity as you see every year. But it just goes to show you that things are tight.”
The Flames have definitely tried to make things happen over the last 24 to 48 hours. Reports have circulated suggesting Montreal could be a landing spot for TJ Brodie. I believe they were close on something with Toronto earlier in the week before it fell through. Thus far, though, I’ve been told things like “crickets” and “unusually quiet” by people in the organization.
Who else gets drafted?
Calgary enters day two of the draft with four picks remaining:
|Four||116th||via New York Islanders|
Assuming the Flames don’t acquire any additional picks by the end of the day, they’ll make five total selections this year. Interestingly, though, only three of those five selections will be with their own picks. Calgary’s fourth round pick came from the Islanders as part of the Hamonic deal two years ago. The seventh rounder came as part of the strange Eddie Lack deal, also from two summers ago.
In recent years, the Flames have had decent success with their day two selections. Since Treliving has been at the helm we’ve seen Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Andrew Mangiapane, and Dillon Dube picked on Saturday and all of them have spent time in the NHL since.
Additionally, some of the organization’s more intriguing prospect have been taken in rounds two through seven in recent years. Matthew Phillips (2016 sixth round), Adam Ruzicka (2017 fourth round), Martin Pospisil (2018 fourth round), and Dmitry Zavgorodniy (2018 seventh round) all are all on moderately promising trajectories and were all picked on Saturday.
Will they draft a defenceman or a goalie?
The answer to this question is almost certainly yes based on probability and organizational need. Calgary hasn’t selected a non-forward since Juuso Valimaki, their first pick of 2017. Since then, the Flames have selected ten consecutive forwards, including Pelletier on Friday night.
With Andersson, Kylington, and Valimaki all vying for NHL jobs this season, Calgary’s true “prospect” pool on the blueline is thin. They’ve added Alexander Yelesin to the fold this summer and it would be fairly surprising to see the Flames leave Vancouver without adding at least one more defenceman to the fold.
It has been even longer since Calgary drafted a goaltender; Tyler Parsons (2016 second round) is the last goalie taken by the Flames. With only four picks remaining, though, I’m not sure how high the chances are of them going down that road here.
Director of amateur scouting Tod Button said yesterday the team had a goalie in mind they’d consider at 26 overall, but that’s probably off the table now. That player, presumably anyway, is US National Development Team product Spencer Knight, who ended up going 13th overall to the Florida Panthers. We’ll see if another goalie tickles their fancy today.