Could the Calgary Flames snag Emil Hemming with the 28th overall pick? Here’s why they should

Photo credit:Teemu Saarinen/TPS
Dave Hall
1 month ago
Last week, we profiled Beckett Sennecke, one of the draft rankings’ highest second-half risers. This week, we turn our attention to Emil Hemming, who has experienced a contrasting journey. Once considered an easy top-20 target, Hemming’s season has gone through a tale of two halves, juggling between an impressive performance in the U20 SM-sarja and a less potent stint at the professional level in the Liiga.
As a result of his slow production among the professional ranks, his stock has slightly dipped as we head into the final weeks leading up to Vegas.
Fret not, however, the young Finn is still a highly intriguing talent, and given that Hemming is only 17 years old and competing among seasoned professionals, some inconsistency is expected.
This shift toward a slight decline could prove beneficial for the Calgary Flames, as the prospect of slipping within their range of 28th overall becomes much less of a pipe dream.

Scouting report

Hemming, a Finnish-born winger, offers an intriguing mix of size, speed, and skill. Standing at 6’2″ and weighing 194 lbs, he combines a sizable frame with above-average skating ability. His strong edges and powerful stride make him one of the best skaters in his draft class, allowing him to be a dynamic presence in all three zones.

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Without question, Hemming’s most notable asset is his incredibly quick and dangerous shot. His rapid release and powerful one-timer make him a constant threat, especially on the power play.
It’s that shot, combined with size and speed, which positions him as such an intriguing power forward and projectable skater for the pipeline. Thanks to his powerful strides, he’s capable of catching defenders flat-footed on the rush or creating space toward the net with his size.
Of course, it’s not just in the O-zone where his frame and speed come into play. While he enjoys creating offensive plays, he makes strong reads and does not skimp on his backchecks. He’s responsible when needed, and with weight on his side, he’s able to muscle opponents off the puck.
Of course, Hemming’s game is not without its concerns. His consistency and decision-making have been areas in question, with stretches of low production often resulting from risky behaviour and poor play decisions.

Quotes from the industry

Mike Morreale, NHL.com:
“A natural sniper with a good physical presence, Hemming (6-1, 205) plays a power forward-type game.”
Steven Ellis, Daily Faceoff:
“He’s capable of getting creative offensively, but I feel like he’s a future bottom-six forward who can outmuscle players while staying disciplined and grinding it out all game long. His defensive game is nice, too. If he improves his skating, I can see Hemming playing a more prominent role in the NHL, but at a minimum, I think he works hard enough to earn himself a spot deeper down.”
Jason Bukala, Sportsnet:
“Hemming shoots the puck with authority. If opponents fail to gap up on him when he’s entering the offensive zone, he directs the play on net without breaking stride. He’s proven he can beat Liiga goalies from range. Hemming will take longer to develop into an NHL scoring threat. Big body prospects generally require an extra year of seasoning compared to smaller, darting prospects. When Hemming does arrive, I’m forecasting a middle-six forward who should provide at least secondary scoring in the NHL and find a role on one of the power play units.”

The numbers

Hemming had an eventful draft-eligible season, participating in multiple international events and splitting his club season between the U20 and pro circuits in Finland. His strongest statistical output came at the U20 level with TPS, where he notched 11 goals and 18 points in just 13 games. He added another 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in 11 playoff matches.
In Liiga, Hemming was the least utilized full-time skater on his squad, averaging just 10:04 of ice time per game. Despite limited ice time, he finished among the top 10 rookie scorers with seven goals and 11 points in 40 games. He did so despite being the lowest-utilized rookie among the top 28 skaters.

The fit

Aside from all of his on-ice attributes, the great attraction attached to Hemming is his ability to fulfill a spot in any role. While his game is likely more tailored toward a bottom-six NHL energizer, his ability to shoot the puck and make creative plays offers the potential for secondary offence as a complimentary player higher up in the lineup. He also brings the additional potential for special teams’ usage.
With that in mind, there’s not really a team where a fit wouldn’t make sense.
With two picks in the first round, there is an off chance that Hemming is available to the Flames with their 28th pick. Should they be so lucky, the sizable and mobile Finn is an easy target for the tail end of the first round and would add a solid middle-six piece to the club’s somewhat lacking right side.
Will he be available this late? That’s a whole other can of worms.

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