The third round has produced some Calgary Flames greats (and some missed opportunities)

Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
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The distinction is somewhat unscientific, but the third round is the last part of what we would call the “early” part of the NHL Draft. The final pick of the modern first round is 96th overall, and after that point you’re out of the top 100 and out of the core part of most teams’ draft lists and into the wilderness a bit.
There are strong players to be found every year in the third round, though some of them are considered diamonds in the rough.
The Calgary Flames have control of two third-rounders in the 2024 NHL Draft: their own and Vegas’ pick, acquired in the Noah Hanifin trade.

Their last five picks

Here are the last five third-round selections for the Flames:
202380F Aydar SunievPenticton (BCHL)
202189D Cameron WhynotHalifax (QMJHL)
202177F Cole HuckinsAcadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
202080D Jake BoltmannEdina (USHS)
202072D Jeremie PoirierSaint John (QMJHL)
The Flames traded their 2022 third-rounder to Boston for Dan Vladar. They also acquired a 2022 third-rounder from Toronto in exchange for David Rittich at the 2022 trade deadline, but they traded that pick to Chicago in exchange for Nikita Zadorov.
They acquired the 2021 pick they used to select Whynot in a bit of a complicated way: they acquired the 84th overall pick from Edmonton via a condition in the Milan Lucic/James Neal trade, then swapped third-rounders with the Los Angeles Kings (and gained a sixth-rounder in the swap).
They acquired the 2020 pick they used to select both Poirier and Boltmann by trading down in the first round (twice). They had traded their own third-rounder that year to Chicago in exchange for Erik Gustafsson.
In terms of the Flames’ recent third-rounders, results have been mixed. Poirier and Suniev both look like promising offensive players, with Poirier trending well despite his injury this past season. But neither of  Whynot and Huckins signed entry-level deals, and we wouldn’t be expecting Boltmann to, either.

Some historical hits

13 players selected by the Flames in the third round have gone on to play 200 (or more) games in the NHL. The 13 are Jean Lemieux (1972), Tim Hunter (1979), Mike Vernon (1981), Perry Berezan (1983), Brian Bradley (1983), Sandy McCarthy (1991), Chris Clark (1994), Craig Anderson (1999), Matthew Lombardi (2002), Dustin Boyd (2004), Brandon Prust (2004), Lance Bouma (2008) and Adam Fox (2016).
Among that baker’s dozen of third-rounders, there’s two members of the 1989 Stanley Cup team – Vernon, the goaltender of record, and Hunter, the enforcer and alternate captain – and a franchise legend in Berezan, the man that was credited with scoring the infamous Steve Smith own goal that eliminated the Oilers from the 1986 playoffs. Clark was also a really valuable role player in the 2004 Stanley Cup Final run.
Anderson and Fox didn’t end up playing any games with the Flames, but you can’t argue that they weren’t good draft selections.

Some historical misses

Bouma, the Flames’ 2008 third-rounder, played 304 games for the Flames. They’ve made 13 picks in that round. The 13 players they drafted have combined for 35 games for the Flames.
From 1984 to 1990, the Flames made six picks in the third round and none of them played any games in the NHL.

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