If the Calgary Flames had it their way, then general manager Jay Feaster could’ve walked up to the podium to select Nathan MacKinnon first overall in the 2013 NHL entry draft.
The Flames attempted to trade picks six, 22 and 28 to the Colorado Avalanche for the first overall pick, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in his weekly 31 Thoughts column Saturday.
While the Avalanche clearly declined the deal and opted to select Nathan MacKinnon, it would’ve been a franchise-altering draft for the Flames had they been able to make the trade. It should be without a doubt that the Flames would’ve selected MacKinnon first overall, but instead only hit on one of three draft picks from that first round.
Sean Monahan is a great consolation prize and has gone on to have a very successful career with the Flames scoring 194 goals and 411 points in 541 games in the seven years since the draft.
At 22 overall the Flames selected Emile Poirier, who has played in only eight NHL games, all with the Flames, scoring only one assist. The now 25-year-old has spent his time in the AHL playing for the Flames organization until 2018 when he joined the Winnipeg Jets organization.
And at 28 overall, the Flames drafted Morgan Klimchuk who has played in only one NHL game, a match for the Flames in 2017-18, and has spent his time in the AHL since. He’s now with the Ottawa Senators organization.
While Monahan has turned into a great player for the Flames and was named the 15th best player in Flames history by FlamesNation, he’s far from the game-breaking talent that MacKinnon has turned out to be.
Nonetheless, it’s interesting to look back and see how hard Feaster was working to improve the team at the time.
On Twitter: @zjlaing