Assessing the Calgary Flames’ depth ahead of the 2022 trade deadline

Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
2 years ago
Friends, the 2022 National Hockey League trade deadline is coming up on Mon., Mar. 21. It sounds far away, but it’s just over seven weeks away. The Calgary Flames have some cap space, some young prospects and draft assets they could part with, and some very clear needs.
With seven weeks to go, let’s take a look at some of the Flames’ positional needs.
Players in bold are current NHL players. NHL playoff game experience in [brackets].


  • Jacob Markström [14]
  • Dan Vladar [1]
  • Dustin Wolf [0]
  • Adam Werner [0]
The goaltending position is really well-stocked. The Flames have a top-flight starter, a reliable back-up, an up-and-comer in Stockton and a reliable AHL back-up with some regular season NHL experience. No moves are needed or really expected in net.

Left shot defencemen

  • Noah Hanifin [15]
  • Oliver Kylington [0]
  • Nikita Zadorov [33]
  • Connor Mackey [0]
  • Juuso Välimäki [2]
  • Kevin Gravel [1]
  • Ilya Solovyov [0]
  • Colton Poolman [0]
The good news is the Flames have two good defenders in their top two pairings!
The bad news is they’re both super young and one of them has never played a playoff game. And third guy is Zadorov, who is big, physical and good in specific usage, but then it gets incredibly, incredibly lean in terms of guys with NHL experience. They would probably like to add a depth leftie with some playoff experience, if the prices aren’t crazy.

Right shot defencemen

  • Rasmus Andersson [15]
  • Chris Tanev [33]
  • Erik Gudbranson [19]
  • Michael Stone [6]
  • Andy Welinski [3]
  • Nick DeSimone [0]
  • Johannes Kinnvall [0]
The Flames have a bit more right side depth than left side, with four guys who would be completely fine in a playoff series. They’re probably fine here.


  • Elias Lindholm (right shot) [15]
  • Mikael Backlund [30]
  • Sean Monahan [30]
  • Brad Richardson (right shot) [61]
  • Adam Ruzicka [0]
  • Byron Froese (right shot) [0]
  • Glenn Gawdin (right shot) [0]
  • Connor Zary [0]
  • Luke Philp (right shot) [0]
(Note: We lumped Dillon Dube with the left shot wingers because he doesn’t play centre most of the time.)
The NHL roster is three deep in pretty good forwards, though only Lindholm really moves the needle offensively. Richardson is a reliable fourth line pivot, but he’s 36 and might not withstand the physical grind that is the post-season. Beyond him, there’s nobody with NHL playoff games on their resume. I would expect the Flames to prioritize adding another centre if they can to insulate against injuries and/or Monahan slowing down again.

Left shot wingers

  • Johnny Gaudreau [30]
  • Matthew Tkachuk [15]
  • Andrew Mangiapane [15]
  • Blake Coleman [53]
  • Milan Lucic [124]
  • Dillon Dube [10]
  • Trevor Lewis [87]
  • Jakob Pelletier [0]
  • Emilio Pettersen [0]
  • Martin Pospisil [0]
  • Justin Kirkland [0]
The good news is the Flames have a lot of pretty good leftie wingers. The bad news is that because of their lean right shot depth (see below), roughly half of their NHL bodies are playing on their off-wing. And beyond the guys they have in the big leagues, nobody has playoff experience. Adding a left shot winger would probably qualify as a “nice to have” before the deadline.

Right shot wingers

  • Brett Ritchie [3]
  • Tyler Pitlick [22]
  • Matthew Phillips [0]
  • Walker Duehr [0]
  • Eetu Tuulola [0]
Let’s be blunt here: this is pretty rough. They have five right shot wingers and only two have played playoff games. Moreover, both of their NHL-level righties are guys who don’t move the needle at all offensively and require sheltering at five-on-five. If at all possible, if only to provide more flexibility in the line-up, I would imagine that the Flames will look seriously at adding a right shot winger (or a centre who can play multiple positions) to the mix.


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