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Recent Calgary Flames second-round picks haven’t had great results

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Photo credit:© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
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The second round of the NHL Draft is typically the beginning of the second day of the event. Everyone makes selections from their tables, the pace picks up, and the best and brightest of a draft class are usually gone. But there are often still quite a few strong players that slip into the second round.
The Calgary Flames own their second-round pick, 48th overall, in the 2023 NHL Draft.

Their last five picks

Here are the last five second-round selections for the Flames:
  • In 2022, the Flames selected forward Topi Rönni from Finland’s Tappara Tampere at 59th overall.
  • In 2021, the Flames selected forward William Strömgren from Sweden’s MODO Hockey at 45th overall.
  • In 2020, the Flames selected defenceman Yan Kuznetsov from the NCAA’s University of Connecticut at 50th overall.
  • In 2016, the Flames selected goaltender Tyler Parsons from the OHL’s London Knights at 54th overall and Dillon Dube from the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets at 56th overall.
The Flames traded their 2017 second-round pick to Ottawa to acquire Curtis Lazar. The Flames traded their 2018 and 2019 second-round picks to the NY Islanders to acquire Travis Hamonic. The Flames acquired an additional 2022 second-round pick from Florida in the Sam Bennett trade, but traded it to Seattle to acquire Calle Jarnkrok.
Parsons left the Flames organization after not being qualified as a restricted free agent following five seasons in their system. His final season was wiped out due to recurring concussion issues.
Dube is an NHL regular and has played 282 games with the Flames so far.
Kuznetsov and Strömgren have signed entry-level deals. Kuznetsov has spent a couple seasons in the Flames system already, while Strömgren is expected to migrate to North America full-time in 2023-24.
Rönni is currently in Finland, but seems like a safe bet to sign eventually based both on his own performances – he played in the World Juniors – and the Flames’ signing of Strömgren.

Some notable selections

1973 second-rounder Eric Vail won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. He ended up having a very good NHL career.
1985 second-rounder Joe Nieuwendyk also won the Calder Trophy. All due respect to Vail, but Nieuwendyk had a better NHL career, serving as Flames captain, winning multiple Stanley Cups, and getting inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
Three others had very good NHL runs: Guy Chouinard (1974), Paul Ranheim (1984) and Stephane Matteau (1987).
More recently, the Flames have three current regulars that they selected with second-rounders: Rasmus Andersson (2015), Oliver Kylington (2016) and Dube (2016).

Some notable misses

The Flames have made 59 second-rounders to date. Of those, 17 never played NHL games and 21 never played for the Flames.
Some notable players that played zero games include:
  • 1990’s Nicolas Perreault, who they selected with the pick they received from Pittsburgh for future Hall of Famer Joe Mullen.
  • Five Russians selected between 1994 and 2001: Dmitri Ryabykin (1994), Pavel Smirnov (1995), Dmitri Kokorev (1997), Andrei Medvedev (2001) and Andrei Taratukhin (also 2001). Taratukhin at least came over to North America for a few seasons, but the rest were big whiffs. Heck, Medvedev’s selection was widely panned at the time because he was notoriously out of shape.
  • Finally, two big whiffs at the beginning of the rebuild: Hunter Smith and Mason McDonald, both selected in 2014, both not qualified as RFAs following their initial entry-level deals.

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