Since Brad Treliving arrived in 2014, the Calgary Flames have made six selections in the fifth round of the NHL Draft. As of now, the Flames have signed zero of these players to NHL contracts and fifth-rounders have only played minor league games on minor league deals.
Here’s a look back on their fifth-round challenges.
(The Flames’ 2014 fifth-rounder was traded to St. Louis for Kris Russell.)

2015: Pavel Karnaukhov (left wing, 136th overall, Calgary – WHL)

A Belarusian import, Karnaukhov was the 118th-ranked North American skater (by Central Scouting) and was 115th ranked by FC Hockey. He went about where he probably should have given his rankings. He lasted one year in North America post-draft, then headed back to Europe to play in Russia.

2016: Mitchell Mattson (centre, 126th overall, Grand Rapids – USHL)

Mattson had a good draft year in the USHL, and was the 61st-ranked North American skater and ranked 112th overall by FC Hockey that season. He spent two seasons post-draft in the USHL, and has since played four seasons as a depth player with the NCAA’s Michigan State Spartans. His draft rights lapse on Aug. 15 and it seems unlikely that he’ll be offered a contract.
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2017: Zach Fischer (right wing, 140th overall, Medicine Hat – WHL)

Selected in his third year of draft eligibility, Fischer was unranked by both Central Scouting and FC Hockey – which isn’t unusual, as typically players don’t get a lot of draft attention in their third year of eligibility unless they’re doing amazing things offensively. Fischer was seen as a physically mature player that maybe could be an energy guy. He spent a year in the minors on an AHL contract, but the Flames never signed him to an NHL deal.
(The Flames’ 2018 fifth-rounder was traded to Arizona for Michael Stone.)

2019: Josh Nodler (centre, 150th overall, Fargo – USHL)

A two-way centre from the USHL, Nodler was the 86th-ranked North American skater but ranked 277th by FC Hockey – there were questions about his offensive ceiling. Nodler had some nice buzz early and was in the World Junior mix for Team USA at times, but as of yet he hasn’t translated his potential into growth. He spent three seasons at Michigan State, but he’s transferred to U-Mass for his senior year. The Flames hold his NHL rights for another year.
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2020: Ryan Francis (right wing, 143rd overall, Cape Breton – QMJHL)

A smallish but offensive-minded forward from the Q, Francis was ranked 55th among North American skaters and 80th overall by FC Hockey, so this selection was really good value. He didn’t really progress post-draft and between that and the Flames bevvy of smaller offensive-minded forwards in their system, they were unable to come to terms on a contract.

2021: Cole Jordan (defence, 141st overall, Moose Jaw – WHL)

A mobile defender from the Dub, Jordan was the 88th-ranked North American skater and ranked 63rd overall by FC Hockey. Again, like Francis, this was a good value pick relative to the draft position. He had a bit of an uneven post-draft season, dealing with injuries and not really finding his stride until the last quarter of the season. The Flames hold his NHL rights for another year.
Nodler and Jordan could still end up signing NHL deals in the future, but as of now: the results in the fifth-round are very, very sparse. (Fischer and Francis combined for six AHL games.)
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