Should the Calgary Flames sign Cameron Whynot?
Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
By Ryan Pike6 months ago
The Calgary Flames have until June 1 to make some decisions on a handful of previously-selected draft choices. With those decisions still looming, we thought it was time to review the players the club still needs to commit entry-level contracts to… or let them walk away.
Next up on our rundowns of pending prospect decisions: defender Cameron Whynot.
A product of Kentville, Nova Scotia, Whynot is a left shot blueliner who played his minor hockey in the Annapolis Valley region of the province. He was selected by Sherbrooke in the QMJHL Draft in 2019, but soon was traded to nearby Halifax – the Mooseheads parted ways with then-18-year-old forward Xavier Parent in the swap, an indication of how well-regarded Whynot was as a prospect.
Whynot joined the Mooseheads the following season as a 16-year-old and adapted to the Q style of game gradually, with relatively minimal offensive production. He had a very effective 17-year-old season, his draft eligible season, in 2020-21 when he posted 23 points in 34 games. He was drafted by the Flames in the third round, 89th overall, in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Post-draft, though, Whynot’s been pretty effective when he’s played. But he’s missed a fairly decent chunk of time in each of his post-draft seasons – 23 in 2021-22 and 20 in 2022-23.
On one hand, Whynot’s offensive stats are respectable for a blueliner, if a little skewed towards special teams. On the other hand, there’s not a ton of obvious progression in that regard.
Here’s the big question regarding Whynot: what is he going to be? And that’s a tough question to answer given he’s missed so much time since being drafted – one out of every three regular season Moosehead games. At the very least, he’s a reliable 200-foot blueliner at the QMJHL level. But he’s not the game-breaking or game-controlling blueliner that scouts hoped he would be when he went into major-junior – at least not yet.
That’s the challenge with Whynot: it’s tough to gauge how his game is growing, and it’s tough to really pinpoint the spots in his game he needs to improve to get to the next level. All drafted players are sort of a blank slate at various points, but the reason teams are given a couple years (or four for European prospects) to decide on signing them is because you expect the picture to start getting filled in in their 18 and 19-year-old seasons. For Whynot, the picture is still a bit fuzzy, and that would make signing him a bit of a gamble – and he hasn’t really shown the type of dominance in the Q to suggest it’s a gamble that would be likely to pay off.
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