2022 Flames Second Round Targets: Devin Kaplan
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By Ryan Pike10 months ago
Last year, the Calgary Flames scored big at the draft by taking a right shot forward from the United States with their first draft pick. In 2022, their first pick isn’t until the second round, but could they be going for another right shot American forward?
Let’s take a look at Devin Kaplan.
A product of Bridgewater, NJ, Kaplan is a right shot winger listed at 6’3″ and 198 pounds.
A north Jersey kid, Kaplan came up through the North Jersey Avalanche minor hockey program. He made the jump to the U.S. National Development Program in 2020-21, playing on their Under-17 Team and progressing to their Under-18 Team for 2021-22. He’s committed to Boston University for 2022-23.
Over at Dobber Prospects, Zack Szweras broke down Kaplan’s game:
Kaplan has all the tools to become a reliable two-way winger for any NHL team that takes a chance on him. The major flaws in Kaplan’s game, however, are his poor skating and slow pace. Kaplan has been the perfect complementary winger for the USNTDP this year. He relies on his strong hockey sense to find the soft areas of the ice and exploit them before the opposition realizes he’s open. At times, he compensates for his lack of foot speed by positioning himself to be the trailer on an offensive fast break. Another strong area of Kaplan’s game is in the trenches. With his big frame, he invites competition along the boards and outmuscles opponents for contested pucks. Once he wins those battles, he often looks to start the cycle to provide his teammates scoring opportunities.
Szweras praised Kaplan’s defensive game elsewhere in their breakdown.
Kaplan reportedly didn’t have a huge role on the U.S. National Development Program because of his team’s depth, but Smaht Scouting’s Austin Garrett really likes his upside:
I say this because, for instance, let’s take the eye test: he’s 6’3, moves well, has a motor defensively, has really good puck skill/transitional ability/passing ability, has a great brain, and uses his size to be physical. I would describe him, without data, as the type of player I’d expect administrators in the NHL to drool over. With data? My goodness is Kaplan just screaming upside. So many great indicators outside of his point total including shot differentials, work rates, passing data, transition data, and defensive blue line data in my data set. Even better microstats with some of the public sphere scouts who have tracked Kaplan as well.
Chris Peters at Daily Faceoff had Kaplan ranked 59th on his list – right where the Flames pick, coincidentally:
There are moments when you watch Kaplan and wonder how he isn’t a first-round talent. His size and skill combination are excellent traits. The issue is that he lacks consistency and sometimes the compete level wanes. The talent is there, though, and I think a patient team could be rewarded as he progresses. I think he could be a real mid-round sleeper this year.
Kaplan has size, is a right shot forward, and has a ton of upside. If he can amp up his consistency, he could be a great find at 59th overall.
Kaplan had 13 goals and 38 points in 53 games for the U.S. National Development Program’s under-18 team in 2021-22. He was ninth on his team in points and 10th in goals.
He also represented the United States at the Under-18 Worlds, racking up six points in six games.
Availability and fit
He’s big! He’s a right shot forward! He played in a powerhouse program! He has lots of upside! Many reasons why the Flames might covet him.
Could he be around at 59th? Here’s where he slots in on the major rankings:
Daily Faceoff: 59th
Elite Prospects: 61st
FC Hockey: 60th
TSN (Bob McKenzie): 67th
The Athletic (Scott Wheeler): 74th
The Athletic (Corey Pronman): 70th
Dobber Prospects: 63rd
Smaht Scouting: 36th
Based on the consensus, it seems likely that Kaplan will still be on the board at 59th. Whether he’s the Flames’ best option depends on how many centres or blueliners are still on the board, and how much untapped potential the team believes Kaplan has.
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