With the Calgary Flames slotted at 16th overall, it’s a mock draft frenzy!
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike20 days ago
By virtue of not winning either of the draft lottery draws, the Calgary Flames will select 16th overall at the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville at the end of June. Since the first round order – up until 16th – has become clear via the lottery, smart draft analysts have been unveiling their mock drafts.
So far, there’s a pretty wide variety of opinion in terms of how the first round will unfold and which young player the Flames may select.
Over at FC Hockey, they have the Flames selecting University of Connecticut forward Matthew Wood at 16th.
Wood is a right shot forward who can play centre or the wing. He came up through the BCHL and moved to UConn this past fall, where he had 34 points in 35 games and played on the same team as Flames goaltending prospect Arsenii Sergeev. Wood had 13 points in seven games at the Under-18 Worlds and was named one of the top three players on Canada as they captured a bronze medal.
Over at Daily Faceoff, our pal Steven Ellis has the Flames taking Kelowna Rockets forward Andrew Cristall.
A left shot winger, Cristall had 95 points in 54 games this past season for the Rockets and served as one of the club’s alternate captains. Why would he be available at 16th overall? He’s not huge (listed at 5’10” and 165 pounds) and his skating isn’t great. But in terms of pure offensive upside, his skill package has scouts raving. (And y’know, the Flames have a full-time skating coach…)
Finally, over at the Athletic, Scott Wheeler has the Flames selecting Swedish blueliner Tom Willander.
Playing primarily in Sweden’s J20 Nationell league this past season with Rogle BK, Willander had 25 points in 39 games. He’s a right shot defender who’s considering a strong all-around player, but isn’t seen as a sure-fire first-rounder on a lot of rankings or other mock drafts. But in terms of blueliners and addressing a position need, it’s hard to knock the pick because he’s likely the best defender available based on who was already picked in Wheeler’s mock. (And c’mon, Swedish defencemen just seem like a smart thing for the Flames to draft.)
Be sure to click over to our media pals’ sites and check out their full mock drafts!
Who do you want the Flames to select at 16th overall? Let us know in the comments!
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