Photo Credit: Larry Brunt/Spokane Chiefs

2020 Flames Second Round Targets: Jack Finley

As we approach the 2020 NHL Draft, held virtually on October 6 & 7, we’re looking at players that the Calgary Flames should consider. In the second round, the Flames select 50th overall.

They should strongly consider towering young center Jack Finley, of the Spokane Chiefs, with their second round pick.

Scouting report

You know the cliche that “you can’t teach size.” Well, yeah, you can’t. But that’s usually used to describe a player that is big, but has displayed few other high-level attributes. That’s not the case with Finley, who is listed as 6’6″ and over 210 pounds, but he’s also incredibly young for the draft class as a September 2 birthday – the 15th is the cut-off – and who has really impressed since joining the Chiefs.

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The son of long-time NHLer Jeff Finley, who’s currently a scout with the Jets, the younger Finley has played two full seasons in the Dub already. He spent much of the season as the center for WHL leading scorer Adam Beckman, a Minnesota prospect, and he was full marks – Beckman benefited from Finley’s size and smarts, while Finley got points playing with the WHL’s most potent player.

Finley’s strengths were on display on Mar. 7 against the Hitmen. His line was matched up with Calgary’s top line, which was led by veteran winger Mark Kastelic. Up against a 17-year-old center, the 21-year-old tried to make life miserable. Finley went about 50% at the face-off dot against Kastelic, but the interesting thing is he managed not to give in against a very agitating Kastelic. For two and a half periods, Finley took constant hacks, whacks and cross-checks from Kastelic. Only after Spokane went up 6-3 did he retaliate. Finley had an assist and was plus-1 with three shots in the Spokane win.

He’s big. He’s smart. He’s skilled and can play with skilled players. And he has the maturity and situational awareness not to drop the gloves when the game is still up for grabs. He might not be a play driver, as he hasn’t really done that yet in the Dub, but at the very least he projects as a strong complimentary player.

The numbers

In his second full season with Spokane, Finley had 19 goals and 57 points in 61 games. For reference, he had as many goals as he had points as a rookie.

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He was 52nd in the WHL in points. Among forwards, he was 47th. Among first-time draft eligible players, he was ninth in points – only Seth Jarvis (98), Connor Zary (86), Tristen Robins (73), Ozzy Wiesblatt (70), Jake Neighbours (70), Kyle Crnkovic (64), Ridley Greig (60) and Pavel Novak (58) had more points. At even strength, Finley had 44 points. That’s behind Jarvis (68), Neighbours (50) and Robins (48), and tied with Zary. He’s been quietly one of the more efficient scorers in his class.

Availability and fit

Finley will probably be available in the second round. He’s ranked 102nd by FC Hockey, 71st by Craig Button, 55th by Bob McKenzie and 78th by McKeen’s.

Would he be a be a fit? Well, yeah. He’s the son of a long-time NHLer and is a big, smart, right shot center who has put up damn good offensive totals as one of the youngest players in his draft class. For a team whose big players aren’t particularly skilled and whose skilled players aren’t particularly big, Finley would be a nice selection.

2020 Second Round Targets

Joni Jurmo | Antonio Stranges