Jeremie Poirier highlights some otherwise disappointing recent Calgary Flames third-rounders

Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
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The third round of the NHL Draft is probably the last round that can be considered “early” in the draft. The selections are all within the first 100 picks of the draft, and scouting teams likely feel they have a good handle on the picks they’re about to make.
The Calgary Flames do not own their third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, having traded it to Seattle last year for Calle Jarnkrok.

Their last five picks

Here are the last five third-round selections for the Flames:
  • In 2021, the Flames selected forward Cole Huckins from the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 77th overall and defenceman Cameron Whynot from the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads at 89th overall.
  • In 2020, the Flames selected defenceman Jeremie Poirier from the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs at 72nd overall and defenceman Jake Boltmann from Edina High School at 80th overall.
  • In 2019, the Flames selected forward Ilya Nikolaev from Russia’s Loko Yaroslavl  at 88th overall.
The Flames acquired the 2020 selection used to draft Poirier in a trade with the NY Rangers. The Flames acquired the 2021 selection used to draft Whynot in a trade with Los Angeles and the 2021 selection used to draft Boltmann in a trade with Washington. Their own 2021 third-round selection was traded to Chicago to acquire Erik Gustafsson. The Flames traded their 2022 third-round selection to Boston to acquire Dan Vladar. They acquired an additional 2022 third-round pick from Toronto in the David Rittich trade, but sent it to Chicago to acquire Nikita Zadorov.
Huckins and Whynot did not receive entry-level contracts from the Flames.
Poirier signed an ELC and was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team in 2022-23. Nikolaev signed an ELC as well, but spent most of the season in the ECHL.
Boltmann remains in college with the University of Notre Dame.

Some notable selections

Coincidentally, one of the Flames’ past third-round selections is recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Mike Vernon. Selected in 1981, Vernon was the Flames’ starter for eight seasons and back-stopped them to a pair of Stanley Cup Final appearances in 1986 and 1989. He had a strong career away from Calgary, too.
1979 pick Tim Hunter didn’t have the offensive prowess of a lot of NHLers of his era, but he was a skilled penalty killer and a feared pugilist. He still leads the Flames all-time ranks in penalty minutes, and he played over 800 games in the NHL.
More recently, Sandy McCarthy (1991), Chris Clark (1994), Clarke Wilm (1995) and Matthew Lombardi (2002) all developed into key role players for the Flames, and elsewhere.

Some notable misses

The Flames have made 47 third-round picks. Of those, 25 have never played NHL games and 29 never played games with Calgary.
Usually, players that didn’t play are sprinkled throughout a team’s drafting history. But for the Flames’ third-rounders, they appear in big chunks:
  • Between 1985 and 1990, the Flames made five third-round picks: Lane MacDonald (1985), Scott Mahoney (1987), Veli-Pekka Kautonen (1989), Corey Lyons (1989) and Glen Mears (1990). They combined for zero NHL games.
  • In 2005 and 2006, the Flames had two third-rounders in each year. Their selections – Gord Baldwin (2005), Dan Ryder (2005), John Armstrong (2006) and Aaron Marvin (2006) – combined for zero NHL games.
  • And weirdly enough, since 2013, the Flames have made eight third-round selections and zero have played any games for the Flames. Adam Fox (2016) was a strong pick, but was traded to Carolina. The last Flames regular that was obtained from the third round of the draft was Lance Bouma, from way back in 2008.

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