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FlamesNation Roundtable: the 2021 NHL Draft

It’s draft season! The 2021 NHL Draft is almost upon us and to commemorate our favourite weekend of the year, we’ve reconvened the roundtable (for the second time in a week) to discuss our hopes and expectations for the weekend.

Who do you want the Flames to select at 13th overall?

Craig: Suppressing my affection for Cole Sillinger until the next question, I think Russian forward Fyodor Svechkov would make a promising investment for the Flames. Gifted with razor-sharp awareness in all three zones that makes him deceptive with the puck and dependable without, Svechkov is one of the best defensive forwards of the draft class. A replacement once Mikael Backlund retires?

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Mike G: Matthew Coronato, an electric goal-scorer who set a Chicago Steel franchise record with 48 goals in 51 USHL games last season. He’s a right-shot winger who stands 5’10” and is committed to Harvard for 2021–22. Coronato has some of the highest raw offensive potential of any prospect in this year’s draft.

Mike W: I can’t help but be intrigued by the dazzling skill of Fabian Lysell. The right shot Swede is an incredibly dynamic skater with magic hands and smarts. The Flames prospect cupboard could certainly use some high end speed and skill. It’s just too hard to resist Lysell’s tantalizing talents.

Prajeya: If he’s on the board, I’d love to see Brad Treliving add the scoring prowess that Matthew Coronato possesses. Given the fact that he’s also a right handed shot, the Flames should be all over a player that helps stem two organizational weaknesses: goal scoring and the lack of quality right handed forwards. With 48 goals in 51 games in the USHL this past season, Coronato owns a lethal shot that’s quick off the stick. The knock on Coronato is that he comes from an absolutely stacked Chicago Steel team. However, given the fact, in recent memory, both Cole Caufield and Alex DeBrincat have also come from similar backgrounds and impressed, shows that this isn’t as big of a concern as it’s made out to be. There is also some concern that, as a native of New York, Coronato will take the Adam Fox route and holdout to sign with his childhood club, along with the incentive of graduating from the prestigious Harvard University (just like Fox). With that being said, Coronato is much less likely to do this given his first round status, as historically speaking, very few first round picks refuse to sign with the team that they were drafted by,

Ryan: I’d be happy if the Flames ended up with one of four forwards: Matthew Coronato, Chaz Lucius, Cole Sillinger or Fyodor Svechkov. They need offensive-minded forwards and adding one of those players would give them some additional future scoring depth and help complement the likes of Jakob Pelletier and Connor Zary as the club matures.

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Shane: I would like to see the Flames add one of the premier snipers of this draft that both have potential to possibly play up the middle in their NHL careers – Cole Sillinger or Chaz Lucius. I think Sillinger is one of the best players in this class period – and have him in my personal top 5 of this draft class

Who do you expect the Flames to select at 13th overall?

Craig: Cole Sillinger. If a centreman with a 200-pound frame, reliable two-way game and lethal enough release to score everywhere he’s ever played is available, you take him.

Mike G: Cole Sillinger. He might be the most Flames-y player projected to be available in their wheelhouse, standing 6’0″ but weighing over 200 pounds. He’s been an excellent producer at both the WHL and USHL levels and would certainly provide a massive boost to the Flames’ prospect depth at the centre position.

Mike W: If he’s still on the board the Flames will select sniper Cole Sillinger. His top notch offensive skill, highlighted by a phenomenal shot, would likely see him higher up the draft rankings in a full season of hockey.

Prajeya: I fully expect the Flames to select centreman, Cole Sillinger. The Columbus, Ohio, native is a prototypical Calgary Flames draft pick, with the left-handed forward possessing a physical game and great two-way abilities. Should Sillinger return to the WHL next season, he also holds the advantage of being fairly close to the Flames, with Calgary scouts showing bias in the past to WHL players. While Daryl Sutter may not be at the helm when Cole Sillinger carves out a full-time role for himself in the NHL, there is no doubt that the physically imposing centreman would be heavily favoured in a Sutter-based system. Similar to Coronato, Sillinger possesses a wicked shot, as seen from 24 goals in 31 games in the USHL this past season. While I certainly don’t think that Cole Sillinger is bad pick to make, I do believe that it is very likely that better players, such as Matthew Coronato, will be available when Brad Treliving steps up to the podium.

Ryan: Cole Sillinger seems like a Very Calgary Pick. His dad’s a former NHLer. He played in the WHL, so the Flames have scouted the heck out of him. He played in the USHL, so another cross-section of Flames scouts have scouted the heck out of him. He seems like a strong stylistic match, and I can imagine the hockey ops braintrust feeling enthusiastic about him.

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Shane: I am of the belief the Flames are going to be looking at Cs if possible – so Lucius and Sillinger do make sense, but they could look at some prominent wingers like Fabian Lysell. It all depends on how the dominos fall in the 11 picks before them.