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Is 2024 draft prospect Ben Danford a fit for the Calgary Flames prospect pool?

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Photo credit:courtesy OHL Images
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
Who doesn’t love a defensively sound right-shot defenceman?
The Calgary Flames have four picks in the first two rounds of the 2024 draft, and the prospect we’ll look at today, could be available when the Flames pick 62nd overall with the Dallas Stars’ pick acquired in the Chris Tanev deal.
Today’s prospect is somewhat similar to the former Flame in a way that he’s not offensively gifted, but his defence is great. Without further ado, let’s take a look at Ben Danford.

Ben Danford scouting report and profile

Right-shot defenceman, born Feb. 6 in Madoc, Ontario, 6’0”, 176 lbs
Danford played for the Eastern Conference winning Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League, where he scored a goal and 33 points in 64 games. His career-high in goals came in 2022-23 when he scored four in 63 games, along with 21 points. However, in the Generals’ run to the finals, Danford scored four goals and 10 points in 21 games.
Although his offensive game is evidently limited, there’s a solid chance Danford goes in round two. His highest ranking comes from Elite Prospects, where he’s ranked 30th overall with a consolidated ranking of 58th. Jason Bukala of Sportsnet ranked him 69th overall, one of his lowest rankings. Gabriel Foley of Recruit Scouting has him ranked similarly as the 64th-best draft prospect.
The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler has him ranked 58th-overall, while Steven Ellis of Daily Faceoff has him ranked 55th-overall. Sticking in the late 50s, Smaht Scouting has Danford ranked as the 59th-best draft prospect available.
According to The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler, the stats aren’t really there for a player that’ll be selected in the second or third round. Offensively, the skills are developing as he’s taking more chances and becoming more active in the offensive zone. He’s calm with the puck with solid skating, but it’s his defence that sticks out as he has high defensive IQ including stick work, limiting space for opposing players, and positioning. The offensive numbers have come along nicely as well.
From the EliteProspects 2024 NHL Draft Guide, the note that he reads the game at a high level and is great defensively in his own zone with the ability to make a breakout pass. He’s mean and has good gap control with poise under pressure.
Gabriel Foley of Recruit Scouting has Danford at 64th and notes that he’s a good defender with “strong puck handling”. Danford can put too much mustard on passes or neglect forecheckers while looking around the ice, but the defensive are better than most his age, even if his skating needs work.
Interestingly, Steven Ellis of Daily Faceoff notes that despite being a right-shot defencemen, Danford is “better suited to the left side as it suits his shot better.” Ellis also points out that scoring only one goal is odd for a player with offensive abilities like Danford. Lastly, Daily Faceoff notes that he rarely messes up a pass on breakouts.
Smaht Scouting’s Josh Tessler notes that Danford is big, mean, and hits hard. Unlike a few other reports we’ve looked at, Tesla points to his “excellent edgework” and “well-timed pivots” when defending the rush.
Already wearing a letter for the Oshawa Generals, Danford has leadership qualities with the ability to defend well in his own zone. If his offensive game can come along, he could be a steal at the end of the second round or the beginning of the third.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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