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Looking at four draft day trade proposals involving the Calgary Flames

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Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
9 months ago
We are less than five days away from the start of the first round of the NHL draft. It has become clear this week that the Flames are going to have to trade some of their 2024 UFA’s, most notably Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, and Tyler Toffoli.
The 2023 draft class is considered by some to be the best since 2003. If that truly is the case, then Calgary Flames General Manager, Craig Conroy, should do everything in his power to acquire as many 2023 draft picks as possible to start building towards the future. Make a bunch of selections next week and kick off a rebuild in style.
There are no shortage of potential trade partners for the Flames, particularly teams who are picking in the top 17 of the first round of the draft. There are a lot of teams with draft capital who are looking to improve their NHL rosters and take the next step toward making the playoffs.
Let’s take a look at who some of these teams could be.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Flames could really make some noise at the draft if they were able to put together an intriguing trade package to get the third overall pick from Columbus.
I will say that is it unlikely to happen, but not impossible. The Flames could offer up a package that includes high end NHL players, goalies, prospects, and their own draft picks.
Columbus has made it known to their fan base and the rest of the NHL that they want to get back to being a playoff team. They’ve picked six times in the first round including four picks in the first 12 selections. They have been building up their prospect base. They could part ways with the third pick for the right package.
And what’s the one key piece missing in Columbus? A first line center. The Flames have a first line center who has had a ton of success with Johnny Gaudreau in the past.
To me, a deal involving Lindholm to the Blue Jackets for the 3rd overall pick makes a lot of sense for both teams.
Trade Proposal
To Calgary: CBJ 2023 First Round Pick (3rd Overall)
To Columbus: Elias Lindholm, CGY 2023 First Round Pick (16th Overall)

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings check a lot of boxes when it comes to finding a trade partner for the Flames.
The Red Wings have been stock piling draft picks for the next two seasons in the Filip Hronek and Tyler Bertuzzi trades. Detroit has four picks in the first round, and four picks in the second round in the next two drafts.
They have been rebuilding for a long time and their fan and front office are getting restless. They need to get back to being competitive and in the playoffs very soon. They will need to plug some pretty large holes in their roster at both center and defense is they want to get there. Could I interest you in a Noah Hanifin or Elias Lindholm?
Trade Proposal
To Detroit: Noah Hanifin, CGY 2023 Fourth Round Pick
To Calgary: DET 2023 First Round Pick (17th Overall), VAN 2023 Second Round Pick, DET 2024 Third Round Pick.

St Louis Blues

Blues General manager Doug Armstrong was in a similar position to what Conroy is in right now. He was sitting on a lot of veterans whose contracts were expiring in one year. He decided to take a step back and move out those players in exchange for draft picks and prospects.
But Armstrong and the Blues are not content being bad for much longer. They are going to be aggressive at the NHL draft to bring in NHL players in exchange for some of the draft capital they were able to acquire in trades for Vladimir Tarasenko, Nikko Mikkola, Ryan O’Reilly, and Noel Accari trades.
St Louis needs to find a replacement for O’Reilly who was their number one center. Who better than someone who plays a similar style to O’Reilly in Lindholm? Or a defensive, Selke vote getter in Mikael Backlund?
Trade Proposal
To St. Louis: Mikael Backlund
To Calgary: STL 2023 First Round Pick (29th Overall)

Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo is in the same situation as Detroit. They are a team that has a lot of good, young pieces who are ready to take the next step in their evolution as a franchise.
The interesting thing about Buffalo is that they have a lot of draft picks and high-quality prospects that they can move without it impacting their future because they have some many pieces in their organization.
The Sabres have a ton of talent up front and were third in the NHL in goals scored last season. Because of that, the fit with the Flames would be for a defenseman like Noah Hanifin or Chris Tanev.
Buffalo needs another top four defenseman to help Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power. Dahlin plays the right side so Hanifin could be a great fit with him. Or Tanev could be a good fit on and off the ice on a pair with Power.
Trade Proposal
To Buffalo: Noah Hanifin
To Calgary: BUF 2023 First Round Pick (13th Overall), 2023 Second Round Pick, 2023 Sixth Round Pick
OR
To Buffalo: Chris Tanev
To Calgary: BUF 2023 Second Round Pick, PHI 2023 Second Round Pick
What are some trades you would like to see the Flames make at the 2023 NHL draft? Let us know in the comments section. 
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