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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

What to expect from the Calgary Flames at the 2022 NHL Draft

The 2022 NHL Draft is just under a month away – it takes place Thu., July 7 and Fri., July 8 in scenic Montreal, Quebec. The Calgary Flames have three picks as of right now, but based on their history they could be busy heading into the week.

Here’s some things to bear in mind and keep an eye on as we creep towards the draft.

The Flames currently have three picks

As of this writing, the Flames have the rights to three picks: their own picks in the second, fifth and seventh rounds, 59th, 155th and 219th overall, respectively.

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If the Flames don’t acquire more picks, this will be the fewest selections they’ve made at any draft since the event was shortened to seven rounds in 2005. It’s pretty rare for teams to stick with making so few picks: in the past five drafts, it’s happened twice – Toronto made three in 2021 and Columbus did it in 2019

The Flames will aim to make the best use of the picks they have, but don’t be shocked if they jump on opportunities presented to trade back in the draft order and gain some picks.

Age group and positional assets

The upcoming draft class will feature first-time draft eligible players born between Sept. 16, 2003 and Sept. 15, 2004 – feel free to take a minute to feel old, friends, I know I am…

Because they had a bunch of selections in the past few drafts, the Flames do have a decent amount of depth in terms of players born in 2001, 2003 and 2003:

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  • 2001: G Dustin Wolf, G Daniil Chechelev, D Jake Boltmann, F Lucas Feuk, F Jakob Pelletier, F Connor Zary, F Josh Nodler and F Ilya Nikolaev
  • 2002: G Arsenii Sergeev, D Yan Kuznetsov, D Jeremie Poirier, D Cole Jordan, F Matt Coronato and F Rory Kerins
  • 2003: D Cameron Whynot, F William Stromgren, F Jack Beck, F Lucas Ciona and F Cole Huckins

The Flames are probably set for goalies, having three between 2001 and 2002 – and two of them are their league’s respective goalie of the year. They went heavy on blueliners in their 2002 age group, with Kuznetsov and Poirier going pro this coming season. In terms of forwards with potential offensive impacts, they have a couple in 2001 (Pelletier, Zary), a couple in 2002 (Coronato, Kerins) and one in 2003 (Beck).

The Flames would probably like to get some additional defender options (Whynot had a rough year), but they always like to add scorers whenever possible. It’ll be curious to see how they balance those needs.

Treliving loves trades

If there’s one thing Flames general manager Brad Treliving likes to do, it’s make deals at the draft. He’s been GM since 2014 and he’s been at the helm through eight previous drafts. At those draft weekends, he’s made four significant trades:

  • Acquiring Dougie Hamilton from Boston in 2015
  • Acquiring Brian Elliott from St. Louis in 2016
  • Acquiring Travis Hamonic from the NY Islanders in 2017
  • Acquiring Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin from Carolina in 2018

(He’s also made a ton of smaller trades.)

Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli has detailed how the Flames are making a big push to get Johnny Gaudreau signed. The reason for that is pretty simple: Treliving is a guy who likes to plan, and he probably has a Plan A mapped out for the off-season to get his guys all re-signed and to create cap space to make it all work. (Spoiler: the current $26 million of projected space won’t be enough to get everybody locked down.)

If Gaudreau isn’t going to sign, Treliving will need to pivot to Plan B, so it seems prudent for Treliving to know which plan he’s working with as soon as possible.

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