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The Calgary Flames need multiple top 15 picks in this year’s entry draft

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Photo credit:@NHLFlames on Twitter
Robert Munnich
1 month ago
The Calgary Flames are about to embark on another interesting off-season as they continue their re-tool. It sounds like Craig Conroy wants to get the team competitive again in time for when the new arena opens.
That is going to be an incredibly difficult task, especially considering they just started their re-tool this season.
But one way to become competitive in a short period is to do a great job drafting over the next couple years.
How can the Flames give themselves the best opportunity to draft future impact makers? It’s drafting in the top 15 of the draft. Conroy has put the Flames in a position where he can package draft picks and NHL roster players to move up in the draft and get multiple picks in within the top 15.
It’s looking like the 2024 NHL draft class has a lot of high end talented at the top of the draft. It starts to fall off after the first 15 picks.
Because of that, the Flames should do everything in their power to move up in the draft and start to build the next core group of Calgary Flames.

Calgary’s trade assets

Conroy has done a good job of accumulating assets in exchange for older, veteran players on expiring contacts. Between that and NHL players under contract, the Flames have a lot of assets to work with.
In terms of NHL assets, there is not a single Flames player who is untouchable. Are there guys who you would rather not move? For sure. But if the opportunity is available to move a veteran player along with picks to move up in to the top ten, you have to consider it.
Jacob Markstrom, Andrew Mangiapane, Andrei Kuzmenko, Yegor Sharangovich, Blake Coleman, Rasmus Andersson and Nazem Kadri are some pieces the Flames could dangle on the trade market.
The Flames could also use their two first-round, second-round, and third-round picks to convince a team to move down.

Potential trade partners

There are a lot of teams who the Flames could potentially work with in a draft day deal.
The Ottawa Senators have missed the playoffs for seven straight seasons. They have a new owner, new front office, and soon to be new head coach. You know that they’re going to want to make some moves this summer. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman has reported multiple times throughout the season that the Sens are looking to add “good veterans” to their lineup. Experienced pros who know what it takes to win and prepare themselves for a long 82 game season. The Flames have quite a few players that fit that description.
Would the Sens have any interest in Vancouver’s first-round pick, a second-round pick, and Blake Coleman for the #7 overall pick?
The Arizona/Utah Coyotes are set to have a new owner in Ryan Smith. Word around the league is that he is going to be aggressive this off-season in building a competitive team for next season. They have a ton of draft picks and prospects in their system. The Coyotes also don’t have a single NHL defenceman signed for next year.
Would they have any interest in Rasmus Andersson and Vancouver’s first-round pick for the 5th overall selection?
New Jersey nearly made a deal for Jacob Markstrom. They desperately need a high end starting goaltender.
Could a package that includes Jacob Markstrom and Vancouver’s first round pick, and more get the Flames the 10th overall selection?
There are a lot of interesting possibilities out there for Conroy and his management team to explore.
The Flames being able to walk away with two or three high draft picks would be a huge win for the organization. For example, let’s say Conroy drafts Tij Iginla, Berkly Catton, and Carter Yakemchuk. That could set the Flames up with three core members of their team for the next 10+ years.
That would go a long way in getting Calgary ready to get back into contention for when the new arena opens in three or four years.
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