The Calgary Flames have found strong players in the second round (but have also missed out on a few)

Photo credit:Terence Leung/Calgary Wranglers
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
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The second round of the NHL’s annual entry draft is an interesting vibe.
It lacks the pomp and circumstance of the first round, as in the second round picks are made from each club’s table without having to trek back and forth to the stage with much ballyhoo. As a result, the picks happen much more rapidly. But a good player found in the second round is just as helpful as one found in the first round, and often they don’t carry the burden of expectations that players selected just a handful of picks ahead of them do.
In the 2024 NHL Draft, the Calgary Flames are in a unique situation: they have two second-round picks. They retained control of their own selection, and added Dallas’ via the Chris Tanev trade prior to the trade deadline.
Historically, the Flames have hit a few home runs in the second round – they have a banner hanging from the Saddledome rafters honouring one of their second-rounders – but they’ve also had challenges striking paydirt consistently in that part of the draft.

Their last five picks

Here are the last five second-round selections for the Flames:
202348D Etienne MorinMoncton (QMJHL)
202259F Topi RönniTappara (U20 SM-sarja)
202145F William StrömgrenMODO Hockey (Allsvenskan)
202050D Yan KuznetsovConnecticut (NCAA)
201656F Dillon DubeKelowna (WHL)
(In 2016, goaltender Tyler Parsons was taken 54th overall, two picks before Dube.)
The Flames’ 2018 and 2019 second-rounders were traded to the New York Islanders (along with their 2018 first-rounder) in exchange for Travis Hamonic (and a 2019 fourth-rounder).
The Flames’ 2017 second-round pick was traded to the Ottawa Senators. The second and Jyrki Jokipakka went to Ottawa in exchange for Curtis Lazar and minor-league defenceman Mike Kostka.
Looking at the last five second-rounders the Flames have made, three are prospects within the Flames’ system right now. Strömgren had a breakthrough year with the Wranglers and looks like he could be pushing for NHL duty quite soon. Kuznetsov made his NHL debut for the Flames in January. Morin had a challenging season in the QMJHL offensively, but still has a lot of untapped upside.
The Flames last cashed in big in the second round in 2015, when both Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington ended up becoming NHL regulars.

Some historical hits

If you have the benchmark that 200 NHL games makes a pick successful, 21 players have reached that mark after being second-round selections by the Flames. That list includes Eric Vail (1973), Guy Chouinard (1974), Pat Riggin (1979), Steve Konroyd (1980), Kevin LaVallee (1980), Richard Kromm (1982), Paul Ranheim (1984), Joe Nieuwendyk (1985), Brian Glynn (1986), Stephane Matteau (1987), Ted Drury (1989), Kent Manderville (1989), Jamie Allison (1993), Steve Begin (1996), Blair Betts (1998), Jarret Stoll (2000), Kurtis Foster (2000), Markus Granlund (2011), Oliver Kylington (2015), Rasmus Andersson (2015), and Dillon Dube (2016).
That group includes two Calder Trophy winners in Vail (the Flames’ first-ever individual trophy winner) and Nieuwendyk, one of the team’s first offensive stars in Chouinard, as well as a bunch of really useful players – past and present. Heck, legendary NHL coach Rick Bowness, who just missed the 200-game cut-off, was a second-rounder in 1975. The Flames received two second-rounders when they traded their all-time leading scorer (at the time) Kent Nilsson to the Minnesota North Stars: those picks turned into Nieuwendyk and Matteau.
If your cut-off for a successful second-rounder is at 500 games, the Flames’ list of 21 200-gamers slims down to nine – and that’s skewed quite a bit towards the earlier cohort of players, predominantly from the 1970s and 1980s drafts.

Some historical misses

Since the 2000 draft, the Flames have selected 10 players in the second round that have played fewer than five NHL games: Andrei Medvedev, Andrei Taratukhin, Brian McConnell, Tim Ramholt, Mitch Wahl, Patrick Sieloff, Hunter Smith, Mason McDonald, Tyler Parsons and Topi Ronni. (We’re exempting Strömgren and Morin, since they’re still in the Flames’ system and could play NHL games.)
Without looking at whoever else they could have selected, when you consider that often the second round has a lot of talent that’s spilled over from the first round, that’s still a lot of potential value left on the table.

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