This coming May is the 40th anniversary of the Atlanta Flames moving to Calgary. To commemorate this occasion, we’re counting down the Top 40 Calgary Flames in history.
Coming in at #33 is Cory Stillman.
This may shock you, but the Flames haven’t had great luck with first round picks. It’s been better lately – thanks Sean Monahan, Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk – but the late ’80s and much of the ’90s were a desert. Some players chose other sports. Some just couldn’t translate amateur success to pro success. One died.
The beacon of light in all that gloom was Cory Stillman. The 6th overall pick in 1992, he made the team as a 21-year-old and went on to have a distinguished 16 season NHL career. Stillman played seven seasons with the Flames, including three where he scored over 20 goals (and another where he was on pace before a shoulder injury).
Eventually, the Flames flipped Stillman to St. Louis for somebody named Craig Conroy. Stillman went on to win two Stanley Cups. Conroy served as Flames captain. It was one of those strings of asset flips that worked for everybody, and it all began with Stillman becoming the first high pick in ages to become what the Flames hoped he would.
Stillman’s versatility and productivity clock him in at #33.
Arrival: Selected in the first round, 6th overall, in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft (June 20, 1992)
Departure: Traded to St. Louis for Craig Conroy and 2001 seventh round pick (David Moss) (March 13, 2001)